Designer spotlight: Interview with Lisa Kulson, womenswear creative director at Theory

Designer spotlight: Interview with Lisa Kulson, womenswear creative director at Theory

American ingenuity

Text: Andrea Sim

Introducing Theory: The American label that has us coveting workwear even on the weekends

Barely two decades old and Theory has already carved a fine niche for themselves. Singularly eradicating a lady's displeasure of having her wardrobe split into two camps (workwear and casualwear), this American brand right here is the solution to the conundrum. 

The buzz words for their designs? Affordability, quality and versatility — the key to whipping that incongruous closet into shape and turning corporate staples into weekend essentials. Here at Buro, Theory's womenswear creative director, Lisa Kulson introduces the label and tells us about the pieces worth investing for spring/summer.

Lisa Kulson, womenswear designer at Theory

Having been recently appointed creative director of the women's brand, tell us about the direction you're taking Theory in. 
I started out at Theory at its inception in 1997. When Andrew Rosen, Theory's CEO and founder, approached me two years ago about coming on as the creative director for womenswear, I was excited to take on a new challenge. Andrew and I had a dream of bringing Theory back to its original roots but in a very modern way: As a brand that strives to achieve the perfect fit and proportion that uses the highest quality of fabrics. Together we are achieving that vision. I want the Theory brand to be our customers' go-to wardrobe staples, which she cannot live without.

How about the Theory woman you design for?
The Theory woman is busy and is always travelling or on the go. She is someone juggling raising a family and a healthy career. She doesn't have time to feel like the clothes are wearing her. My goal is to make a truly effortless wardrobe for the modern woman. 

What are the qualities the brand offers and prides itself in that sets it apart from other labels?
Theory is different from the other brands because of the impeccable quality of our clothing. Everything from the fabric, fit and construction is considered. The fabrics we use are of a designer level but at a contemporary price point. The clothes are also very timeless and they become the essential staples in the wardrobe.

How do you think women have evolved in terms of fashion needs and wants since the '90s when Theory was founded?
The fashion consumer has changed immensely since Theory was founded. The Internet and the pace in which she gets information have influenced how and if she identifies with each brand. She is constantly exposed to new ideas and images that forces brands to have to continuously evolve and find ways to remain relevant within her life.

What are the key pieces from the spring/summer collection that you'd like to highlight, and why?
For spring 2016, I was feeling a sense of lightness. Not just in the clothing, but also in the attitude and the feeling. We focused on elevated basics in luxurious fabrics like Italian cotton poplin, linens, silks and light suedes. I am also continuing with this interaction between masculine and feminine, blouses and dresses paired with suiting staples, softer tailoring and crisp shirts that emphasise the waist. Spring also offers an evolution of Theory's iconic perspective on modern workwear, with the new "suit" composed of a more eclectic mix of separates, rather than a matched head-to-toe look.

Shop the Theory spring/summer 2016 collection here on LaPrendo.