Liz Lange is an acclaimed fashion writer and style icon who single-handedly redefined maternity clothing for women in the 1990s, getting us out of our muumuus and into stylish attire that celebrated our bumps and the beauty of pregnancy. All praise Liz!
The revolutionary fashion designer – who is also mom to 11-year-old son Gus and 9-year-old daughter Alice – is introducing a ready-to-wear collection with the launch of Completely Me™ By Liz Lange®. This will be Liz’s first non-maternity line, available next month on HSN. Liz sat down with Celebrity Baby Scoop for a look into her busy life as a working mom, her exciting new collection and how she and her sister turned their passion for shopping into a fabulous new website.
CBS: Tell us about your new ready-to-wear sportswear collection Completely Me™ By Liz Lange®.
LL: “It’s a non-maternity line of clothes. People had been asking me for years to create non-maternity clothing after having worn my designs during their pregnancies. They wanted the same comfortable fabrics post baby. In fact many women told me they kept wearing my maternity clothes even after the baby arrived simply because they’re so comfortable.
I’ve always wanted to design a ready-to-wear line of clothes. Comfortable clothes that are stylish and affordable. It’s very American and I’m excited to finally branch out and create this new line.”
CBS: When will the collection debut and what is the price range?
LL: “The collection will debut on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) on Friday, February 19th from 8 P.M. to 10 P.M. It will be available online on HSN.com after that. The retail prices range from $24.90 to $69.90.”
CBS: What inspired you to make this collection?
LL: “I was inspired to make this collection from my favorite vacation spots like the Hamptons and Palm Springs. It has a very Jackie Onassis feel about it. Very breezy, comfortable, fun and very stylish. Life’s a party, are you dressed for it? That’s the theme I followed while making this collection.”
CBS: You redefined maternity clothing for women in the 1990s. Thank you! What inspired you to design maternity clothes?
LL: “Thank you! When I was pregnant, there was nothing fashionable on the market for pregnant women. I had a group of friends in the early 90s that simply couldn’t find any nice maternity clothes. I simply couldn’t ignore the obvious market need any I launched my own line. At the time, I was working at Vogue so I had some connections. Still, it was a hard sell. All the retailers were telling me that pregnant women don’t want to buy maternity clothes. They told me it wouldn’t sell. But I knew they were wrong, so I opened up my own shop and ran it entirely by myself.
I soon started working with some celebrities, such as Kelly Ripa who was pregnant when she started working with Regis. I designed everything for her and was also designing everything for Elle Macpherson and Paulina Porizkova, and basically every celebrity that was pregnant at the time.
Back then, pregnant celebrities were not photographed and were not celebrated like they are today. But soon enough, people started to realize that pregnancy is beautiful and that pregnant curves are gorgeous. My designs were unique. I designed clothes to fit close to the body. When a pregnant woman wears fitted clothes, she looks thinner and it is more flattering overall. People were able to see this by the celebrities that wore my clothes and made this new look popular. Pregnant women did not need to be in hiding anymore!”
CBS: What’s your best fashion advice to pregnant women? What are some of the biggest mistakes expectant moms make?
LL: “Again, when a pregnant woman wears fitted clothes, it is more flattering to any body type. When expectant moms wear baggy clothes, it actually makes them look bigger. And when in doubt, dressing in all one color can make for a refined and polished look.”
CBS: Which celebrity moms have great maternity style in your opinion?
LL: “I thought Jennifer Lopez had a very old-Hollywood style about her. She looked radiant. So many celebrities make pregnancy look beautiful nowadays.”
CBS: You and your husband have 2 children. Are your kids interested in fashion and/or design?
LL: “Both my kids are very artistic. I have an 11-year-old son Gus and 9-year-old daughter Alice. My son is not into fashion. He’s more interested in sports although he is very artistic. My daughter is already showing signs that she’s into fashion. At her school, they offer after-school programs and she chose the fashion design course, which I think is pretty cool.”
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
LL: “My kids have taught me to be less controlling. As everyone knows, you can’t control kids, and they taught me that lesson rather early in the game.”
CBS: How do you manage your career with your family life?
LL: “To me it’s more of a juggle. I’m constantly learning how to juggle both worlds. In some ways, I feel my kids need me now more than ever. When they were babies, it didn’t feel like as much work. Now, it’s more complicated. Their lives are busy and their needs take time and consideration. I’m always looking for the best way to juggle it all.”
CBS: Do you cook? Do you kids enjoy cooking?
LL: “I do cook and we love having family dinners together. Sometimes it’s hard with my busy schedule, but I’d say we eat together at least 3 times a week. Every Saturday I bake with the kids. That’s our fun thing to do and we all love it.”
CBS: You and your sister, Jane Wagman, created a website called shopafrolic.com. Tell us what it’s all about.
LL: “My sister and I have always sent each other emails with links: ‘did you see this great accessory,’ or ‘check out this great buy.’ Also, people were forever asking us where we shop and where we found our items. Not only that, but we always get asked to go shopping with our girlfriends to help them pick out fabulous outfits. While we’d love to do that – and we are natural shopaholics – we simply don’t have the time.
Finally we decided to share our great finds with the people! So every day we do a quick post about a great fashion-find we’ve come across. We write a few quick sentences about why it’s so great and where you can get it.
Shopafrolic comes from a completely authentic place for both of us. We’re not making any money on it. We’re simply sharing our love of fashion and the thrill in finding that great piece with everyone. You can sign up for our daily emails and ‘shop around’ with links of our great finds. It’s too much fun!”
CBS: So you and your sister are close?
LL: “Yes, we’re very close. She also used to work at Vogue. We grew up in New York City and we’re both still here. She had kids almost the same age as mine so we spend lots of time together. We’re so excited to start shopafrolic and we’re having too much fun with it!”
CBS: If you could make one confession about being a designer, what would it be?
LL: “I can’t sketch at all and I didn’t go to University for fashion design! I graduated in Comparative Lit from Brown! I simply followed my passion and it has led me to where I am.”
Are you working with any charities?