Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interview with Lira Leirner

I had the fabulous opportunity of interviewing london based fashion designer
Lira Leirner
definitely a one to watch!
 1. Who is Lira Leirner?
I'm a fashion designer and writer. I write about fashion and culture, how they influence my creations and general thoughts on the industry itself as well as white-collar crime. But Lira Leirner is also a small couture line of peculiar and beautiful, feminine and demure dresses and will soon include a men’s line.

2. Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who has a classic style with a twist. Furthermore, a lot of my dresses are meant to underline the sweet and girly, yet demure nature of the wearer and include an understated, not in-your-face, but natural sexiness and beauty.

3. When did you launch your line?
Lira Leirner was founded in December 2009 after a significant, epiphany provoking cultural holiday in Switzerland, including an eye-opening conversation with a banker who made me realise that one should contribute to, not consume one’s passions.

4. Biggest achievement:
Living my own life based on my own merits and hard work, independently.

5. I’m obsessed with…
I’m obsessed with understanding and identifying the spread of criminal intent across social hierarchies and the unbelievably disproportional public awareness on the extent of white-collar crime and its impact on our everyday life in comparison to street crime. I have been researching, reading and writing about this topic for seven years now. And fashion, obviously.

6. Which designer do you admire the most?
SinPatron. He’s a designer from Bilbao, Spain, who I came across online by accident. He is self-taught, like me, and his intricate approach to gorgeous and quirky, unique pieces make my face light up. And also, I am a big fan of volumes – I use puffed sleeves in my dresses a lot, obviously not to as much of an extent as SinPatron as my pieces are meant to be wearable rather than theatrical. However, I think that as a designer one will always answer this question with someone that we either wish to aspire to or see ourselves in, both things apply to my ‘relationship’ with SinPatron.

7. A city:
I have lived in as many houses as I am old, in five countries and eight cities. However, London is my all time favourite city. Everything is normal and accepted here, and I love that.

8. A book:
It’s hard to choose one, so here are the top five that have influenced my way of thinking to a great extent. “White Collar Crime” by Edwin H. Sutherland, “Down and Out in Paris and London” and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, “Orientalism” by Edward Said, and most importantly, “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” by Pierre Bordieu. However, I also really enjoy reading fantasy books.

9. A quote:
Don’t be humble; you’re not that great.

10. Piece of fashion advice?
Most women are pear shaped (top being a size 8- bottom size 10 etc), and most fashion companies have to create generic sizes. That usually means that you get dresses that are either too small around our ‘neither areas’ or too loose around our shoulders and bust, which I have seen in many cases make women get fed up with one-piece outfits and prefer matching and assembling two separate pieces. The way I design around that is by choosing to use A-line skirts in a dress, which flatter and fit a wide range of irregular ‘bottom’ sizes, be it smaller or larger than the bust, allowing the wearer to have a perfectly fitting dress where it matters. I go for A-line skirted dresses when I shop, as well, so I always suggest this to women.

11. High heels or flats?
High, high heels, four inches and above (I’m tiny).

12. You would never leave your house without?
My iPhone. which I don’t know what I’d do without (I get upset and feel naked when it runs out of battery).

13. What’s in your handbag?
My wallet, flats to walk home in (I live on a hill), a bottle of water, some form of chocolate, moleskine sketchbook for ideas, my beloved iPhone, my crappy little canon camera, basic make up, sunglasses and my awesome Lamy silver pencil-and-pen-in-one.

14. Anything else you want to share with us?
I want to thank my mother, my sister and my partner’s support and criticism, without which I wouldn’t be who and where I am.

Lira Leirner ships internationally, you can buy the dresses at her online shop or if you’re American, go to her etsy shop and all pieces are unique, one-off pieces.

Follow Lira Leirner on Twitter 


  1. What a great interview. Her designs are really beautiful!

  2. Love all those dresses. They are quite fabulous!!!

  3. Lu, fabuloso me encanta!

  4. Thank you for posting!! LOVE her dresses!