Designer Profile : Lela Pearce designer Renee Sweeney

Rene Sweeney
Rene Sweeney

Lela Pearce swimwear is Inspired by the amazing cuts and silhouettes of the decades of the 50s,60s, and 70s, Lela Pearce is a vintage inspired brand that beautifully integrates past and present.

We have been stocking the gorgeous collection, since last year. The brand came to our attention, after spotting it on TOWIE girl, Lauren Pope.

Lauren Pope Lela Pearce Bikini
Lauren Pope Lela Pearce Bikini

We love getting to know the designers behind brands , we are very nosey but also we are passionate about the brands that we stock, and its great to know how they came to be. So we sent Rene some questions, and wanted to share the answers with you – to let you guys know more about her gorgeous swimwear collection too.

• When did you get into fashion?

“Since I was a little girl I have always been involved in fashion in one way or another! At a young age I would play dress up in my fashionista grandmother’s closet. She always had the fun accessories, the furs and the beautiful dresses that I loved to play in. As I got older I actually got to experience the industry in a more intimate way when I began modeling. I traveled nationally and internationally working for designer brands which really fostered a deeper love and appreciation for fashion as a form of art. In 2008 while living in Scottsdale Arizona I started making custom swimwear for myself (because I didn’t have the money to afford a designer swimsuit). The first day I wore my suit out I had both women and men coming up asking where I got my suit from. I soon realized I had a marketable product that people wanted so I started sewing custom suits for other people! In late 2009 I realized if I wanted to continue my career I had to learn how to build a business and manufacture my suits so I didn’t have to sew them myself. Early 2010 I moved to Los Angeles and attended FIDM (The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising). I graduated a couple years later and got to work on my line, Lela Pearce Swimwear which is named after my infamous (at least to me) and inspirational grandmother”.

*What inspires your designs?

The inspiration for my line comes sort of directly and indirectly from my grandmother Lela. Growing up I was always so fascinated with all her beautiful vintage gowns and jewelry and as I grew into an adult this appreciation for vintage fashion stick with me. The inspiration for my line comes from fashion between the 50’s-80’s. I like to pull ideas from those generations, make them my own and then shake it up a bit. For example a top may look reminiscent of the 70’s but the bottoms may be a nod to the 50’s. I wanted Lela Pearce to have a look of it’s own to distinguish it from anything currently out there

• Could you describe the role that you play in the company?

“Being that I am a new line (my first full collection is released this Spring) I am a woman who wears many hats! I do design, material sourcing, technical preperation and marketing. Though it’s damn hard work I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s so gratifying to know that you have taken an idea and made that idea come to life. It’s my baby and right now it’s about as much work as a baby would be too!!”

• Who are the people that inspire you the most?

“My fashion inspirations are both from the past and present. I absolutely adore Kate Moss and Sienna Miller….to me they are absolute perfection. I also really love looking at vintage style from Bridgette Bardot and Sophia Loren. A little bit of old, a little bit of new :)”

• Top memorable moments or turning points in your line?

“Since I am a new line I am sure there are MANY more to come, but getting my suit on international blogger PeaceLoveShea was really my first big pop that got me exposure. A mutual friend of mine and Shea actually had one of my samples on in Vegas and Shea looked at her and said “I must wear that!” Of course my friend gave it to her realizing what a great opportunity it was for me. I have never met Shea personally but she looked amaze in the suit! Another cool moment was when Lauren Pope from TOWIE contacted me on Twitter asking me for a suit. At the time I had never heard of here being that I am American but when I clicked on her Twitter profile It thought to myself “Wow! This girl must be someone!” Of course with the help of Google I soon found out who she was and shipped her a suit shortly thereafter. She got photographed in it and it was all over the British tabloids and boy did she make my suit look AMAZING!!”

What are your favourite pieces from each collection?

“I really adore my Farah Crochet top and my Pamela One Piece that is set to release here in Spring. Sexy one piece suits are coming back!! Watch for it!”

• Describe your personal style?

“My personal style is loosely based on trends but in general I buy and wear what I like. I like to look like an individual and take a piece or pieces and make them my own. I would describe my style as bit of boho mixed with a modern twist. I’m a sucker for fashion from the 70’s and I also love love LOVE accessories. Depending on where I’m going I will wear cool vintage pieces or for a more casual look turquoise is always my go to gemstone.”

• Where do you see your brand in the future?

“I see my brand growing and taking off with women all across the globe! Not all women want the same suit that everyone else has. Lela Pearce offers women a line they can take and make their own. The most exciting thing for me is to see a woman wearing one of my suits and looking amazing in it. For a designer there is no better feeling!”

Rene Sweeney
Rene Sweeney
Lela Pearce Bikini
Lela Pearce Bikini
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