Logo of Monique Lhuillier fashion firm
September 15, 1971
Tom Bugbee (m. 1996)
Monique Lhuillier (born September 15, 1971 in Cebu City, Philippines) is a Filipino-American fashion designer and creative director known for her bridal, ready-to-wear and lifestyle brand. Internationally recognized as one of America’s foremost designers, she launched her eponymous brand in 1996 and has since established fashion houses in Los Angeles, California, where she primarily works and lives, as well as in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Early life and education
Lhuillier was born to Michel J. Lhuillier, a French-born Filipino businessman, and Amparito Llamas, a Filipina society figure and former model. She grew up in Cebu City and studied at Saint Theresa's College, continuing on to the Chateau Mont-Choisi finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland.
After meeting her husband Tom Bugbee, Lhuillier began planning her wedding, which was her first foray on the bridal market, and thought it needed updating. She could not find any modern dresses, and did not like the excess of lace. She used her fashion degree to create dresses for her relatives and bridal party. After the wedding, there were business cards left for her. It was then when she realized she could make a business out of her beautiful bridal designs. Her husband Tom joined the company as CEO. She opened her first retail store in 2001. In 2004 she drew wide notice for her wedding dresses for Britney Spears and Emmy Awards dresses for Jamie-Lynn DiScala and Allison Janney, among others. She opened a Los Angeles "flagship" store on Melrose Place in 2007, and added a New York store in 2012. Her collections now include ready-to-wear, evening gowns, bridal, bridesmaids, linens, tableware, fine paper, and home fragrances. In 2016, in collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids, Lhuillier launched a line for babies and kids. The collection featured over 120 items of home furnishings for the nursery, bedroom, and playroom.
Lhuillier has become especially known for her celebrity wedding and red carpet gowns. Her list of clientele includes Blake Lively, Demi Lovato, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Obama, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Melania Trump, and Katy Perry.
Awards and honors
Lhuillier was invited to be a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003. She received the Presidential Medal of Merit from the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006. She won Best Bridal Fashion Show at the Elle International Bridal Awards in 2017. In December 17, 2018, she was one of the judges in the recently concluded 2018 Miss Universe held at the Impact Arena.
- Booth Moore, "On the A-list: Monique Lhuillier's ageless creations have drawn a celebrity following. Her fans include Britney Spears, who said 'I do' in one of the designer's dresses." Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2005.
- Alexandra Jacobs, "Branching Out From the Altar", The New York Times, February 27, 2013.
- Coe, Julie (19 December 2012). "Monique Lhuillier's Glittering New Upper East Side Flagship". Architectural Digest.
- Zach Johnson (2012-01-15). "Sarah Michelle Gellar's Daughter Chose Her Golden Globes Gown". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Regis Newman, Jenara. "20 things you might not know about: Michel Lhuiller". Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Brennan, Carol (2007). "Monique Lhuillier". Newsmakers: 253–254.
- Allison Samuels, "Red Carpet Style; Monique Lhuillier's A-List Clients Have Made Her Young Hollywood's Hottest Designer-Just Ask Britney", Newsweek, January 24, 2005 – via Questia Online Library (subscription required).
- Rose Apodaca Jones, "Lhuiller's Moment: From Britney to the Emmys", WWD, September 23, 2004 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Elizabeth Khuri, "Beyond Bridal", Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2007.
- Joanna Nikas, "Scouting Report", The New York Times, October 17, 2012.
- Booth Moore, "Monique Lhuillier: On the move. Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier works to add clothes to her line for earlier in the day." Los Angeles Times, September 01, 2013.
- "Zacks investment research: Williams-sonoma brings kids collection by monique lhuillier". Chatham: Newstex. 2016. ProQuest 1774219895.
- Taylor, Felicia (May 10, 2012). "The designer making Rihanna, Scarlett and Gwyneth look good". CNN.
- Clements, Erin (April 15, 2010). "Red Carpet Buzz: Jennifer Lopez --The back-up plan star stuns in Monique Lhuillier". Elle Magazine.
- "Taylor Swift's 22 best dresses". Instyle magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Katy Perry in Monique Lhuillier". Elle magazine. April 22, 2013.
- "The World of ML > Life > Monique Lhuillier". Monique Lhuillier.
- "Updated Profile".
- "Monique Lhullier: World-renowned wedding gown designer is a Cebuana", The Filipino Express, October 16, 2005 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- "Lhuillier, Monique", Newsmakers 2007 Cumulation (January 1, 2008) – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Aurea Calica, "GMA awards medal of merit to Hollywood designer Lhuillier", The Philippine Star, November 9, 2006.