The inside scoop on the Main Line fashion icon’s new clothing brand and her first brick-and-mortar store, Lisi Lerch Bungalow in Villanova.
by Diane Oliva, Style Editor
Statement earrings, bright pops of color and classic style? We’re talking about Lisi Lerch, of course. The jewelry and accessories maven is practically synonymous with preppy chic. Kathy Hilton, multiple “Real Housewives” and most Main Line women own at least one Lisi Lerch piece of jewelry, a hat or a bag.
Now, the Newtown Square mogul is expanding her empire. Lisi Lerch Bungalow just opened in Villanova. And earlier this year, she launched LibbyKat, a brand of apparel and footwear aimed at teens and young adults with each piece priced under $100. We chatted with Lisi to get the scoop on the store, LibbyKat and everything else.
Diane Oliva: You’ve been in business since 2001. Why open your first boutique now?
Lisi Lerch: I never intended to have a brick-and-mortar store. But we moved the company’s offices from my house to Villanova. I’m a little nervous about moving out of my house because I am the CEO of my business and the CEO of my family. I answer emails and run upstairs and do a load of laundry or do school pick-up. But the offices are only 5 miles away. Anyway, I thought, “We have offices in the back. Why not have a store in the front?” I wouldn’t be a smart businesswoman if I opened business offices and didn’t have a small space to offset the rent.
DO: Why did you call it a bungalow?
LL: I am not a generic store kind of person. Calling it the bungalow is so much cuter than calling it the store. I love for all of my things to have a personality. And it is a little bungalow.
DO: Do you plan to open other stores?
LL: I have to see how this one goes. I’m not opposed to the idea. If I have the time and energy and this is successful, we’ll consider it.
DO: Tell us about LibbyKat, your new line.
LL: We launched it earlier in 2022. It’s named for my two daughters, Libby and Katherine. I came up with the idea when Libby was rushing sororities at Clemson. She needed things to wear, and there wasn’t a huge selection. So, LibbyKat offers apparel and shoes for great items while keeping the price point low. Everything is under $100.
DO: What’s new for fall?
LL: We have so many great new earrings for fall. When we showed our line at market in Dallas, Palm Beach and Atlanta, everyone went crazy. It’s all coming in now. We’re getting shipments in daily of our new fall stuff.
DO: What are your best selling pieces?
LL: I am more of a bigger earring person, but our studs sell so well. I always listen to our customers, and our spectrum of customers is so broad. We do have conservative women who like their small earrings. A lot of times, we’ll have three variations on an earring: large, medium and stud. That way, they are sister earrings and satisfy whatever size you want to wear. We started doing that a few years ago and it works beautifully.
DO: A lot of celebrities wear your line. What was your big break?
LL: A long time ago, when I first started seeing my earrings on “Southern Charm” stars, that was a big moment. Now all of the “Real Housewives” wear my jewelry. We send a lot of jewelry to celebrities and love seeing things on the red carpet.
DO: What’s your all time favorite piece of jewelry?
LL: My Ginger earrings. We keep reinventing it. It’s been a top seller for so long. We have it in bamboo, luster, acrylic, raffia, straw. I named Ginger after Ginger on “Gilligan’s Island.” Wasn’t she a bombshell? She was one of my favorite characters.