With Lovard, a Mother-Daughter Duo is Keeping a Family Fashion Legacy Going – PaperCity Magazine

Carlos Falchi was a distinct designer with a flare of the dramatic and a client list that included Mick Jagger and Tina Turner. Lee Gunn (also known as Missy) was a former Dallas debutante who worked in PR for Neiman Marcus. Together, the husband and wife team built a heralded handbag empire.  Carlos Falchi sadly passed in 2015, but Lee and the couple’s daughter, Kate, are keeping the fashion legacy going with Lovard.

Rooted in Texas and dedicated to quality, the handbag and jewelry line launched in 2018 and has already built buzz for the brand’s streamlined, timeless style. PaperCity caught up with the duo to learn more about the Lovard story, and what lessons they learned from the legendary Falchi.

On joining the family business. 

Kate: Yes, in fact, we have handbag sketches that I did in the third grade, I had designed a Dallas and Brazilian-themed handbag collection during storytime. There was a lot of fringe and metallics. There was never a moment I didn’t want to be a designer and I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten to work and learn from both of my parents, it has been a dream come true.

The vision behind Lovard. 

Lee: Over the years, while working at Falchi, Kate and I would occasionally design pieces we liked but did not fit the brand aesthetic. They were more constructed, cleaner, and what we didn’t realize at the time is that those pieces, while not classically “Falchi,” were the beginnings of what would become Lovard. The look is based on our use of hardware and our signature D-ring which is always at the front of our bags and mixed into our jewelry. We also never made jewelry at Falchi, which is unique to Lovard.

lovard-fall-20211008_0357_R The Lovard Croissant bag in green python.

On lessons learned from Carlos.

Kate: One of the main lessons engrained in both of us is that everything begins with the right materials. You have to strive to get the best and if you do the rest will follow. Any great design should be based on letting the materials speak for themselves and doing your best to make patterns that best show off that beauty. We strive for this every time, even in the jewelry we wanted 18k gold plating.  The goal every time is to impress the customer with value, and quality.

Lee: Always strive to be unique and have a core design philosophy. We want you to see a Lovard product out in the wild and to be able to recognize it’s Lovard from a mile away.

On what makes Lovard unique. 

Lee: Trying to bring the best materials with design to the market at a remarkable price point. People are shocked by the value of our products. We have an extremely high repeat customer rate, they receive the product, see how beautiful it is, and then they trust that we can deliver the best.

A lineup of Lovard Violin bags.
A lineup of Lovard Violin bags. A lineup of Lovard Violin bags.

The breakthrough bag.

Kate: In handbags, the Violin has hands down been the customer favorite and it’s our signature piece. The Violin has a lot of design in a neat unique package, its shape takes inspiration from its namesake. It packs a great design punch. In jewelry, our new bicycle chain necklace is fast becoming our top seller. It touches upon ’90s glam and adds immediate glam to any outfit. We have sold out and reordered it several times since its recent launch.

You launched in New York but have now settled in Texas. What was the reason behind the move? 

Kate: Texas has always been a second home as my mother is from Dallas. I grew up going to camp in Hunt, Texas and always loved the terrain and people. When my husband and I wanted to start a family, Austin felt like the perfect place.

Favorite places to shop in Dallas. 

Lee: Neiman Marcus, Elements, Tootsies


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