Monique Lhuillier

Stephanie Edith Herold

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA104

Monique Lhuillier (given name Diane Monique Lhuillier) was born in 1971 in Cebu City, Philippines. At the age of fifteen, she left the Philippines for boarding school in Switzerland, declaring in her yearbook that she would become a fashion designer. Lhuillier attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, where she studied fashion design and met her husband-to-be, Tom Bugbee. While shopping for her wedding dress in 1995, Lhuillier noticed a dearth of fashion-conscious bridal wear. In 1996, she launched her namesake wedding dress collection, with Bugbee acting as CEO.

Lhuillier’s first boutique opened in Beverley Hills, California in 2000. As she expanded her business, she relocated to a retail space on Melrose Place in 2007, also opening a New York store in 2012. The designer’s luxurious gowns often feature her signature material, lace, and are constructed with the intention of flattering a bride’s figure in a feminine and contemporary fashion. Lhuillier dressed celebrities such as Britney Spears and Reese Witherspoon on their wedding days.

In 2002, she introduced a ready-to-wear line, a diffusion evening wear line called ML Monique Lhuillier, and a stationery collection. Lhuillier became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003. She began collaborating with crystal and china company Waterford on a range of tabletop goods in 2008. In 2011, Lhuillier created a home fragrance collection, followed by a line for bridesmaids in 2012, an upscale footwear line in 2013, and bridal footwear in 2014. Lhuillier engaged in a licensing agreement with online jewelry retailer Blue Nile to create wedding jewelry in 2012. To make her relatively costly gowns more widely accessible, Lhuillier released the Bliss bridal collection.

Monique Lhuillier, Spring/Summer 1997 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Mears Patricia. Impact: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America . New York : Museum at FIT, 2012.

Monique Lhuillier. Website. .

Find in Library Volpintesta Laura. The Language of Fashion Design: 26 Principles Every Fashion Designer Should Know . Beverley : Rockport, 2014.