Luly Yang, a Seattle fashion designer known for her couture gowns, is releasing her first-ever travel and leisure line, Luleisure. I was able to visit her 4th Avenue showroom for a behind-the-scenes look at the line — I'd describe it as functional-fabulous.
Yang said the limited-edition collection is designed to embody today's lifestyle, with an understanding that we all need adaptable garments that evolve with us. The items incorporate the signature Luly Yang Couture style to create elevated wardrobe staples, statement pieces and multifunctional accessories. Basically, Luleisure allows you to wear things that can carry you from brunch to business, through all seasons, or even travel.
The designs feature waist-defining accents, angular seaming and quilting, reflective trims and a range of layers and jackets — from brushed jersey, bonded knits and vegan leather to shearling, goose down and suede — with a finale of rain jackets in Yang's signature Monarch print. Her passion for travel was the inspiration for the new collection, but the vision for Luleisure evolved during the pandemic while the work-from-home culture skyrocketed.
She said the overall goal for Luleisure is to promote sustainability while still being stylish and functional in fashion. It all starts with having a social responsibility.
"My hope is that Luleisure will inspire the next chapter in fashion," said Yang, CEO and creative director of LYC. "It's not about trends. It's about investing in pieces that have an extended life in your closet and lend themselves to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle."
While at Yang's downtown Seattle showroom, I tried on each piece one-by-one. Everything felt super comfortable — even the vegan leather! My favorite item was probably the rain jacket with the signature monarch butterflies. After all, we all need a good raincoat here in the Pacific Northwest!
Luleisure launches Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Alaska Airlines Lounge North Satellite at SeaTac Airport, online at lulyyang.com and at the Luly Yang Boutique downtown Seattle. In addition to launching Luleisure, Yang recently designed a sustainably-minded uniform collection fresh for the brand-new Climate Pledge Arena employees.
Here's our Q&A with the fashion designer:
Tyrah Majors: I loved trying on all of the garments at your showroom! It's hard for me to choose a single favorite piece. Do you have a favorite highlight from the new line?
Luly Yang: I am really proud of this collection as it's been years in the making and brings to fruition some of the pieces I've been dreaming of creating one of which is a stylish raincoat that makes us wish for a rainy day for a chance to wear it! With the Monarch print rain jackets. There's a long version in a dark, camo-inspired olive green and a shorter version in shades of the signature Luly blue. Both are figure accentuating silhouettes with highly functional, thoughtful details that make it both a statement and an essential, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. You'll be looking forward to the rain! I'm also loving the Cloud Goose Down Puffer Jacket with a defined waist and dramatic peplum. It's super lightweight, layerable, packs easily comes in rich and unique colors, and is the blend of a stylish fall/winter jacket that also keeps me cozy and comfortable all day.
You said you hope Luleisure helps inspire the next chapter of fashion. What does that next chapter look like to you?
I love that fashion is evolving in a way that is environmentally conscious. Part of maintaining our company's brand ethos of elevating the human experience is designing with purpose and respecting humanity through social responsibility and environmental sustainability. When designing Luleisure this was especially important to us and pushed us to look at new techniques, technology and processes in design, production and marketing. The fashion industry is working towards developing new innovative processes and tech in order to respect the planet, and as a company, we believe in making things that have a longer lifespan [...] both in style and quality. This strategy and perspective sets us apart from fast fashion, and we hope that our community and followers will partner with us in this initiative.
Luleisure was first inspired by your love of travel and the research and focus group performed with the Alaska Airlines uniform program. I feel like this line will officially change the airport fashion game! What is your go-to outfit to wear while traveling?
Like the rest of us, I want to wear something super comfortable, but I want it to be transitional, and I want to feel confident so no matter where I land or who I run into, I look polished, feel good and am ready for what's next. I love the ribbed pullover sweaters that are so soft and have special, intentional details like a wide wristband with contrast tipping and a figure-flattering bodice with inspired color blocking. These days, there is a greater need for our clothes to take us throughout the day with ease, which is why it's important for me to design looks that translate in a multitude of environments without the wearer having to think about what they are going to change in to next or where they're going to find it in the closet or in their suitcase.
You recently designed the uniforms for staff at Climate Pledge Area, which is AWESOME! What was your inspiration for those?
I have always loved the architecture of the 1962 iconic Key Arena and its famous flying buttress columns. Next to it sits our iconic Space Needle [...] a recognizable landmark that I have loved since I was a young kid. You'll notice that the women's shirt collar creates a negative space that mirrors the silhouette of the Space Needle, while peplums and color block angle seams reflect those famous, historic buttresses of the arena.
What is next for Luly Yang in 2022?
There are already so many projects in the works for 2022 that I'm excited about and can't wait to share with you! First, the Luly Yang Couture downtown showroom is planning a gorgeous remodel where we're also working on debuting a new collection and will meet even more of our clients for custom couture. Our ever-growing Luly Yang Design Group's expansion into the uniform world is still progressing, and we are in the design and development phase of a couple new uniform programs. We will also be continuing the Luleisure label so stay tuned for more to come.