We miss hot summer days so we thought this is a good enough reason to introduce you to this sizzling new brand. Desert Queen is a vivid, free-spirited, feminine brand that is here to give your summer wardrobe a colourful kick. With their flattering, easy-going and breezy cuts and shapes and head-turning mix of patterns Desert Queen is the latest “Must Have” brand we discovered and became obsessed with and now want to share the story of the ladies behind it. A chat with Sussan Lazar, Corie Bar Dea and Ilana Rosen – Meet the queens behind Desert Queen.
All of you have a background in fashion and business, tell us how your work is shared?
We are three partners: Susan Lazar, Ilana Rosen, and Corie Bar Dea
We all share a passion for travel and fashion and want women to feel beautiful and comfortable in what they are wearing. We create collections that are inspired by and made for the beautiful places we have travelled or dream of travelling to – sourcing fabrics, colours, trims and designing silhouettes that bring the resort or vacation feeling to everyday life. We work closely together on planning everything from the prints and styles to the more commercial aspects of the business like pricing, marketing and distribution strategy.
Susan has spent many years in fashion in NYC, heading up her own brands, and brings her experience in design, sourcing and brand building. Ilana brings a sharp eye for detail and taste from her styling experience in Europe. Corie’s background in business and strategy, from innovation consulting to the beauty industry, positions her to oversee the company’s commercial planning and growth.
Tell us about your creative process? How is a collection born? How do you source the fabrics and how do you decide on the shapes and cuts of the collection?
The creative process starts with inspiration – a place I love or would like to visit one day. I create a mood board that then informs the fabrics, colours and general lines of the collection. After the initial concept is sketched, the silhouettes are designed one by one with a patternmaker or draper. I always aim to create fresh new silhouettes that are feminine yet strong at the same time. On-trend but nothing trendy. That complement a woman not overpower her. The woman needs to be seen first. Not the dress. I try to create designs that can be worn from day into evening, on a staycation or a vacation – because that is really how we live now. After the patterns are created they are sent to our amazing factory in Jaipur, India which is famous for block-print and embroidery techniques. As we grow we will start to source from other locations where we can tap into unique printing or other crafts that can enhance the garments.
Does your city inspire your designs? Any favourite inspiring spots?
Tel Aviv is where we live. It’s an amazing place with many beaches and warm weather nearly all year round. . When designing I often use cotton and light-weight natural fabrics that breathe and work well with the warmer climate we have here – and create easy silhouettes that can be worn with flat sandals, heels or even boots. People here love fashion, but they also never look like they are trying too hard – it’s all about effortless style, with a twist. We hope we can help with that.
A favourite spot is the Dead Sea and the desert regions of Israel. The desert here is like being in another world that is calm, peaceful and magical. It’s a very special place for us and inspired the initial seeds of our brand.
Tell us about your day, how do you incorporate being mothers and busy creative women.
It’s a serious juggle for sure! Morning drops off and right to calls and meetings for all of us. We try to meet the three of us at the same time every week to go over what’s up in each of our areas. We are all very flexible and basically live on Whatsapp – somehow despite the limited time we manage to cover all the bases.
What are your plans for the next season? What can we expect from Desert Queen?
Desert Queen is always about that dream vacation or destination. Boho chic warm weather vibes, home or away. We will continue to expand the range, and evolve it as we see how customers respond. What we’ve found so far is that it is not limited to a specific age group or body shape – it really appeals to the “fashion-lover” persona, regardless of demographic – so we will continue to design for that character. Finally, we are very focused on expanding the reach of the brand to other warm climates outside of Israel.
Article written by: Roza Sinaysky