Simple silhouettes, exquisite fabrics and crafted classic styles are what make Lyudviga Shneyders designs come to life.
“I like to take the cloth and an image that comes to my mind, and style from there,” says the Russian designer. “My passion is clothing, design and making people happy. I smile when I see the creations on other people.”
Lyudviga, 44, loved the Birmingham space as soon as her husband surprised her with the birthday gift. In turn, she transformed the shop across from the Townsend Hotel into her own pink palace of design where she makes handcrafted, high-quality pieces (with a modern twist) right inside the boutique.
“Your hands always remember what they’re doing,” Lyudviga says. “The fashion industry is a lot of trends, but women want timeless pieces; they don’t want trends that will go out of style next year, they want something that will last forever. A classic is always classic.”
Just your name alone tells us you and your designs originate from another country…where did you learn your craft?
I went to a premier design school in Russia and have been in fashion for over 25 years. As soon as I graduated, I was the head designer in a fashion studio, did seasonal shows, and eventually moved to the United States. I also did alterations and designs and built up a clientele until April 3 when I officially opened here. I had in mind my location and my husband had the vision. The signs meant it had to be a success, glamorous and a dream that was coming true.
And why clothing design? What makes yours a cut above the rest?
I started sewing and making things for people in my neighborhood when I was 13 years old. I was also a big nerd, too, who loved astronomy and science. My grandma saw the things I made and told me if I sew I will always have bread and butter on the table.
Where can we women wear these at? And what about prices?
It’s casual wear, business wear and gowns for everyday to special events. Everything is custom made and done by hand. Prices are from $100 shirts and affordable gowns to $10,000 exclusive gowns with signature fabrics of some of the top designers, like Valentino. A lot of my clients don’t like to shop so I want to compliment the assets of their body’s because we are all different and individual. You could wear the designs to the office, special events and even on vacations.
Would you say your line delivers a signature Lyudviga look? How do you get inspired?
A lot of times it just comes to me. I get something in my head, how it is draped, how it should tie; it’s something that is already coming to my head as someone is talking about what they want. I put my heart into my looks and that’s what makes them standout. I don’t think I have one signature look, yet. I’m still experimenting, doing different designs, and trying to get different inspirations.
What trends can we discover coming up for the summer in your couture shop?
Coming up, I will have my resort collection and swimwear. Also, jersey wrap dresses and cocktail dresses. Simple, yet elegant signature pieces for the summer that are good for travel and leisure.
And we hear this week’s the grand opening event?
It will take place from 4-8 p.m. on May 26. We’ll introduce the new boutique, have a ribbon cutting ceremony, the launch the new collection with an informal fashion show in works with Renee Godin Model Agency, and host a wine tasting with appetizers courtesy of Wines for Humanity.
So where can we expect Lyudviga Haute Couture to be headed?
We’re hoping to have another show in July at the Oakland Hills Country Club for a scholarship program and another fashion show in August. I want to go big--production wise--so I see my couture in Saks or Neiman's one day.
Lyudviga Haute Couture is located at 105 Townsend St., Birmingham, MI, 248-227-7722. For more information about the grand opening event, email email@example.com.