Los Angeles-based designer Lulu Chang is definitely one to go against the grain. A "little bad attitude" is the beat she lives by. And sure enough, Chang's clothing echoes her astute brief on herself. Since the label's inception two seasons ago, she has been serving up wardrobe essentials enlivened by unusual design details. An unassuming suede bomber jacket with side cut-outs and a backless, sleeveless shirt are just some of the pieces that you'll find in the The Fashion Club's Cruise 2016 collection.
In an interview with Buro, Chang clues us in on the woman she designs for, why trends are irrelevant by her books, and speaks her mind on the brand being labelled by buyers as too "fashion forward".
The woman I have in mind is familiar. She has no airs of pretense and isn't placed on a pedestal. She is comfortable, whether it's at a rave or a gallery or somewhere in between.
How did The Fashion Club come about?
The Fashion Club started two seasons ago when I moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco. I started the label because I wanted to create something larger than myself. We live in such a narcissistic society today; there's a reason why the label isn't my name. I felt as if I had much more to say than what my physical self could give. When I moved to LA, I knew very little about making clothes and, in the beginning, I was juggling numerous other part-time jobs. No one seemed to know or even care that I had my own thing going on but I'm a very low-key person so it suited me well to work behind-the-scenes. You're nobody until you're somebody, as they say. Now, I run the label and production full time.
Tell us more about the DNA of the brand.
I would describe them as usual garments that embody working class sophistication. They are certainly not art pieces you'd be afraid to throw into the wash. But despite that, they are statement pieces that stay with you forever and are very wearable. We have a ready-to-wear collection which we present to buyers each season, as well as smaller collections we offer exclusively on our site year-round.
Why the name, 'The Fashion Club'?
The Fashion Club reflects the modern way we approach dressing, as tribes. No one buys for trends anymore, they are irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. We all want to be something bigger than ourselves don't we? The brands that you choose to wear: Do they echo the way you walk and the way you talk? Do you carry their ethos with you every day? These are the questions we aim to answer each season.
Do you have a specific type of woman in mind when designing?
The woman I have in mind is familiar. She has no airs of pretense and isn't placed on a pedestal. She is comfortable, whether it's at a rave or a gallery or somewhere in between. For this particular season, I had in mind a young Rei Kawakubo or model Charlotte Carey.
What do you imagine a woman feels when wearing pieces from your label?
I would like her to feel sensual, smart, subtle but confident.
You've previously stated that buyers call The Fashion Club too fashion forward. How do you tackle that?
I don't like to design down to my audience. The clothes are very accessible to the right woman. Every month we have quadruple growth, so the numbers speak for themselves.
What you offer might be simple and understated, but they stand out because of the unexpected details.
As the label grows, I like to push the boundaries of what I can design. If I couldn't make it better each season, I would not want to design.
Do you have plans to expand into shoes and accessories in the near future?
Yes, very much so. Shoes and accessories will definitely be coming up. We have been drawing attention from both investors and those who would like to help expand the line. However, making the wrong decisions is something I am very conscious about. It is business before ego.
Shop The Fashion Club's Cruise 2016 collection here.