Since launching her boldly feminine clothing line in 1998, Lela Rose has had a lot on her plate. These days she’s expanding her company with a wedding collection, a line of bridesmaid dresses, and several affordable accessory lines for women, children, and brides at Payless.
So how does this mother of two (son Grey, 8, and daughter Rosey, 3) find time for it all? Rose has mastered the art of multitasking―even answering our questions from the seat of her bicycle. (Don’t worry―she took a pause from pedaling.) “I’m inspired by New York,” she says. “When I’m on my bike, taking in all the cultural experiences the city has to offer, my creativity is fueled.”
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What She Likes to Splurge On
“Artisan jewelry is like wearable art. I shop at Jewelers’ Werk, in Washington, D.C., for beautiful and modern pieces.” To buy: Alexandra Bahlmann 18-karat-gold earrings, $1,500, 202-337-3319.
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The Piece of Clothing Every Woman Should Own
“A trench coat is chic and functional. You can wear it with jeans, but it can also serve as your dress-up coat.” To buy: Anya Hindmarch cotton trench coat with leather piping, $990, 973-379-7183.
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What Relaxes Her
“Cooking. I love good food, and I love to eat. Being in the kitchen calms me down. If I weren’t a designer, I’d own an ice cream shop and sell only original flavors, like my mother’s brown-bread ice cream.”
“Rich and Skinny jeans have a silly name but fit well. And they don’t ride down in back.” To buy: Sleek jeans by Rich and Skinny, $146.50, bloomingdales.com.
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Her Go-to Hostess Gift
“Bright and colorful hard candies by Papabubble come packaged in a pretty glass jar.” To buy: Seven ounces for $14.50, 212-966-2599.
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“My shoe and handbag lines at Payless are inspired by my ready-to-wear collection. They offer a great mix of texture and classic design.” To buy: Organza-and-satin clutches, $30 each, payless.com for stores.
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On Her Playlist
“While I work, I listen to MGMT, Kings of Leon, and Pearl Jam. But my favorite song is ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ by Glen Campbell.”
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She’ll Never Get Rid Of
“My ‘museum’ of designer shoes that I hope to put in a display case one day. My most prized pair is by John Paul Gaultier. I’ve had them for eight years and worn them twice―and only for 45 minutes each time, because they’re so uncomfortable.”