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Lhuillier: Couturier Extraordinaire
When you hear a friend say, “I’m wearing a Lhuillier on my wedding day,” I sure hope you’re not freaking out thinking that your friend will be wearing something from the pawnshop. In fact, you should be as excited about it as she is considering how famous Monique Lhuillier has become worldwide.
In 1971, the world famous Filipina fashion designer, Diane Monique Llamas Lhuillier, was born in Cebu City, to famous parents. Her parents are the owners of a pawnshop chain, which has over 100 branches all over the Philippines. Her father is Michel J. Lhuillier, a Filipino businessman of French descent. Her mother is Amparito Llamas, a Filipina model of Spanish descent.
At the young age of 15, she was already showing potential when she was distinguished as an outstanding student in Lausanne, Switzerland. She pursued her passion at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). She met her husband, Tom Bugbee, at the FIDM.
In 1996, the couple founded their company, which was named after Monique. That same year, they launched their first bridal collection, which earned positive reception among brides, editors, critics, and celebrities.
She started with $30,000.00, which her dad gave her. After she designed the gowns for her own wedding’s entourage, she caught the fancy of couture elites and has since then built a name for herself. She started designing bridal gowns and complementing dresses for the wedding entourage. She subsequently added evening wear and some runway collections. In 2002, she launched the ready to wear and eveningwear divisions. In 2008, the Monique Lhuillier for Royal Doulton home collection was launched, and in 2009, Monique Lhuillier Fine Paper Collection was introduced. The most recent addition to her growing business is the Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids collection, which is available exclusively through www.shop.moniquelhuillier.com.
Monique’s creations are produced in her own factory, which is located in Los Angeles. Her line is considered as a product of one of today’s leading innovative fashion houses. In fact, her creations worn by celebrities include Britney Spears’s wedding gown during her infamous wedding with ex-husband Kevin Federline in 2005; Ashlee Simpson’s ivory lace gown when she said yes to Pete Wentz in 2008; Molly Malaney’s strapless wedding dress as she walked the aisle to marry The Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, in March 2010; and Carrie Underwood’s Chantilly lace dress during her wedding with Mike Fisher in July 2010. The Bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, wishes to wear a Monique Lhuillier wedding dress when she weds Roberto Martinez. Other brides who wore Monique’s creations are Genevieve Cortese when she exchanged vows with Jared Padalecki, Danneel Harris as she professed eternal love to Jensen Ackles, America Ferrera for her role in “Our Family Wedding”.
Other celebrities who wear Monique Lhuillier are Kristen Stewart, Kelly Clarkson, Sarah Gore, Allison Munn, and Heidi Montag, among many others. Hilary Duff also wore one of her gowns in the movie “A Cinderella Story,” while Kyra Sedgwick received her Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama strutting gorgeously in a burgundy strapless gown from the fall 2010 collection of Monique Lhuillier.
Celebrity fans of Monique Lhuillier’s ready-to-wear line include Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, and Jessica Alba.
Check out her unique and gorgeous creations at http://www.moniquelhuillier.com/