The Journey of Lacson Ravello
Do you ever find yourself reminiscing about the little twists and turns that life takes? That's where I find myself today, and I wanted to take you along on this personal and transformative journey. From my beginnings in St. Louis, Missouri, to the birth of my clothing brand in Oakland, California. So, let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? I want to share with you the intricate story of memories, decisions, and dreams that brought Lacson Ravello to life.
Ok, flashback to 5-year-old me in the 1970’s. The moment I perched a certain pair of white-rimmed sunglasses on my nose, it was like I unlocked a new level of "cool kid on the block" status. And my runway? Cruising with my bike down the streets of our St. Louis suburb with the tall trees as onlookers. It's hilarious to think back on this memory, but isn't it wild how something as simple as a pair of sunnies can give a kid that much swagger and imagination? That was one of my earliest memories of a little effortless style boost!
Me at 5 years old posing with my shades and brand new bike.
Growing up, I think I had art in my arteries. You know those families with a signature quirk? For us, it was creativity. Whether it was a home project or an art class, my childhood seemed to be one big, creative blur. With a lineage steeped in design and creativity—from dressmaking like my grandmother and aunts, to my architect dad—was it really a shocker I'd end up in the fashion fray? No plot twist here.
Skipping along to 11-year-old me. It was the summer of 1983, my father introduced me to this magical thing called the sewing machine. Game. Changer. First order of business? Raiding my older sister's closet. Those hand-me-down bell bottom jeans were not going to do for this 80's pre-teen. I transformed them into the snazziest skinny jeans, or so I remember. While the rest of my gang was out sunning and funning, yours truly was on a sewing spree, turning last season's has-beens into must-haves for fall. And trust me, that was just the tip of the fashion iceberg.
Navigating Nuns, Neat Lines, and Not-so-Neat Fashion Choices
Middle school and high school years, particularly at an all girl's Catholic school, were quite the experience. Between the strict rules, uniforms, and well, let's just say I survived with my passion for fashion intact and my fair share of experimentation along the way (and some looks I’d rather not remember!). Much of that spark was in part to my incredible art teacher, Mrs. Sigel, who not only honed my creative discipline but also provided invaluable guidance as I contemplated college and a career in design.
Me, at 13 years old.
Diving into the LA Scene: Sunglasses Required
Heading off to college, the pull towards fashion was undeniable. Attending Otis College of Art and Design in LA felt like a natural progression. But stepping into the West Coast from the heart of the Midwest was an eye-opener. Los Angeles was a stark contrast in pace, style, and vibe, and I wholeheartedly embraced its sun-soaked allure and dynamic fashion pulse.
College taught me more than just the intricacies of design. It instilled life lessons that would form the backbone of my career. To thrive in the fashion world, a deep love for the craft is non-negotiable. But beyond that, self-awareness, unwavering focus, and an indomitable spirit are the true keystones to longevity in this industry.
My design for the Bob Mackie project and stills from the Austin Powers movies.
Of the many projects and collaborations during those transformative Otis years in LA, one shines particularly bright. Mentored by the legendary Bob Mackie, I designed and constructed a thematic 1960’s cage dress which, to my delight, eventually graced the screen in all three Austin Powers movies. College wasn't just about designs and projects, though. Amidst the sketches and fabric swatches, I also met my future husband, John who was majoring in Environmental Design.
From Classroom to Catwalk: My Fashion Rollercoaster
Alright, picture this: fresh outta college, starry-eyed and eager, I land at Contempo Casuals headquarters—yes, the mecca of every young Gen-Xer's mall dreams. It's the mid '90s and I'm waist-deep in designing baby tees and babydoll dresses—loving every moment of it!
However, as any industry insider would attest, fashion is not all glamour and glitz. The pace can be dizzying, competition fierce, and yes, it can sometimes threaten to sap the very passion that brought you into it. Yet, these challenges, as daunting as they were, became lessons in resilience and determination.
An early design for bebe modeled by pre-ANTM Tyra Banks, featured in Marie Claire Dec 1997.
And from there? It was a whirlwind tour through the big leagues: bebe, Target Corp., Gap Inc, Levi’s, the Gymboree Corp. Each stint not only enriched my portfolio but also molded my understanding of the global apparel and fashion industry landscape. It's the behind-the-scenes that truly shaped me. Because at the end of the day, it's not just about the gigs or the brands. It's about the people you connect with during the all day brainstorming sessions, the new collection presentations, the coffee runs, and the high-fives.
Breast Cancer to Brand Creation: The Spark Behind Lacson Ravello
So, you know how life loves to throw us those curveballs? Mine came in the form of several breast cancer diagnoses. Yes, you heard right, not just one but three bouts. But here's the twist—every storm cloud has that silver lining. Climbing out from those tough times, something inside me just...sparked. An eagerness, not just to dive back into the world of fashion, but to carve out a niche for myself, to play by my own rules.
Working on my first LR collection in 2015.
Enter Lacson Ravello. Think of it as my leap from the backseat to the driver's seat, even with all my industry street cred, launching my own line felt like Fashion 101 all over again. But hey, doesn't the magic usually happen outside the comfort zone? With every hiccup, I wasn't just learning—I was evolving.
And here's the scoop: Lacson Ravello is more than clothes and fabrics. It's my heart, stitched and sewn—a tale of resilience in every thread. A timeless elegance met with modern sensibilities. Beyond style, it's a shoutout to all of us, proving that no matter how stormy life gets, we've got the chops to rewrite our story, ready to wear, and all.
So, About Lacson Ravello Today...
What a ride it's been! Seriously, this journey? It’s been wilder than a sample sale on a Saturday. Through all the highs, lows, and "oh no she didn't" moments, Lacson Ravello isn't just standing—she's strutting! We're not just here serving looks—we're dishing out passion, creativity, grit, and some serious elbow grease. We're setting our sights on sustainable fashion that doesn’t just look good but does good. So stick around, because we're just getting started and trust me, you won’t want to miss the next chapter.
Lacson Ravello today.
Do you have a fashion story of your own? Perhaps a moment where Lacson Ravello played a part? I'd be honored to hear it. Because at the end of the day, we're not just sharing garments; we're sharing pieces of our ourselves. Let’s keep this beautiful conversation going.