Larissa Lampitelli was originally from New York and her passion for clothing started at a young age when she began working in a specialty shop that carried beautiful, luxury lingerie. She quickly recognized the exceptional quality that these products had and developed a deep appreciation for this form of precision and craftsmanship. She found that this is where her love for lingerie began.
She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a designer for a licensing sleepwear brand for years. She recently started her own namesake brand – Larissa Kate Lingerie. The line features ethically handcrafted lingerie for the modern woman seeking luxury and individuality. She believes that women are a work of art therefore their lingerie should be too. With a strong commitment to providing women with self-empowerment, she has proven to her loyal following that lingerie can be for them to assist them in feeling beautiful inside and out.
Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Larissa to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the fashion industry?
When I was young I worked at a specialty shop that carried silk lingerie and organic soaps. I was quickly drawn to these types of unique products, specifically clothing, and became interested in the story of each garment; Who made it? How was it made? Is it an ethical piece of clothing? All these things are a reflection of what you stand for and what you wear can become an extension of your personality. As a result, I studied design at The Fashion Institute of Technology and specialized in Intimate Apparel. I love the challenge of working with a small, delicate canvas and making pieces that are unique and versatile and the one wearing them.
What do you like most about being a designer?
I love creating! Being able to conceptualize a clothing idea and then the process of making it come to fruition is very rewarding. The process can be time-consuming and tedious, but when you are doing something you love, it can become quite therapeutic. It’s icing on the cake when a consumer is drawn to a piece I’ve made and decides to buy it.
The downside to being a fashion designer?
For me, it would have to be the business side of having my own company. I am very creative so for me to sit down and crunch numbers isn’t always fun. The cost of production can be daunting as well – I might have a few ideas and products I want to release but will have to scale down once I realize just how much it will cost for each idea.
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?
My most memorable experiences would probably be all the pop-up shops I’ve done in New York City. Hustling and trying to get my product in front of as my people as possible. Ranging from having pop-ups in bars, the bottom of a mattress store (lol) to eventually joining another brand and selling for a summer at a storefront in SoHo. I now sell to specialty boutiques that appreciate ethical fashion and mainly on my website, but I still love joining a group of artists for an occasional pop-up and meeting new people.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
I love meeting other local small business designers who are in a similar boat as me. Sharing ideas with them and being able to support each other means we all win!
I also love meeting my customers and seeing people in the clothing I make. When someone likes a product to the point they have to wear it out of the store brings me happy tears.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
Push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. I am an introvert at heart, so it’s important for me to push myself and get out of my comfort zone to better the brand, excel, and also grow as a person. It’s important to not worry about what other people think of you. Go with your gut and follow your calling.
Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?
Yes, my family has always been supportive of my dreams. They used to worry about me not having the security of a corporate job but once they saw I made a few sales and it was more than a hobby for me, they were in my corner.
If you could go back in a time machine to when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would say to intern for your dream company because that will most likely result in a foot in the door. I also think networking is key, you never know when or where a person you met along the way will be able to help you in your career later on. I remember I pushed myself to talk to one of my ideas at a fashion trade show and that resulted in her recommending me for a job.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Keep hustling. You have to do everything it takes to make the dream happen. Keep emailing those buyers, pushing your product, and make it happen! No one is going to hand your dreams to you.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
My passion right now is my clothing line – Larissa Kate Lingerie. This past year has set my production back a little but my goal is to keep growing my business. I am currently working on a sustainable, size-inclusive new collection that’s made in the USA.