The Holly Sharp Company
The Holly Sharp Company designs, manufactures and markets California lifestyle apparel and related accessories for women under the direction of well-known designer Holly Sharp, her husband Michael Sharp and their daughter Amber Sharp Welch. The company's flagship brand, Lucy Love, is best known for introducing "California Beach Couture" to the world and can be found in 1600 specialty retail stores worldwide, including the Sharp's own retail store - The Holly Sharp Boutique, located in Corona del Mar, California.
The birth of The Holly Sharp Company and the Sharp's first contemporary label, HOLLY SHARP, was at a Hollywood nightclub in 1982 when an apparel representative spotted Holly's singer-songwriter husband, Mike Sharp and his band groupies decked out in vintage inspired outfits designed by Holly. He begged them for a meeting. The next morning they received a $50,000 order to design a line of party dresses for the then high-end retailer I. Magnin. The twenty-something newlyweds entered the fashion industry with passion, and never looked back.
The Holly Sharp brand immediately resonated with the free-spirited 26ish year old "it" girl who loved to make an entrance and exit. The label quickly expanded to other iconic retailers such as Henri Bendel, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Fred Segal. California fashion reigned throughout the 80's and Holly was commissioned to design signature dresses for tastemakers such as: Absolut Vodka, Mattel/Barbie, Andie McDowell and Julia Louis Dreyfus. During this era the Sharps also dined with pop-artist, Andy Warhol, started a family, and Holly Sharp was nominated as California Designer of the Year.
In the early 90's, a natural transition for the Sharps was to venture into the newly-evolving Action Sports industry since Michael was an avid soul surfer and Holly, a modern-day beach mom. Both Sharps had industry roots with Holly's older brother Shawn Stussy (creator of the Stussy brand) and Michael's younger brother Bill Sharp (then editor of Surfing Magazine) both trail blazing the industry. Family gatherings consisted of talking shop and sharing surf stories. During this time, the Sharps also opened their first retail store, The Holly Sharp Boutique, in Corona del Mar, California.
In the Mid 1990's, Holly and Michael partnered with Gotcha International to create the woman's label, GIRL STAR. It was an instant success that blended Holly's fun and whimsical take on fashion with Gotcha's 20-year old surf roots. The Gotcha project introduced the Sharps to the rapidly-emerging world of licensing and global action sports markets. The Sharps introduced Gotcha and the world to "fashion beach."
In 2000, with new-found enthusiasm for world distribution and brand marketing, it was time to take their twenty years of design experience and channel it into their own Brand. The Sharp's oldest daughter, Amber, joined the team, and they employed life-long colleagues and friends to share the journey. Lucy Love was launched at the Action Sports Retail tradeshow with a 100+ piece line and was marketed to the buyers of boutiques, surf shops, specialty chains and major department stores worldwide. In Holly's words, "Think J. Crew goes Boho Beach Babe."
Lucy Love ... established in 2000 in Newport Beach, California
Lucy Love is a unique collaboration of Holly's whimsical style and years of design and retail experience along with Amber's youthful Bohemian, beach-gypsy, influence and social media prowess. The young contemporary line continues to debut spot on trend, innovative silhouettes season-after-season and is largely influenced by the family's beach travels across the world, art, music and culture. Sought out by both moms & daughters, Lucy Love is best known for "Social Butterfly" dresses, feminine silhouettes that "turn heads," and charming California prints from the Sharp's 30-year old print library. Holly still sees the product transform throughout the entire creative process from a pen and paper sketch to model fittings, to production in American factories. "The mission from day one was to keep our product in the USA and support the local economy," says designer Holly Sharp. "Mixing American-made product with a label that fits well and prospers at retail has been the goal since starting Lucy Love," she adds. Having Holly and the family involved in every aspect of the business maintains the Brand integrity from season to season.
Like all well-known designers, the Sharp family has spent many years developing contacts and experience in the California, New York, and International apparel markets, building solid relationships with retailers, suppliers, press, and consumers. The team stands behind their product with family-friendly customer service and believes in building long-term relationships with their dealers. "A perfect week begins and ends with the great people we work with," says owner Michael Sharp. "We have built a family with our core dealers across the world and enjoy watching their businesses grow and prosper."
Lucy Love's sales team mission is to deliver quick-turning, in-season product, and chase valuable reorder business. Amber who manages the sales team adds, "We look forward to Monday's when we hear from our top 100 retailers on what sold best over the weekend. To have a product that blows out at retail is exciting. I'm thrilled to represent a brand that has the ability to meet the retailer's supply and demand on a weekly basis. This kind of chase business is a hot commodity in an industry that makes almost everything overseas."
Holly's designs have been widely published and have appeared in VOGUE, VOGUE AUSTRALIA, ELLE, HARPER'S BAZAAR, W, GLAMOUR, MARIE CLAIRE, COSMOPOLITAN, MADEMOISELLE, SEVENTEEN, and SHAPE, as well as other key apparel trade publications.
Each day at the House of Love's Costa Mesa beach studio, the Sharp family and their team are spreading their passion for the girls of the world who inspire them. Amber adds, "To see the girls of the world empowered and with a smile on their face while wearing our brand is everything to us!"
The Holly Sharp Boutique
The Sharps opened The Holly Sharp Boutique, in Corona Del Mar, California in 1992, to develop a closer/first-hand connection to the consumer and their local community. "What I love about retail is the consumer contact. I love talking with her. I love the connection. I love understanding who she is and what makes her tick. I love retail!" Holly Sharp said. The boutique features select pieces from the Lucy Love line as well as on-trend, reasonably-priced fashion and accessories from other labels, passionately hand-selected by Holly and Amber to create head-turning looks for their boutique customers. The Holly Sharp Boutique is located at 3636 Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar, California.
Looking Toward the Future…
The Sharps are enjoying the success of rooting a California lifestyle brand and plan to expand global distribution of their domestic product. Amber adds, "I love the idea of sharing our California made product in global markets across the world." The family also looks to add additional product lines including swimwear, home and gift products, eyewear, and build the accessory division. They also plan to re-launch the contemporary Holly Sharp label which will target specialty shops in need of a hip designer collection for the modern "I do it all" woman.