Today we’d like to introduce you to Lulu Syracuse.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in a super creative household in Silver Lake. It’s kind of an incubator for creative people. My parents are writer-directors, and a lot of artists, designers and photographers hang out here. It’s like what I imagine the Algonquin Roundtable was like– but in my backyard on our picnic table. I have always been interested in photography; my aunt, Lynsey Addario, is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning war photographer and I’ve been looking at her images and hearing the stories behind them for as long as I can remember. I guess you could say that my interest in fashion started at an early age. I loved paper dolls and have an amazing collection of books that span all the fashion eras– Roaring Twenties, 50s Starlets, Swinging Sixties, Disco Divas, Eighties Punk. I used to mix and match outfits from one book combining them with outfits from another.
Like, I’d give Elizabeth Taylor a studded leather jacket with a flapper tiara. Another influence was actress/fashion icon Chloe Sevigny, who was friends with my parents. When I was in middle school, Chloe would bring me bags of her hand-me-downs. They were filled with all kinds of treasures like cool trenchcoats and vintage rock concert T-shirts. I would combine all the “fancy” high-end pieces with the more unusual items, like feather boas or lycra shorts. Those bags of Chloe clothes became my laboratory.
Has it been a smooth road?
Well, I’m only 19 and I still live at home with my parents so I haven’t hit the normal challenges of adjusting to adulthood. That said, Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ gave my friend Jersey Bond and I the opportunity to be guest head designers for her brand’s 20th-anniversary relaunch, which happened to be during COVID. So trying to pull off a fashion show during a pandemic with limited funding (almost none) was a huge challenge! Trying to find models, have fittings, and get everyone to the location with social distancing was insane. Public gatherings were banned in LA, so we were always under the threat of being shut down. I’m really proud (and kind of shocked) we pulled it off.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I think the first thing that sets us apart from others is that we are teenagers. Jersey is 17 and I am 19. We know our audience because we are that audience. We are making clothing that we and our friends would wear. We are trying to figure outlooks that are comfortable and casual — something that’s important to our generation — while still being stylish. We are also working hard to make sustainable products. Imitation of Christ started the trend of repurposing thrift store pieces in the 90s. Tara Subkoff has been a huge inspiration for us. All of the pieces for the IOC show came from either her archives or thrift stores. We’ve brought the repurposing idea into the commercial space by working with companies like Undefeated and using their deadstock to create our looks. This is a concept that gives huge corporations a way to be environmentally proactive: use their old back catalog to make new lines. Instead of finding our raw materials in thrift stores– we find them in factory warehouses which might allow us to one day mass-produce a piece and still have it be sustainable.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
When my generation takes over — the industry will be totally green. We will figure out ways to create sustainable, environmental clothing that doesn’t destroy the planet.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @lulusyracuse
Photographs by Lulu Syracuse