Exclusive: Lela Rose on Balance, Inspiration, and Southern Style

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A visit to Lela Rose in Highland Park Village is like stopping by to see a good friend. The atmosphere is always warm, and unexpected new treasures often await (not to mention home-baked biscotti). The Texas-born designer’s trademark whimsical-yet-elegant creations never disappoint.


Launched in 1998 and hallmarked by highly-saturated colors and exquisite, hand-detailed designs, Rose’s eponymous label now boasts worldwide acclaim. Featured in more than 75 specialty stores nationwide, her looks are also stocked around the globe in Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. Forever a Dallas girl at heart, though, Rose’s sole freestanding boutique is here in Big D.


Come November 16th, Rose will receive Fashion Group International of Dallas’ Career Achievement Award at the 2012 Night of Stars Fashion and Lifestyle Awards Gala at Dallas Market Center. In light of this upcoming honor, we found ourselves wishing to know this talented beauty a bit better. She may be playful and fun – Who could forget the unicyclists at her Dallas grand opening party? – but Lela Rose is no stranger to hard work. What’s her secret?


With Fashion Week right around the corner, this very busy designer graciously agreed to become our new email pen pal. Below, we’ll learn more about Rose’s inspirations, how she balances career and family, and more.


DFW Style Daily: Where were you when you found out you would receive the Lifetime Career Achievement Award and who did you call first?

Lela Rose: “I was at the office when I heard the news. I think I called my mother first, but it took a while for it to all sink in. It was obviously a great surprise and thrill!”


Where does the majority of your inspiration come from?

LR: “While I find that living in New York provides unbelievable inspiration, I’m constantly excited by travel, artists, architecture, and even food.”


What’s your strategy for successfully juggling being a mother of two, married life, and career?

LR: “I don’t know that I am really qualified to answer this one as we are always running behind and quite disorganized, but I do my best! I love having a helping hand around the kitchen. When I have someone that can play sous chef (chop vegetables, pre-heat the oven, get groceries, etc.), I find that I can actually get dinner ready in time. I do love to cook, and having family dinner is a priority. Connecting together on a daily basis is time well spent.”


Was there ever a time when you had second thoughts about your career choice?

LR: “Of course! I still wonder sometimes (just a little), especially when everyone is having free time in the summer, and we are always in the office working on the runway collection. I truly do love what I do, though, and I feel like I hit the lottery in getting to do it every day.”


In your opinion, what is the best thing about Southern women’s style?

LR: “I love how Southern women are turned out for any occasion. They get dressed every day and always look good.”


If you had a free day back home in Dallas, how would you spend the time?

LR: “I would go to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Garden. Then, I’d get Tex-Mex and margaritas!”


We’d love to join in on that oh-so-Dallas feast! In the meantime, we’ll conclude with a peek into Lela Rose’s daily inspirations though her own photos and words. Follow her on Instagram (@lela_rose) for more. For information on the 2012 Night of Stars Fashion & Lifestyle Awards, please visit our Event Calendar.




(Lela Rose Headshot, courtesy of Power Public Relations)


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