|Born in early 1970’s, Monique Lhuillier (pronounced LOO-lee-ay) grew up on an island named Cebu in the Philippians. Lhuillier’s father was a jeweler and her mother was a model which had a great influence on her choice of career. During her teen years Lhuillier’s talented mother actually designed and sewed her children’s clothes and was even able to run a small business from her home. At 12 years old Lhuillier became involved in the design process helping their seamstress sketch designs. Later on Lhuillier enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. One of her last projects featured a bridal theme which foreshadowed her future career path. When she graduated she received a job working for sportswear maker Melivier. However, she knew the job was not for her because she wanted more of a challenge.
How Monique Lhuillier started her business.
Monique Lhuillier met her future husband in Los Angeles and even quit her job so she could plan their wedding. As she was shopping for her wedding dress she knew the bridal market was in need of some fresh new designs because she was not pleased with what was present. Lhuillier admitted that all the dresses she had seen were not modern and had too much going on. The bodices were filled with beads and she was very appalled by the quality of lace in the majority of the designs. Eventually she was able to find a dress that met her expectations and was also able to help design the 25 dresses for her relatives and bridal party members. During her wedding reception she had many people handing her business cards because they wanted her to design dresses for their own weddings. It was at that moment when Monique Lhuillier knew she could make a successful business out of this.
Monique Lhuillier’s success begins.
A year after her wedding Lhuillier launched her company in 1996 with the help of her parents. She then made countless calls to figure out when the next trade shows for the bridal wear industry would be held so she can show off her line. Within a month she was able to present six gowns and many bridesmaid dresses at an event which allowed her to sign five different bridal stores as her first accounts. After this Lhuiller’s husband quit his job to help his wife with her business and within a few years they launched a side eveningwear line with Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. In 2001 she was finally able to open her first retail store near their home in Beverly Hills, California. Stars including Britney Spears, Jamie-Lynn DiScala of The Sopranos and Will & Grace star Megan Mullally all showed off Lhuillier’s beautiful gowns. She has brought lace back in a big way with some of her most popular gowns being all lace gowns using the highest quality laces you can find. Not only that, in 2006 Monique Lhuillier started working on a line of home furnishings, china décor, and handbags. However, her bridal business still remains her main focus. Lhuillier continues to shock us every year with her beautiful designs and we can’t wait to see what she has to offer us next!
Monique Lhuillier received the 2001 Glamorous Bridal Designer Award, the 2002 Avant Garde Bridal Designer Award and the 2003 Designer of the Year Award from Wedding Dresses Magazine and the bridal industry members. In 2003, she was also inducted as a new member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).