Radhika Perera-Hernandez is a brilliant up and coming fashion designer who will soon surely turn the world of women’s fashion on its head. Born to Sri Lankan parents, this beautiful, confident, and eloquent lady has clear cut aspirations for her career. She is making giant strides in order to become the designer whose name will soon be on everyone’s lips. Her fashion line, Lois London, exudes elegance, sophistication, and an understated sexiness. We sat down with this design dynamo to find out exactly what drives her.
AM: How did you get started in fashion design?
Radhika Perera-Hernandez: I started designing in a really unique way. I moved to New York years ago and actually wanted to pursue a career in music. However, I decided not to go in the music direction and instead took up jobs where I could, of course, provide for myself. Those jobs, however, left me unsatisfied, and I had to look for a better way. Soon, I began working as a receptionist for Beyoncé’s fashion line at their head office. I felt a bit like I had no voice in anything. I knew I had to make a change. I then began paving the way for myself by becoming very involved in all phases of the design process. I would volunteer to help with all different phases of the design process. Slowly and surely they began to like to my work, and that sparked an even greater hunger within me to become a designer.
AM: How was it working with Beyoncé and traveling the world with her while designing some of her onstage outfits?
RPH: It was amazing. I did that for 5 to 6 years and totally loved it. I learned a lot, traveled the world, and got to hang out with the amazing Beyoncé. What more could an aspiring designer ask for? Beyoncé is known for having the most amazing stage outfits, and I’m glad I could have been part of the process of designing those extraordinary pieces.
AM: What kind of design aesthetic would you use to describe your Lois London line?
RPH: My design aesthetic embodies a very feminine, timeless, and sophisticated look. I merge my European upbringing with different cultures of the world. I was born to Sri Lankan parents in Europe, and therefore I have a very diverse background. I have traveled around the world to all kinds of lovely places including Paris and Rome. I infuse those design concepts into my own collections. I also incorporate my Sri Lankan heritage by infusing the clothes with bright colors and eye catching designs and fabrics. Oh yeah, I am also really big on draping fabrics!
AM: Did you go to school at all to learn how to design?
RPH: No, in fact I cannot wrap my head around all that pattern stuff. It is too complicated for me. I would rather drape fabric and play with different shapes and silhouettes than focus on the technical aspects. For me, it has fortunately worked out very well.
AM: Who are the designers of today that influence you the most?
RPH: Ellie Saab, Balmain, and Naeem Khan are all extraordinary talents with their own beautiful form of expression and style. I admire each one for their exquisite designs and love the intricate attention to detail. Balmain’s designs are simply stunning and I covet all of Elie Saab’s collections. By the way, what woman would not kill to wear a beautiful Elie Saab gown?!
AM: Is there any city in the world that inspires your design?
RPH: I would have to say Colombo in Sri Lanka. The rich colors and beautiful scenery seem to inspire me to design pieces that specifically embody the spirit of my culture. However, I am also inspired by other cities in the world and use those inspirations to guide my work. In fact, once I had gone on a trip to Italy, and I even had designed a small collection based on my travels there.
AM: Is there any advice that you would give aspiring designers who are looking to break into the fashion industry?
RPH: My absolute best piece of advice is to get involved with all aspects of your fashion business. In fact, the more hands on you are, the better the collection tends to be. I feel this is because you infuse a part of your heart and soul into the collection when you get involved from the ground up. I get involved from financial aspects to social media to even doing my own models makeup. I am involved in every single step of the process of my business. So that is the best piece of advice I can give.
AM: What piece of advice would you give them about the financial aspect of the business?
RPH: The best piece of advice I can say is to always have a good and detailed business plan. You can have the best and most original designs but without a good business plan and strategic investing of financial resources, the business is probably not going to be around for long.
AM: What would be the place you want to be in your career in five years?
RPH: Well, I definitely would like to have my brand become more well known. Right now, I just design for custom orders which is great. But who doesn’t want to show at Fashion Week! That would be an absolute dream of mine to show at New York Fashion Week. I know with my courage and determination that I could make it there. Five years does sound about right to reach that goal, if not sooner.
AM: Has being a minority designer influenced your taste in anyway?
RPH: Well, I learn from all designers, and I feel like everybody has something unique to bring to the table. In fact, I absolutely love and adore when women of color are put onto the covers of magazines and have their faces on different brands. I love it when those women are making it into the spotlight. In fact, in my Instagram account, I celebrate those minority women who are making waves in their industry. I love seeing any of those women shining bright in the spotlight. I love it when Latin, Asian, Indian, African women and any other women of color are making it, especially in the tough fashion industry. I just feel that all women have a unique beauty, and there are many shades in this amazingly diverse world of ours.
AM: You are an amazing design talent and we want to wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors. Your work is exquisite! It was very nice speaking with you and we cannot wait to see what is your next step in the industry.
RPH: Thank you so much. I really appreciate all the love, support, and inspiration that the industry has shown me thus far. I really have a passion for what I do and want to make each and every woman feel beautiful.
You can learn more about Radika-Perera Hernandez, as well as her fashion company Lois London at www.lois-london.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @loislondoninc