Meet Ciao Lucia, The Line Every Cool Girl Will Want to Wear

Meet Ciao Lucia, The Line Every Cool Girl Will Want to Wear

Meet the L.A. based boutique owner and designer creating clothes on her own terms.

Meet the L.A. based boutique owner and designer creating clothes on her own terms.

Text: Danielle Combs

As the owner of L.A.’s hippest boutique, ShopSuperStreet, Lucy Blair Akin, has been steadily changing California’s fashion landscape by stocking street-savvy brands like Lorod, Hyein Seo, Sandy Liang and Area. With a bustling boutique under her belt, Akin is now forging a new path and carving out her very first clothing line, Ciao Lucia.

Taking her inspiration from the girl on eternal vacation, Ciao Lucia, embodies the spirit of Paris, Cannes, London, and Rome—where in Italy she was christened with the nickname Lucia. Each garment produced possesses an air of coolness, dainty feminine details and are made for the girl who thrives on the beach, taking strolls, and having dinner with companions. From pink shell dresses that flow with ease to gingham tops and romantic skirts, Ciao Lucia, is poised to be one of the next brand’s to watch out for in the New Year.

In an exclusive interview with V, Akin sat down with us to discuss her burgeoning clothing line.

When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer? Was it something you had always dreamt of?

I think it was a childhood dream that I never took seriously as I got older. I felt that I didn’t have the qualifications or skills. Shop Super Street helped me build my confidence up and I started making clothes on the side as a hobby. I put a few pieces in the store and they automatically sold out so I knew I was on to something!

How did growing up in San Francisco enhance or shape the way you perceive fashion?

San Francisco was such a wonderful city to grow up in. It was such a melting pot of all different types of people and there was so much culture and arts. The city itself is such a physically beautiful city - my best memories are working at an Italian restaurant as a hostess on the bay. It was such a dreamy city to grow up in. I wouldn’t describe San Francisco as the most fashionable city in the world but I think I learned a lot about style that way. People dress for necessity there - hiking, sailing, cold days and even chillier night. It’s changed a lot since I was little but I hold it in a special place in my heart.

When and how was your line conceived?

I conceived the line when I was sick in bed watching Great Expectations (the version with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow). The costumes in the movie were all by Donna Karen and I wanted them for myself so badly. It inspired me to start sketching in bed and by the end of my sick weekend, I had a collection that I needed to make.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic is very fun. It’s about sexy pieces that any girl can wear. I love working with metallic fabrics, prints... I love silk voiles that get softer the more you wear them. I think my pieces have a no-fuss quality to them but they always come in a loud fabric.

What is the meaning behind your label’s name “Ciao Lucia”?

Lucia was my nickname in college! I studied Italian and we all had to pick out our Italian names and mine just stuck after awhile. I lived in Rome for a summer and that’s when I became “Lucia”.

What is your design process like?

I usually start with a lot of vintage references and then I go on a fabric buy and I let the fabrics tell me what styles they want to be. Fabric appointments are my favorite part of the process. We have a huge office vote as to what will be look the best and how many people would want to wear the style.

I admire the ethereal and dreamy quality your holiday collection encompasses. What was the inspiration behind it?

Our holiday collection was an expansion on our metallic theme. I love a metallic fabric. It shows up on camera so well and it makes people ask “who is that girl wearing that amazing outfit!”.

What type of girl do you envision wearing your line?

I think it’s any girl. Old and young - but definitely a girl who is fun, not too serious, and fiercely independent. Our entire first lookbook was about a girl on vacation by herself.

Where do you get your inspiration from? And has CA changed the way your perceive style?

Most of my inspirations come from French New Wave film. I think the women in those movies were such inspirations – fashionable, effortless, and had lots of depth to them. I studied French New Wave while I lived in Paris and it opened up a lot of inspiration for me.

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