Lewaa Abdulkhalek & Jillian Lewis
The Jillian Lewis brand was originally founded by Lewaa Abdulkhalek and Jillian Lewis. The pair met in 2005. Lewaa, originally from Lebanon, had just moved to NY and was hired as the Director of Retail or a high end New York fashion company. Jillian, a Parsons School of Design graduate and CFDA scholarship recipient, was the assistant designer for the same company. Their office romance was a secret for 8 months while they dreamed of starting a fashion empire of their own. The couple strategically planned for Jillian to appear on Bravos 4th season of Project Runway so that they could use the momentum from the television show to enter into the fashion world with a name that people would know. It worked. Not only was Jillians 12 look collection viewed by 5 million people nationwide but she also received praise from such experts like Roberto Cavalli, Donna Karen, Alberta Feretti, J. Mendel among many others.
The duo had what WWD called Beginners Luck with their debut collection, which retailed in several high-end boutiques. Their unmistakable style is sophisticated and quirky all at once. As a female designer, Jillian designs with aggressiveness, like that of a man, but with a sensitivity and femininity of a woman. She is a veteran of the Ralph Lauren Company, has costumed a performance at the Guggenheim museum for Works and Process. Lewaas vision comes from a merchandising standpoint. He has a business savvy and understands how women want to look. Lewaas experience in fashion goes back 12 years and in 5 different countries including Gucci in Italy, Zara in Spain, and Villa Moda in Kuwait.
Together, their designs make a bold statement. They are not timid. Their niche happens to be coats and hand knitted sweater, but they are truly all around sportswear visionaries. Their collection hangs at the prestigious Showroom 7. You can expect the Jillian Lewis brand to be the household name of the future.