“Do your own thing, be true to yourself and keep it real." Stylish words of wisdom that fashion designer Lotta Stensson lives by. What began in the mid 90’s on two sewing machines in her tiny NYC apartment, has blossomed into a world class collection sold around the globe.
The Lotta Stensson Collection is known for its bohemian chic style. But Lotta was creating stunning “Boho” clothes long before the look became a wardrobe staple for stylish women everywhere. And she continues to embrace this aesthetic, because it’s who she is at her core: “I have always traveled extensively and I am so inspired by the colors, textiles & prints that I find abroad,” she says. Her “dip-dye tie dye” dresses were influenced by her many trips to India, “I think I was Indian in another life,” she is fond of saying. These stunning works of art have become collectibles, with many customers buying several pieces each season.
For Lotta, who grew up in a small town in Sweden, the sun is also a major player in her designing. “Having grown up somewhere with so little sun, I just can’t seem to get enough of it now! I love the whole beachy vibe, bikinis, cover-ups, kaftans, sun dresses...to live on an island one day is one of my dreams!”
But growing up in sun deprived Sweden had its advantages. In her early days, she played in the pristine forests behind her backyard and this freedom fostered her creativity. Dinnertime at Lotta’s house was full of fashion and business shoptalk. Her Mother was a designer and retail owner and her grandmother was Sweden’s most famous designer, known as “Katja of Sweden.” Early on Lotta learned the importance of a strong work ethic and that a designer must be business savvy in order to run a successful company.
Later, Lotta took those lessons to NYC’s Fashion Institute of
Technology, there she earned her degree. While there, she also had the inspiring experience of working alongside her grandmother in Katja’s NYC design studio.
Very early on in her career Lotta was signaled out as a designer to watch. In the Fall of 2000, editors from Vogue, Elle and WWD, voted Lotta “Moet & Chandon's Upcoming Designer.” The champagne company sponsored her NYC runway show with “Seventh on Sixth” and since then Lotta has been a favorite of the NYC fashion elite. She has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Lucky, In Style and countless other publications.
In late 2000 Lotta realized her dream of living in a sunny climate, when she moved her company from NYC to Los Angeles. In LA she concentrated on growing her brand and serving her large celebrity clientele, including Charlize Theron, Jessica Simpson and Beyonce. After many successful years on Melrose Ave, Lotta decided to move her flagship store and design studio to West Third Street. Located just down the block from hot spot “Joan’s on Third,” her boutique is situated in one of LA’s hottest new shopping districts.
2010 has been off to an incredible start, with the prestigious site Net-a-Porter now selling Lotta’s Collection. Lotta continues to develop her brand and she is developing a signature scent, once that captures the essence of her globally inspired, sun saturated collection.
But at the end of the day, for Lotta, the most important and satisfying aspect of her job is having the chance to touch women’s lives. “If a customer can put on one of my dresses and feel beautiful, comfortable in her own skin, strong, then I’m happy and my job is done!”