During the closure of the coronavirus, The Post’s fashion team shares the stories of bustling brands as they navigate uncertain times.
When Lizzo held her three Grammy Awards at a Hollywood strip club in January, just before the coronavirus crisis hit the country, the singer flaunted a flirty zebra print outfit and matching feathered gloves from the British brand Miscreants.
That night in England Miscreants founder Lillie Hand stopped all night to see the music awards. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when the photos from Lizzo’s party finally appeared on his screen at 7:30 a.m.
“I thought there was no way,” Hand told The Post during a recent interview in London. “It was amazing, and I was actually able to go to sleep.”
Dressing up America’s hit list (Lizzo will perform on Saturday in Lady Gaga’s “One World: Together at Home” global charity special would be a great achievement for any designer, but it’s even more impressive for a stranger like Hand.
A photographer by training, she started her self-funded label just over a year ago, and has already outfitted artists from Saweetie and Mabel to Chloe x Halle in her signature Cupid strapless stretch dress (from $ 245) and her cheeky “Cleo” Body (from $ 205).
Now, with its London-based manufacturing on hold due to the closure of COVID-19, it is completing online orders with the remaining stock and planning for the future.
“I am taking each day as it comes and trying to use this time productively,” says the 28-year-old, who lives (and respects strict UK confinement rules) at her parents’ home in rural Blackmore, on the outskirts of London.
“Unfortunately, we do not qualify for any type of government aid,” she says. “I am currently working on a capsule collection that will be unlike anything I have ever done before. It has a wealth of intricate craftsmanship, and I have had to master new skills to execute it. It will consist of six pieces, men’s and women’s.” .
Hand grew up in Blackmore, feeling like he didn’t fit in well. Expelled from two schools for poor grades, she ended up at a nearby community college. While applying to art schools, the severely dyslexic student accidentally ticked the box of the world famous Central Saint Martins. His acceptance was a complete shock.
After graduating in 2016 with a fine arts degree, Hand did an internship at British Vogue and photographer Mario Testino’s famous art department. She went back and forth to Los Angeles for a few years to pursue photography, then decided she just wasn’t that good at it.
Eventually he settled in his home and had drinks at his family’s pub, Prince Albert, using the money he earned to develop his first collection. “The message is about being confident and breaking stereotypes,” Hand says, adding that he wanted his line to be feminine and accessible. “You can see Mabel or Lizzo in this and really buy it.”
Her photography skills and fashion connections came in handy when she took her own digital lookbook and e-mailed it to her contacts. One of the first to respond was hairstylist Zerina Akers, who released several versions of the “Cupid” dress for the Chloe x Halle “Who Knew” video. Law Roach, the man who shapes Ariana Grande’s aesthetic, also requested samples, but the package came too late for the filming of the pop star’s video.
Image creators appreciate your positive attitude. Lizzo’s stylist Marko Monroe saw the “Cupid” in a Los Angeles showroom last year, and was surprised when Hand flipped a custom order for his queen in just three days. The “Juice” superstar helped put Miscreants on the map when she paraded the adorable heart print dress at Missy Elliott’s post-VMA party.
Hand’s friends in his hometown have also been invaluable. Resident computer buzzes solve technical issues on their website in exchange for free drinks in the pub. Neighbors call and propose unusual furniture as accessories. A local who runs a bird sanctuary lent him an enormous owl to shoot. “He sat at the bar and no one blinked,” says Hand with a smile.
Prince Albert will remain closed until the end of the closure. Hand misses the laughter and support of his clients, and his collective enthusiasm for their successes.
“Without them, I couldn’t have all those weird and wonderful things that make the brand what it is.”