You might not be familiar with her name Lleah Rae, but you should be familiar with her work.
The up and coming lingerie designer received her big break when Beyonce slipped into one of her pieces on the cover of her second single “Best Thing I Never Had” off of the platinum selling album 4. A move that virtually catapulted the unknown designer from obscurity into the “spotlight”.
Lleah is reaching for the stars with her sexy yet classy line and is proving that what is meant to be will be and that is why she is our “Spotlight” feature of the week.
Vanessa: Your big break came not too long after graduating from Parsons The New School for Design when Beyonce rocked your signature blush nude flower embellished bodysuit on the single cover of “Best Thing I Never Had”..How did that come about?
Lleah Rae: It’s really funny because some things are just truly meant to be, I went to an event one night and I’d planned on not going and thank God I went because I met Ty Hunter, Beyonce’s stylist, there. I told him I was a lingerie designer and asked if he’d look at some of my work to possibly feature on Beyonce, and things carried on from there. And you know, I really have to acknowledge Ty for his kindness and openness with me, I credit him so much, I’m very grateful to him.
Vanessa: How did it feel to know that Mrs. Carter was wearing one of your designs?
Lleah Rae: Im honestly so humbled by it. Beyonce is someone who I have a lot of admiration for and not just because of her incredible talent, beauty and poise, but what she stands for and represents. Beyonce wearing my bodysuit goes beyond being flattered, it’s just very humbling. You know, often times you will loan pieces to artists or magazines for shoots and the pieces may not make the final edit. I’m just so pleased that she chose to include my bodysuit in her album artwork. The shot is so iconic and unforgettable. And to top it off, It’s shot by one of my favorite photographers Ellen Von Unwerth, who I hope to work with in the future on my own projects, I really could not ask for more as my first bit of press and exposure.
Vanessa: Have you always had this passion for designing?
Lleah Rae: I have, I’ve always loved extravagance, glamour and beauty. I enjoy making beautiful adornments. Designing lingerie is something that makes me happy and I enjoy sharing this with other women. I especially love my custom packaging. I love to receive a gift packaged beautifully and that’s how I feel when I present my lingerie, I want everything about it to be special, intimate and personal.
Vanessa: Do you try to send out a message or theme in your designs?
Lleah Rae: Yes! Be glamorous all the time, lol! I admire confident women and I am offering luxury lingerie to outwardly express those inner feelings of confidence and beauty. I love it when women embrace their softness and sexuality and my lingerie serves as an expression of that. I have a bit of an obsession with the female form, emphasizing the hour glass silhouette and cinched waistline, something you will see played out more consistently in my work in the future.
Vanessa: Where do you get your inspiration to create your unique designs?
Lleah Rae: When I was younger I studied dance and have always loved ballet, but never truly mastered it. Instead it has served as a pedestal that has instilled discipline and inspiration in me for my lingerie brand. It is a part of what inspired my brands signature colors “blush nude and cream”, they are colors I have always loved and found beautiful to look at. More of my design inspiration is rooted in elements of burlesque. I love a good strip tease so I incorporate these points as well.
Vanessa: Who else would you like to see in Lleah Rae?
Lleah Rae: I hope to have the opportunity to work with Beyonce again. I would love for Dita Von Teese to be featured in my lingerie, I have a couple pieces in my current collection I think she’d adore! I would love to work with Adele, she is so stunning and breathtaking to me. Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry are also women I would like to wear Lleah Rae, I’d especially like to collaborate with them for stage costumes. The list could go on, but those are a few off the top of my head.
Vanessa: What’s next for your brand?
Lleah Rae: What’s next? Well, I’m continuing to build on my brand and create visibility and awareness in the media. I’m working to generate more of a following and more opportunities for press and exposure. I am of course always working on a collection.
Vanessa: Where can we find you? Facebook, Twitter, Website.
Lleah Rae: Right now, my only form of social media is twitter (@LleahRae), I am working on expansion in the near future.
Vanessa: What makes you MAJOR?
Lleah Rae: I would never call myself MAJOR! I work really hard to prepare myself for opportunities that I hope and pray will happen for me.