Krystle: You’re a brand new label! What are the most challenging and exciting things that have happened for you this year?
Lusmila: It seems that I am delightfully being ‘bombarded’ with a bit of both: challenges & exciting things.
Definitely my biggest challenge is finances and being a ‘one-woman’ juggling act. I know I am most likely not alone in this respect, but I also do not let my meager means stop me from gliding forward and being positive. It helps to have a cheerleading team, too. Sometimes there is the voice that says “I wish I had a backer! I wish I could hire some help”. I normally just thank that voice for sharing that with me and keep on keeping on.
I feel the most exciting thing for me that has happened is establishing new relationships and connections with people through the networking/social media sites. Word of mouth (a nom de plume for ‘grassroots’ marketing/PR in my opinion).
Krystle: What do you enjoy most about finally taking your creative talents to form a business?
Lusmila: I really love it all. I love researching for SEE (sustainable eco ethical) fabrics, I love researching for inspiration for new themes and collections, I love seeing it come to life; AND, most of all, I love the creative collaborations that transpire with other like-minded, conscious people who are using their talents to facilitate the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. That is my primary purpose: to create with intention and to do my small part to expand on the beauty, the joy, the kindness and the peace that is already inherent on this playground called Earth.
Krystle: You’ve showcased in both London and Brooklyn. Which city do you think is more receptive to the eco-fashion scene?
Lusmila: Definitely London. I think it being a physically smaller area of land, there is much more awareness in the British culture about waste, about the environment, about the effects of their purchases and products on the greater good.
Though, for me, in the U.S., I feel it is my responsibility to assist the people here who are on the fence about the whole thing. I enjoy lecturing and speaking on conscious consumerism and sustainable fashion. I love to help people feel that ONE person CAN make a difference. That one becomes many; and, I believe, that is inherent in a founding principle here.
Krystle: What type of girl wears mccoll&clan?
Lusmila: The mccoll&clan muse is courageous, vivacious, charismatic, conscious, feminine, fun, and flirty. She embodies the phrase “to thine ownself be true”. The clothing just magnifies that. Like a beacon on a lighthouse.
She is also someone who wants style that retains its style no matter how many times or years you wear it. That was one of the main reasons I took this pastime passion into professionalism. I would have pieces several years old and people (both men & woman) would stop me on the street and say “I LOVE that jacket” or whatever the item is that I am wearing.
Krystle: Which piece from your current collection is your favorite?
Lusmila: Oi, that’s a toughie…I guess, seeing I have to make a choice, my favourite piece is the black quilted jacket with the bows at the waist and the neck. I am really into playing with bows and tying things up. Still not out of that phase yet…
Krystle: Your pieces are very feminine. Are you quite girly yourself?
Lusmila: I definitely am a super-goofy giddy girl all the way. I think I must have stopped growing at 8 or something. LOL. Now, Do I dress that way? No, not all the time. Do I LIVE that way? Yep, definitely. If you walked into a department store and needed to find me: I would most likely be in the little girl’s section ogling and oohing at all the super girly styles and cute clothes. My best friend, the other day, said I am so campy. At first, I was insulted. But now, I embrace my campy & cute persona. I stopped denying it.
Krystle: In what ways do you hope to grow, and what should we expect to see from the brand?
Lusmila: In EVERY way.
Of course, first things first: I am focusing on getting the brand name out there and building more awareness, while I get the logistics of producing the collection in a sustainable and ethical way. It’s time to sell it.
There are so many ways in which I wish the company to grow. My friend Dino used to say to me “when you dream, dream big, Lusmila and include OTHERS in your dream”. That ultimately is what excites me: that this is not a growth process I will do alone, that I will get to invite other like-minded creative people. It feels so magical and adventurous! Like Dorothy when she began her journey in Oz: She may have started out alone, but she gained friends along the way. I believe fashion can make such an incredibly positive and lasting impact on the world for the greater good of all. I am just doing what I can with what I have and finding others who wish to join me in this journey.
As far as what to expect: expect my next collection to be in Technicolor. Seriously. Lately, I have re-kindled my love of Technicolor films…think Doris Day and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Definitely more bows…I’m not done with taking that theme to its fullest expression. All made with consciousness and care.