[Amuse-Bouche] Interview with Sojung "Sue" Yang of designer duo Elli Grace

Posted 12/21/2010 by Tori Hopkins [ArtStarBlogger:Filthy.GRITS] in Labels: , , ,

[Lamarr Nanton and Sojung "Sue" Yang, Desginers/Owners of Elli Grace]

Upon entering Elli Grace, a befittingly intimate boutique in the upbeat section of Plano's Willowbend Mall.We find Sojung "Sue" Yang, steadily responding to customer inquires whilst surrounded by, what every girl's inner child would respond to as the embodiment of "The Secret Garden", in retail form.

Flirty feminine color palettes, touches of tulle, and jeweled embellishments fill the racks and my senses,as I sit down.After working as an intern with her and Lamarr Nanton, the second half of this duo, for the past six months,I knew it was time for me to find out the inspiration behind the beauty.
Sue and Lamarr have each greatly established their individual consciousness of art and fashion.
Having their hands drenched in not only the fine arts such as painting[Sue graduated from Parsons school of Design], but music as well [Lamarr played the trumpet for jazz, reggae, and rock bands]. This of course crossed over into their carriers; both have worked respectively with fashion houses such as Giorgio Armani,Donna Karen, and Manuel Designs, where the connection began.
Working somewhat parallel while at Manuel Designs, the designers experienced traveling and the fashion industry from all over the globe for about four years together.A majority of this time was spent in Italy, where the influence of "heavy-hitters" , like Fendi and Tom Ford, pattern-makers and factories solidified the concepts of understanding appropriate attention to detail and quality.These foundations set the precedence for what Elli Grace was meant to be.

[Elli Grace Boutique in Willowbend Mall]

Named lightheartedly after Sue's two dogs, Elli Grace started in February 2009, founded on the idea of forward thinking designs with the intimacy of high-end retail [ The designers create what you see in-store!].Although all of these luxurious ideals have established a significant part of Elli Grace, the other half of this concept is to have this kind of fashion available at an extremely approachable price, with a wearable commitment in mind as well.

[Both designers hard at work on the current collection; Illustrations by intern Tori Hopkins]

When inquired about the inspiration behind the boutique's current holiday collection, Sue resonated with this season's runway shows,Victoria's Secret being one example, having a certain fairy-tale jungle theme, creating a mixture of edgy- chic yet feminine, romance.This seems to play out in the collections use of lace details, animal print pieces, and jewel tones mixed with the labels signature elegant flower patterns. "The Elli Girl is girly with attitude; versatile and whimsical ", states Sue.
Another point that stands to be mentioned is the subtle yet defining essence of background that each collection seems to touch on, season after season.Abstracted watercolor prints are a uniquely reoccurring theme, from blouses to totes.Hailing from South Korea, Sue's eye for cutesy characters and accessories show the subliminal, yet totally supporting influence of her background.

[Finale dress from Elli Grace Holiday 2010 Runway Show]

The last question posed to Sue was her commentary on where the fashion industry is currently."Minimalism is big this season", says Sue,"[However],I wish there was more excitement." The encomony has had a huge infulence on what people are willing to spend money on, and it seems that basics have made the consumer's "only list". With a very upbeat outlook and adding just the right personal touches to every peice, Sue finds herself bringing back the uniqueness and, meaning of fashion to retail.
Within the next twelve years she also sees Elli Grace branching out into different locations, at a level that retains that same customer connection, with all of the Elli Grace girls of the nation.

With such a unique concept and true understanding of their clients, I'm sure that the Elli Grace following will promptly flourish even more so over the coming years!

For more information about Elli Grace Label and the designers, please visit their website at
Elli Grace Style Bar


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