Because today’s interviewee and founder of fashion brand Lethal Lover Designs Zora is from the netherlands I publish our conversation in the original english version.
Zora caught my attention with her authentic 1980s designs of jackets and vests. Studded faux leather, fringes, bright colors, animal prints, glitter, glam and waist belts – a style that now disappeared from the regular stores after it had a comeback during the last years. But for us it’s something that’s never „out“.
The young designer even makes custom outfits for bands and has studied in a very interesting field. Get to know Zora and her fashion with me! Maybe you’ll also get inspired to create your own style.
When did you start with Lethal Lover Designs?
It started out about six years ago as Livin‘ Midnight Clothing, but I decided to change the name once I registered as a business. I felt that Lethal Lover Designs matched better with the brand.
In October it will be the official anniversary and I’m already excited to announce there’s going to be a share&win to celebrate!
Did you learn fashion design at a school or are you self taught?
Both. In the beginning my mom helped me out and from there I started trying out bigger projects. I took a couple of sewing courses to get the techniques down, but usually ended up figuring it out myself by making tons and tons of mistakes. I decided years later to study Theatre Costume Design because I wanted to learn a certain direction in the profession.
It is possible to get a custom piece, but only if you meet the customers in person? Please explain how someone can get her or his own fashion piece from you.
This usually goes for bigger assignments such as working with bands on stagewear. You want to see the band together, hear everyone’s vision and what they feel comfortable with. It’s easier to communicate my designs in person as well.
I also value a piece fitting properly and flatter someone’s body, and which is why I want to take the measurements myself and have the customer try it on to see if adjustments are needed. Even if two people share a size, the shape of your body still differs and sometimes that one inch makes a difference in how a piece fits.
It does really depend on what we’re talking about, though. Making a custom waist belt on a distance is more do-able than say… a tailored dress.
People can contact me through my website or send a DM on social media and we can make an appointment to meet. I know not everyone can make it to the Netherlands, but always feel free to reach out and we can see if we can find a solution for your situation.
One of the plans is to figure out an option where I provide basic confection sized patterns customers can pick from and design it on a distance as a solution for giving everyone the chance to get something custom.
Most items are jackets and vests. What else do you create?
Anything, but I enjoy making jackets the most when it comes to „wearable“ clothing and usually feel most inspired for. If it’s something that I haven’t made before, I’m up for the challenge to figure it out. At school I learned that it’s possible to basically make anything you can imagine and I hope to combine both the webshop and costume design to show more variation and skill in the near future.
A more serious question: I know it is hard for a single person business to create a big amount of articles because of time and resources. But would it be possible to offer some pieces which are a size M or L from the beginning instead of S?
I mention it because looking at a shop with only size S clothing may feel uncomfortable or excluding for many potential customers. For these it would be good to know whether custom made items are in the same price range.
I’m happy you asked, because it’s the next point on my list to offer more variety in sizes and menswear after the upcoming mini collection.
I create the patterns myself, usually on a doll, so it will be a step by step process before I can offer a full range of sizes. I’m open to suggestions if someone is looking for a certain size and I’ll give it priority. After all, my brand is about feeling confident and I want everyone to be able to feel that way.
A more fun question again: Who are your fashion heroes?
Oh there are so many! I have a file full of pictures of bands (mainly glam and heavy) and I usually scrolls through them to get inspired before starting. If I have to pick fashion/costume designers I admire I’m going to say Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Iris van Herpen, Eduardo Castro, Tim Aslan. Oh and Annie Symons her work for Da Vinci’s Demons is what got me into costume design.
The style is very much 80s. What do you love about this decade and its look?
The music, movies and aesthetics are amazing and I love the extravagance, creativity and the gender-nonconformity of the look. That said, I love so many (historical) decades and hope eventually to offer even more styles than just the 80’s.
What do you have most often in your closet: leopard, zebra or snake print?
Currently, it’s leopard and I’d say it’s 50/50 for the zebra and snake print. Definitely still in a leopard mood after watching Tiger King a couple of months ago.
Who are your favorite musicians?
I’m a massive fan of Jason Becker. Not only his music, but his story is super inspiring! Favourite bands/musicians… Toto, Vixen, Europe, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Def Leppard. I often have phases of being hooked on a band.
What festival do you miss the most this year?
I didn’t have any festivals planned this year, but I do miss events such as Partymonium or just a regular gig.
Wine or whisky?
Weißbier! But I’d say wine over whisky, I enjoy both tho. 🙂
I absolutely loved these questions, thank you for the interview!
Thank you, too, for the inspiring answers!
Now I have to think of a design for myself 🤔
Here are some examples of happy customers <3