Laure Heriard Dubreuil is the Founder and President of The Webster, a multi-brand luxury boutique established in 2009 with locations in South Beach, Bal Harbour, Houston, Costa Mesa, and her newest location in New York City. The Webster offers a unique shopping experience, making you feel as though you’re trying on clothes in your (really, really fashionable) friend’s walk-in closet. The stores are all appropriately decorated with specific design elements to suit the city they’re in, all complete with home-like furnishings and contemporary art.
Heriard Dubreuil was no newbee to the fashion world when she opened her first store. She began her career working with Nicolas Ghesquiere’s merchandising team at Balenciaga, then as top merchandiser for Yves Saint Laurent Women’s RTW division in Paris. Her high-level fashion industry experience and her traveling lifestyle has helped shape the creative direction that has evolved The Webster into one of the leading luxury boutiques in the world.
The Webster has always appealed to the well-traveled fashion girl. From the boutiques themselves, the recognizable flamingo logo and the exquisite curation together embodies the spirit of travel. When it comes to Laure’s personal style, her inspiration has always been fueled by her travels, whether for work or pleasure. So this month, she used the knowledge of her own experience and taste and launched RTW label LHD, a line of easy-to-pack dresses, layering pieces and accessories made in collaboration with various designers. Each collection, which will launch exclusively resort and summer seasons, will be inspired by a destination that will manifest itself in bright colors and graphic prints.
For her first collection, she made it personal - starting with the The Miami Collection, a nod to the city she opened her first boutique. Inspired by the sun and energy of Miami’s South Beach and Design District, this lust-worthy collection of colorful and graphic RTW and accessories is bright, whimsy and feminine – encapsulating the spirit of Miami quite literally, and quite beautifully.
Read our interview with the fashion mogul below.
MM What inspired you to open your first The Webster boutique?
LHD The city of Miami inspired me the most to open the first Webster boutique. I loved Miami’s art, architecture, and weather (of course). When I came to Art Basel in Miami in 2006 for the first time I had nothing to wear, so I went shopping and there were not many places to shop at that time. Then I fell in love with our Art Deco building which was named “Webster Hotel.” I decided to keep the integrity of the hotel and open a store there, and that is how The Webster was born.
MM How has the store evolved over the years?
LHD It started in Miami, but now we are in different parts of the US: Houston, Costa Mesa, even New York! Indeed, we have been able to curate selection based on specific markets.
MM Did your involvement with The Webster influence your desire to start your own line? What inspired you?
LHD For years my friends, clients and even other designers asked me when I would be coming out with my own line. I thought they were crazy! I see so many lines and read about all these new launches, it seemed silly. But I knew that there was a place in the marketplace for my aesthetic. I was already planning The Webster’s New York opening so I thought, Why not? If not now, then when?
MM What specifically inspired LHD? Why travel-inspired resort/summer line pieces?
LHD I love to travel, I’m endlessly inspired by travel and I’ve had so much experience in both my personal and professional life.It was important to me to create a collection that you take on vacation, not what you bring back. It’s not about the souvenirs, it’s about the easy pieces you can pack in your suitcase effortlessly and fit right in with the local aesthetic and wear with confidence. You dress for the destination. In the future the idea of travel and what you pack in your suitcase can grow. It doesn’t have to be a destination, it might be what you pack to take to the Oscars or what you pack to take on your honeymoon. Focusing on travel also gives me a good excuse for traveling more! Its research of course! I just went to Belize for that very reason. A change of scenery gives me all sorts of new ideas.
MM What made you choose these specific accessories brands to collaborate with for The Miami Collection?
LHD I have built so many relationships with brands over the years and it was second nature to me to choose these designers first. Aurelie Bidermann is a friend, so it was very special for us to collaborate on something so close to my heart with someone so dear to me! I also took into account the theme of the collection, Miami, and really wanted to work with designers I knew would be inspired as much as I was. Heimat Atlantica is a young brand so here energy and enthusiasm for collaboration was inspiring. I am honored that Pierre Hardy, Maison Michel, Eres, Aurelie Bidermann and Heimat Atlantica were willing to collaborate with me for the launch season, and hopefully beyond.
MM Who's the girl you envision wearing LHD?
LHD It's for my friends, and the women I admire and want to be friends with. There is no specific girl, but she loves print and colors and appreciates the dream of travel. The line is something a young girl can save up for as a very special purchase, but the woman buying Chanel can buy it too to mix with her luxury pieces. Mothers and their daughters fall in love with it, there is no specific age for the LHD girl. If you love prints you can mix and match, if you are more conservative you can wear the prints with simpler pieces. I am excited to see the range of women who fall in love with LHD.
MM Any advice for young designers wanting to start their own line? Something you learned being on this side of the process that you didn't know before?
LHD Starting a new line it's a long term process thinking of concept, to design and production. With hard work any young designers with passion can succeed. it's a question of perseverance and teamwork. You can't do it alone, and you need to find your team you can trust to help you develop your ideas. The best advice I could give them is to never give up! Aside from that, at LHD we very much feel that you keep trying and keep pushing and keep saying yes, always always be positive. Prepare for the unexpected, fabric delays, production flaws and more. As much as you want to be in control, not everything is in your control. Lastly, sometimes you have to separate your business mindset from your creative side. Both are important, but the dreams must come first, and then the decision-making can follow.
MM What can we expect for future seasons? Any tips to what destination you'll be taking us next?
LHD More exclusive prints, the perfect easy dresses, and of course lots of color! We already have some favorite styles that we hope to carry over into future seasons, as well as plenty of newness. Well lets just stay I’m sticking to places that are very close to my history and heart to start, so let that be your clue. I prefer to keep it a surprise but I’ll always be inspired by colors, architecture, nature and places that feel intimate.
Cover photo by Dario Catellani.