Welcome to Youma Leth blog! This is our first ever post, how very exciting! We will be regularly sharing with you fashion tips, highlights of the month, favourite addresses and much more on this platform.
Being our first blog post, we thought it would only be appropriate to interview our founder and designer Youma Lethielleux. So, if you want to learn more about the woman behind the glamourous dresses we create keep reading!
Hi Youma, can you tell us a bit about your very international childhood?
Hi! I am originally from Brittany on the Atlantic Coast of France but I grew up around the world thanks to my mother’s job. I spent my early years in Australia, New Zealand and India before moving back to France to start school. I was then based in Nantes (France) but I was still travelling a lot during school vacations.
What an exciting start in life! Can you tell us a bit about your studies and professional background?
I studied fashion and textiles in Nantes, I then moved to Dubai to study design and styling. I became a personal stylist working with and dressing some amazing women.
In how many cities did you actually live and what is your favourite thing about each one?
In France, I lived in Nantes which I love for its food scene. I also spent a year in Bordeaux which was one of the nicest years of my life! I just loved everything about it and felt like it was ‘home’. After that it was pretty difficult to move again but we relocated to Paris - my favourite city on the planet! I had an apartment on Place Iena and I loved experimenting with my style and exploring what French fashion had to offer.
Bordeaux and Paris are for me the most beautiful cities in the world.
After my years in France, I moved to Dubai where I truly found myself. This fascinating city really helped with my confidence and my sense of style. I felt very valued as a French woman coming to learn about a new culture and fashion. Dubai gave me so many opportunities I am thankful for. I learned so much from the Emirates women who have such a unique and sophisticated taste for fashion. My time in Dubai very much inspired the creation of my label.
When did you decided to create Youma Leth and why?
I founded Youma Leth in October 2017. I had thought about it for a very long time but I was never brave enough to do it. Moving to London alone was a big driver to make it happen and to focus my full attention on this project.
I started drawing dresses when I was six-year old! Growing up I altered the clothes I was buying to make them feel more like me. I have always loved wearing unique items no one else had, and when women started to stop me in the street to ask me what I was wearing I realised there was an opportunity there! I had the chance to offer women something unique they couldn’t find anywhere else.
It inspired me to train and find the energy to create my own label. There is no better feeling than seeing someone else wearing one of my designs!
Who is the Youma Leth woman?
The Youma Leth woman is a free spirit and independent. She dreams big! She loves fashion and attend events where she needs to look her very best. She knows she can look stunning without having to try too hard. She is confident and feels invincible when wearing one of my clothes in heels or flats, with makeup or none!
I also like to bring a touch of sexiness to my designs by delicately showing a bit of skin, but never too much of course! I like to play with illusions and fabrics. I help a woman look her best and highlight the favourite parts of her body while keeping her comfortable.
In summary, the Youma Leth Woman is elegant, glamourous, feminine and strong!
What is your inspiration when working on a new dress?
My trips of course, hence why all my dresses are named after cities and countries, but also the personality of the people I know - my friends and my family. I also find a lot of inspiration in my favourite places in London and Paris. I observe the women who inspire me, what they wear, like and do. It helps me think creatively but also practically to come up with designs they can feel glamourous AND confident wearing.
The lack of clothing I like is another big source of inspiration. I find it almost impossible to find THE dress I want to wear to an event. What doesn’t exist I design it!
What is the creative process behind Youma Leth’s collections?
As soon as I have an idea, I usually start with a first sketch on a piece paper, a post-it, a napkin or whatever is available. Sometime I even describe all the details in a note on my phone!
I then sit down and start a second drawing which will be the foundation for the patterns of the new dress. At that stage, I have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for and I work with my team of suppliers and a fashion workshop to source the fabric. We then start sewing and adjusting until we get the perfect dress.
Once the sample is ready and approved, I organise a photoshoot with a model who sometime is myself. We then start producing in small quantity and make the dress available on our online store.
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I’ve decided to start organising wellness retreats with one of the most important people in my life; my mom.
I know what you’re going to say… isn’t launching a yoga retreat WHILE running a full-time fashion business going to be a lot of hard work?!