This week we spoke with Lisou's founder and creative director Rene Macdonald who shared her favourite vintage stores, the inspiration behind Lisou's bold prints and what she's listening to this month.
Where did your passion for colours and prints originally come from?
I’m from Tanzania in East Africa so I grew up surrounded by colour and print. It is a big part of my culture and many African prints have significant meaning. It could be words along the hem of the fabric or a print that is appropriate for gifting to chosen members of the community. I’m also a keen traveller so that’s another big influence.
Has anyone made you doubt your confidence in style in the past and if so how did you overcome it?
It’s the one area in which I’m quite confident. I think so long as you wear what makes you feel good it shines through. I’m the kind of person who never really worries about people not getting my look. Some days are better than others and of course there was some questionable make-up in my teens!
Where did your love for vintage come from and where are your favourite vintage stores in London?
I love the idea of something having had a previous life. I imagine what the last owner may have got up to in the item. Obviously, it also ticks all the boxes in terms of sustainability and less waste. One of my favourite things is finding pieces that I know no one else will have. It’s like owning a little piece of couture.
I go all over for vintage finds but most of the time, Portobello and East London are my go-tos. I love a little vintage shop on Portobello Road called 282 owned by the gorgeous Claudia. She has a great eye and a wonderful personality.
Other than London, where is your favourite city to shop?
New York. That said I can find my way around anywhere that has shops!
What were you doing before starting Lisou?
I worked as a fashion stylist for many years as well as lecturing at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London). I was also busy being a Mama.
What made you take the plunge to start the company?
My family. They were tired of me saying what I wanted to do rather than just doing it. Ironically, they learnt that from me but I wasn’t taking my own advice. I am so grateful for their endless support, without it I couldn’t do what I do.
What are your top 3 pieces listed on The Sample Room right now?
My top 3 would be:
- the Bailey red star print shirt. I wear mine so much as it’s so versatile
- the Darcy red lip print dress. Such a cute easy summer dress and who doesn’t want to be covered in kisses!
- the Mila midi dress in black and white lip print. It’s so elegant dress and easy to dress with trainers or heels.
What are you listening to this month?
I’m loving Jo Elvin’s podcast, Is It Just me. Music wise, I’m obsessed with Leon Bridges and Anderson Paak