Imagine leaving everyone and everything you love behind and packing yourself to move to a different city where you don’t know anyone just to pursue your dreams. Well that’s just was Francesca and Barbara of Elle Trois did. Francesca abandoned her moms dream for her to become a nurse and left Florida; Barbara followed to support her. The goal? To make it big in fashion! I had the pleasure of catching up with Elle Trois to discuss the infamous bow ties that I fell in love with and the new upcoming line!
How did Elle Trois come to be? What does Elle Trois mean? When I started designing clothes. It was actually called L3. But the name was actually taken. My background is French, so I went with Elle Trois, which basically stands for live, love, learn. So when I was designing, Live was like the comfortable wear, Love was like skirts because I love skirts ( I don’t wear pants when I go out) and Learn was business wear for women. So then I said I needed a way for it to come out. I love and wear bows. In fact, everything I wear is with bows. Then someone gave me an idea and said you know what, you should just start making bow ties and that’s how you could start your name in fashion. I did some research and found out that Ralph Lauren started making bow ties for men and women when he started. And now look at him. He’s a brand and he has a whole empire. So that’s why I started with bows.
What kind of fabric/materials do you use? Whatever the clients want. I can do from camouflage, paisley, sequins, silk, wool to even tweed. Whatever the customer is looking for, I go out and find it.
How much do you sell your bows for? Usually they start at 20 dollars. If you want chains or studs or anything like that then it will be a little more. Free shipping. I am also making a reversible bow as well. One side floral one side tweed. So you could wear one side for the Fall one side for Spring.
I know we spoke about previously that you were going to branch out. What other things are you working on? Besides the t-shirts and pins, I want start my own clothing line and get my clothes manufactured. I want to see women wearing my clothes. I also want to incorporate a lining inside of the clothes that somewhat holds you together. A lot of the time when I go shopping, I get very self-conscious, especially shopping for one piece dresses. It’s like if you don’t work out or take care of your body you will feel self-conscious in your clothing, So I want to incorporate a lining inside the clothes so you will feel confident in what you wear.
That’s a great idea! So when do you think you are going to start the shirts? Already in progress.
Where are your favorite places to shop? I don’t have a specific place I shop. I like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, a lot of vintage shops, thrift stores and garage sales. Wherever.
All in Jersey? No SoHo as well, I mix and match. I don’t only shop in Saks and Neiman Marcus. I don’t shop in one place. Style is how you put it all together. Especially mixing and matching brands.
What is your long-term goal for Elle Trois? I want to be like Kimora Lee. I want an empire. I want bedding, kids clothes… I want it all.
What do you think has been so far your biggest challenges.? Umm. It’s creativity. It’s getting the right person to wear my bows. Its getting out my name out there. Getting the right person to notice. It’s hard. It’s a lot of work and dedication. You cant have a 9 to 5 to doing this. You can’t.
Do you do anything else besides designing? No. I dedicate it all to Elle Trois.
Barbara: I pay the bills. Someone has to pay the bills.. I have a job.. (Laughing)
What inspires you? My mother. She used to sew. She used to sew all our dresses and bow ties. When she got older she just stopped. So I just want to continue what she started and continue that tradition. My mom doesn’t believe that it is going be big. She just says good job boo. You can do it. I want to prove to her that you don’t only have to do nursing to make it. You can become big in fashion. I am gonna be big in fashion and I want to show her that. She inspires me everyday.
What is your advice to others looking to make it big in fashion? Don’t give up. Life is so short. You have to give it your fullest even though there is competition. Give it your all. Stay focused and stay motivated on your goal. When I get down and out and think I can’t do this, I think about my mom and I say I have to do it… I left Florida and moved up here to pursue my dreams.
If anyone wanted to purchase your items now how would they go about it? I am working on a site for etsy.com and big cartel as well. You can email me at email@example.com or on Instagram @elletrois
Is there anyone who you would like to thank? Haters. Also, Leonard Wise the designer of Tiara Austini. He makes swimsuits. He showed me how to sew. Thank You!
The world is yours Elle Trois!
The bows are fun and bow-u-ti-ful! Make a statement in Elle Trois! I know you want to!
Ella Trois X The Fashion Clones
Photo (from left to right)-Barbara: top: Thrift Shop; jeans: Levi’s; bow tie: Elle Trois; necklaces: Forever 21 & Express. Me- top: H&M; skirt: Zara; shoes: Steve Madden; belt: Necessary Clothing, SoHo NYC; brooch: Ehvonnae; frames: The Gift Man; earrings: Street Vendor, Brooklyn, NY. Francesca- top: Thrift Store; skirt: H&M; bow tie: Elle Trois; shoes: Aldosterone; watch: Marc Jacobs; necklace and earrings: Afaze