Filipinx pride, Monique Lhuillier-Bugbee big fashion break could actually be on her wedding day
Born and raised in Cebu City, Monique’s parents had a strong influence on her fashion interest. Her mom Amparito “Nee” Llamas, was a model who had a small sewing business.
His dad, Michel Lhuillier, a prolific businessman; the “golden couple” of Cebu known for its pawnshop and jewelry empire. These exposed Monique into a tattler’s life.
Growing up with a socialite mom, there were “standards.” Early on, Monique frequently wore designer clothes. She met local Filipino designers and kind of directed how she wanted her dresses to look.
At 15 years old, the “lady” went to Chateau Mont-Choisi, a finishing school in Switzerland. Afterward, she studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles.
Her mom’s well-dressed guests
In an interview with Fashionista, Lhullier said she loves watching her mother and the guest get dressed up when she was young. Her interest in fashion began with her mom’s interest in clothing. She pursued designing at the FIDM, where she met her husband.
Serendipity of Tom Bugbee
After graduating, Monique got a job in a sportswear company, but the company had a different creative style. She gave it up. Engaged for a year, Monique married Tom Bugbee in 1995 at the Marina del Rey. She was 23 years old.
In an interview with Inside Wedding, Monique said,
“…on our second date; we knew we were going to get married. He was kind, and he spoke well of his family. He was also very driven – he had a direction in life, and I like that. He had everything I was looking for.”
She planned her own wedding
Monique Lhuillier planned her wedding. It was her first taste of what it’s like to peek into the massive bridal industry. The bridal gown collections didn’t impress her enough. What does a sophisticated lady who studied fashion get to do?
Fashion ramp on her wedding day
Naturally, she designed her relatives and the bridal party’s clothes. After the wedding, she got several business cards raving on her fabulous designs. It really could be said that it was Monique’s first fashion statement in public.
Heads turned with this Cebuano’s fashion sense
Three years after, heads turned when she did Britney Spears, and Emmy Awards dresses, as well as Jamie-Lynn DiScala and Allison Janney, among others. Monique’s Los Angeles flagship store at Melrose Place opened in 2007, and New York in 2012.
Today, Monique Lhuillier’s collections include RTW evening gowns, bridal, bridesmaids, a select line for babies and kids as well as linens, tableware, fine paper, and home fragrances.
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In 2019, she raved as Hollywood’s “It-Designer”
At the red carpet, Keri Russell, Regina King, Kaley Cuoco, and Emmy Rossum caught the sophisticated glamour of Monique.
A roadshow itself, many Hollywood A-listers love her fashion sense. Her brand is synonymous with luxury, femininity, allure, and unparalleled glamour, described by US Magazine.
Celebrities who’ve worn a “Lhuillier” are Heidi Klum, Sophia Bush, Isla Fisher, Elisabeth Moss, Regina King, Lauren Conrad, Carrie Underwood, Jamie-Lynn DiScala, Allison Janney, Blake Lively, Demi Lovato, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Obama, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Melania Trump, Katy Perry, among others.
Lhullier on Netflix’s Next in Fashion 2020
The Filipino American designer appeared as one of the judges of Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” in 2020. Joining this year’s judges include Eva Chen, Elizabeth Stewart, Jason Bolden, Christopher Kane, Prabal Gurung, Philip Lim, and Tommy Hilfiger.
In 2006, President Gloria Arroyo awarded Monique the Presidential Medal of Merit for her outstanding contribution to global fashion. Lhuillier brought honor to the country.
Monique won Elle’s Best Bridal Fashion Show in 2017. Recently, she was one of the judges at the Miss Universe pageant 2018.
Spanish flair in 2021!
This year, Monique’s Spring 2021 Bridal collection evokes a Spanish flair with California ease. This season is all about luminous embroideries, traditional laces, delicate floral details, and regal proportions.