The BeautiFILES: Tuttie Ross, The New Haute Potato of Fashion?

22 Jan
The beauty behind the brand, Tuttie Ross!

The beauty behind the brand, Tuttie Ross!

Hey Hotties!

So it occurred to me maybe a week or two ago to start a new entitiy to The Essence Of… called The BeautiFILES. The BeautiFILES profiles a beauty, like you, with a cool story. Get it? Beautiful but BeautiFILE! Anyway, for my first ever BeautiFILE, I interviewed up and coming designer Tuttie Ross of Tuttie Lu. It seems almost insulting to call her designer because she’s truly an all around artist. In addition to building an amazing clothing brand, which she debuted at New York Fashion Week, Tuttie draws, paints, makes dolls, designs home décor, creates business cards, offers creative consultation to other beauties and so much more. She’s definitely one to watch! Check out our chat, along with some of her haute designs, below.

A Tuttie Lu custom doll dressed like her just as adorable new owner

A Tuttie Lu custom doll dressed like her adorable new owner

1. A lot of designers reflect as early as childhood, designing doll clothes or making prom outfits for friends. What was your first design experience and did you know then this is what you wanted to do? My first design experience was when I came across paper dolls in an encyclopedia at my grandmother’s house. I believe I was around the age of 8. She cut them out for me and I would sketch clothing for them. At that time, I knew nothing about sewing but I had inherited artistic abilities from my father, so sketching was always there. Sewing came much later. From then on, I knew that designing was what I wanted to do.

One of my personal faves from Tuttie Lu, the hand-painted-and-beaded "Be You" sweatshirt! TuttieRossDesigns@gmail.com to order

One of my personal faves from Tuttie Lu, the hand-painted-and-beaded “Be You” sweatshirt! TuttieRossDesigns@gmail.com to order

close up

close up

*The hand-painted-and-beaded “Be You” sweatshirt was recently featured on style maven Blake Von D’s blog!

2. Give us a glimpse into the life of the TuttieLu client: What does she eat for breakfast? What does she do for a living? What kind of friends does she have? What are her hobbies? etc  A TuttieLu client is fearless. Though she isn’t afraid to take chances with her wardrobe, she is VERY aware of herself, what works for her and what doesn’t. She is powerful, yet very delicate and in touch with her femininity. She is a STATEMENT girl (meaning no matter what she is wearing, be it dressed up or down, she is always making a statement). She isn’t much of a breakfast person, but when she is feeling up to it she eats banana-blueberry oatmeal. Usually, though, she drinks a frappe. She makes a living running her own event planning firm with offices in four major cities. She travels often, is cultured and her friends include poets, musicians and writers. She has a few lawyer and doctor friends, but their schedules rarely allow time to hang. She and her friends delight in attending shows with live bands, poetry slams and supporting indie artists. While she can appreciate the finer things in life, she is not wasteful and spends her money on experiences rather than possessions. Her hobbies include people watching at local coffee shops, reading and eating (she is a foodie!). She’s happiest when she is helping bring others’ visions to life through her event planning firm. She’s most angry when her time is wasted. Her life philosophy is making the best out of the hand you have been dealt… defy the odds.

in LOVE!

in LOVE!

3. What was the inspiration behind your brand? Though I find inspiration in nearly everything, the overall inspiration came from being raised in the south. Up until I showed at NYFW last September, I had not traveled much at all. It was my first time on a plane. Growing up I had this idea in my head of successful women traveling all over the world for work. I would envision what type of clothes they packed, what they wore to business lunches and meetings and even how they would dress to go do dinner. Those thoughts helped to spark my creativity when it came to sketching. I could never just sketch the clothes; I had to sketch the woman and she HAD to have a story. She HAD to be going somewhere, be it to the store or the boardroom. She had to be dressed to kill–it was mandatory. In my head, the women I sketched were ALWAYS traveling. Blame it on Carmen Sandiego and that darn red pea coat. lol

From work to happy hour you go with a simple peeling of the blazer!

From work to happy hour you go with a simple peeling of the blazer!

4. Where did you get the “Lu” from? My grandmother’s name was Lucille.

5. If your brand was a food, what food would it be and why? It would be a potato. While potatoes are great side dishes, they can really stand alone. That is how my brand is. The Tuttie Lu brand provides a fresh approach to your staple pieces. Each Tuttie Lu piece is designed and tailored in a way that, like a potato, can stand alone and be just as great. Also, potatoes are great building blocks for meals. When times are tough and funds are low, you can get a bag of potatoes and eat well for the month. You could have fully loaded baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, even meat and potatoes (if you’re real fancy). Just like potatoes spark a level of creativity in the kitchen, Tuttie Lu aims to spark creativity with your wardrobe. Mix it with pieces you already have, or wear Tuttie Lu exclusively. Ten or twenty years down the line, you should be able to pull a Tuttie Lu piece out of your closet and it is still as fierce as it was the day you purchased it. You are still in love with it; it still works. That’s classic.

Tuttie Lu S/S '14 at NYFW

Tuttie Lu S/S ’14 at NYFW

Tuttie Lu S/S '14 at NYFW

Tuttie Lu S/S ’14 at NYFW

6. Why women’s wear in particular, and would you ever consider a men’s line in the future? I grew up in a household full of women, so my interest in women ‘s wear came sort of naturally. I’m a 90s child but I have an old soul. Growing up, I’ve always been drawn to the style and femininity of the women during the Harlem Renaissance and the evolution of fashion up until the 90s. I loved when women really dressed. Just look at the way style choices of women like Billie Holiday, Zora Neale Hurston and Ivie Anderson. Their style just made you want to step your style up. I just love it! I would definitely consider a men’s line in the future, but for now, I love designing women’s wear.

7. Where do you hope to be as a brand in 7 years? The fashion industry is ever changing. One day you’re in, the next day you’re out (Heidi Klum voice). That being said, I ultimately just hope to still be here. I hope for progression and welcome challenges that will push me as not just a designer, but an artist to constantly evolve and grow. The ultimate aim is always centered on longevity and creating timeless, beautiful pieces. I hope for continued success with our online store. Partnering with corporations and retail stores is always great. I just hope to leave a mark on not just the fashion industry, but the world… one that will last long after I’m gone.

For all order inquiries, email TuttieRossDesigns@gmail.com!

Also keep up with her on Twitter and Instagram, @TuttieLu, and on her Facebook page, Tuttie Lu. Keep scrolling for more sketches and looks!

Something about a lady in red!

Something about a lady in red!

Prom season will be here before you know it!

Prom season will be here before you know it!

Coral for the Spring time!

Coral for the Spring time!

Loving this color blocked 2-piece

Loving this color blocked 2-piece

A highwaist bikini is both sexy and forgiving. And it's print!

Purples and blues come together for a sexy and forgiving high waist bikini.

Vintage never looked better!

Vintage never looked better!

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