Designer Lucas creates Bermuda-inspired clothing for children
If you are looking for the perfect outfit for your child to wow the crowds at the Bermuda Day Parade, local designer Nicola Lucas might have what you need.
Mrs Lucas has launched a line of Bermuda inspired clothing for children including frilly dresses lined with Bermuda cottages, shorts with frogs and scooters on them and chefs hats and oven mitts with crabs, among other things. Her line is called Aqua Designs. Not all of her clothing has a Bermuda icon, but it all fits a tropical theme.
“My son has some shorts in a crab fabric that I made and people ask him where he found such cool shorts,” she said. “People kept saying to me I wish you would do some Bermuda themed stuff, so I did.”
She started sewing barbie doll dresses at the age of five, growing up in New Zealand. She took a fashion design course in New Zealand and won awards for her work. Her resume includes pattern-making and computer-aided design at distinguished fashion houses, including Nicole Farhi, French Connection, London, UK and Classic Fashion, Auckland, New Zealand. She came to Bermuda 16 years ago and met and married her husband, Ben Lucas. They now have three children aged between nine and four.
She started making wedding and evening dresses after she got married, but she was also working part time at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. After she had her second child she decided she wanted to stay home and concentrate on making children’s clothing.
Sometimes her children are a little disappointed when an outfit originally intended for them is snapped up and sold to a happy customer. Those are the breaks when your mother is a seamstress.
Mrs Lucas mainly sells through her website, but she is also selling her work through a new store opened on Front Street by friend Irena Ashton called Black Purl. Her work can also be found at the City Market in Hamilton and the St George Market. She also works on commission.
“I have only just started doing the markets in the last 18 months,” she said. “About four years ago before my daughter was born I was selling just the plain dresses and hats through the Irish Linen Shop. It is basically through word of mouth at the moment.”
She designs and prints her own Bermuda themed fabric through a company in China called Spoonflower. The advantage of this company is that it allows her to print as much or as little fabric as she likes, and she can also sell her self-designed fabric to other people, if she so desires.
“It takes me anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to make a dress depending on the design,” she said. “I am getting quicker at doing it. It takes about an hour to make a hat. I have just got some new labels printed. I print all my own swing tags.
“The hardest thing about doing it is trying to decide what fabrics to put with what. That is also the most fun part. I find I have to get advice from my family husband and friends. Because I look at it so much that I get a bit jaded.”
Her hats are $30 and her dresses are from $50 to $65. The more expensive dresses are reversible. She also makes capes for the children to use for dress up.
Mrs Lucas said she looked at opening her own store, but decided it was not cost effective.
“If I opened a store I would have to have someone help me sew as I would need a lot of stock to keep it going and pay the rent.”
For more information, see her website at www.aquadesignsbermuda.com/aquadesigns.com