Liliput & Co., which does business as Shabby Chic, the home goods brand known for its rustic furniture and ruffled drapery and bedding, is aiming for another area of the house — the closet.
“I’ve been dressing people’s houses for all these years, and I felt that now’s the time to bring that same philosophy into the clothing world,” said Rachel Ashwell, the company’s founder and president.
“That’s also been the biggest question that I’ve been asked for years, ‘When are you going to do clothes?’” she added. “It’s such a natural progression because I’m always dealing with beautiful prints and details, and vintage-inspired is so big now.”
The 20-piece collection will launch Jan. 30 at Dillard’s Inc. and Mixology Clothing Co. stores as well as at shabbychic.com and Ashwell’s Santa Monica store. It will include “feminine” dresses, pants and blouses ranging from $48 to $168.
“I like things to be timeless whether it’s a sofa or a blouse,” Ashwell said.
She’s not chasing the fashion-forward look, she explained: “That’s going to be a big wow today and have no value tomorrow. My hope is everything that I design is always going to be a future heirloom from a standpoint of quality and aesthetic.”
She’s also counting on Shabby Chic’s 30-year legacy to separate her apparel collection from the competition, much like, she said, “when you see a Ralph Lauren shirt on a rack with a million other people’s shirts, but because you have so imprinted what his aesthetic is, it carries it even when you see it amongst everybody else’s.”
To launch the line, Ashwell collaborated with Mod Stage Apparel Inc., a Walnut-
based apparel manufacturer that owns a textile and garment manufacturing facility in China and can quickly react to sales and scale production.
“It felt very important to me that this was a real, true collaboration and not just ‘Oh here’s my label and do whatever you think is right,’” she said. “I worked with a couple of great designers who were able to help me translate all the things that were important to me and make them commercial, both from the standpoint of being easy to wear but also price-point conscious.
“I really learned a lot, and I think the end result is a well-thought-out, commercially useful, beautiful collection.”
Ashwell is “right on target” according to Ilse Metchek, president of the downtown-based California Fashion Association.