The Under-the-Radar Site Where We Get the Best Fashion Finds
Welcome to our newest series, where twice a month, we’ll be featuring a website that we love and know our readers will too. Whether it’s an old but under-the-radar favorite or a newly launched label, you’ll want to report back to your friends with these finds (or maybe keep them to yourself)!
We’ve introduced you to Lisa Williams of Lisa Says Gah and the lovely ladies behind Reservoir, and today, prepare to get familiar with Geraldine Chung, founder and owner of Venice-based e-shop Lust Covet Desire. Whether you're looking for the latest in under-the-radar accessories, a clothing collaboration to set you apart from the pack, or simply an original lookbook with one of your favorite bloggers to inspire your next week’s worth of outfits, LCD has got you covered. That’s why we jumped at the chance to interview Chung, and as expected, her answers did not disappoint. We got the scoop on everything from how she got her start in the fashion space (after leaving the music industry, nonetheless) to the brands she's most excited about right now and for the season ahead.
Scroll through to read the full interview, and then continue to shop our top picks from Lust Covet Desire!
WHO WHAT WEAR: Can you give us a brief history of when, how and why you launched your site?
GERALDINE CHUNG: I quit my job in the music industry in 2012, completely burnt out and inspired by how many of my friends in New York had started their own businesses in the wake of the recession. I had moved to L.A. with the idea that I would take my background in digital media and technology and marry it with something creative—I was thinking a street-art version of the site 20x200.com. But I felt daunted by what seemed like a steep learning curve to get into the “art world,” and so many of my friends worked in fashion that it seemed a more natural transition to found an e-commerce boutique. I was super into streetwear and wanted to launch a store like London’s Oki-Ni.com that carried a high/low brand mix, but for women. This idea seems super obvious nowadays, but this was before brands like Hood by Air really started bringing streetwear into the high-fashion world. So I started Lust Covet Desire and sold a mix of streetwear and independent designer. Over time, the LCD aesthetic has matured a bit, but I still am influenced by contemporary art and streetwear.
WWW: I know your site focuses on selling designs by emerging designers—how do you go about finding and choosing them?
GC: I do a lot of research online—going down that Instagram rabbit hole—and also visit trade shows and showrooms. There are certain showrooms I have really great relationships with, and when they recommend a new brand to me, it’s because I know they’ve done the research into the designer, their manufacturing, and truly believe it would be a good partnership.
WWW: What brands are you most excited about right now?
GC: So many! I love what Sandy Liang is doing right now—the energy and braveness of her design choices are inspiring to me. Aurora James’s Brother Vellies is another inspiring designer that we carry; her determination to work with craftspeople in Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, and Ethiopia is truly amazing.
WWW: I know you’ve done a lot of collaborations with artists, photographers and designers—can you tell us which was your favorite and if there’s anything coming up we should be on the lookout for?
GC: Yes, I’m planning another project with my friend, artist Julia Chiang. She shows with some amazing galleries and has a lot of support from the New Museum in New York. I have a large piece of hers hung at the store that people are obsessed with. At least once a week, someone comes in and tries to buy it off of me.
WWW: You work with a lot of bloggers and influencers, including Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life, Rachel Nguyen of That’s Chic, and more. What’s the process like on those collaborations—do you style the shoots, or do they come in and put their own spin on your pieces?
GC: It’s funny; when I first got started in the fashion business, I was like, What sort of ridiculous job is this, being a professional style blogger? But as I started running my own social media and becoming friends with more bloggers, I realized I had an incredibly naïve perception of how the business of influence works and how hard it is to develop that kind of audience. It’s not just snapping some photos of yourself in front of a pink wall—becoming a fashion influencer takes way more than having a pretty face and good style. It takes immense dedication, long hours, planning, attention to detail, and people skills. There’s no rest in it. I have a lot of respect for the work that’s put into developing a personal brand, and I think I take that respect with me when I work with the bloggers. If I approach someone for a collaboration, it’s usually because I admire what they do. So usually when I work with bloggers, it’s almost like hiring an agency—I let them handle the creative because that’s what they’re good at. I may give some direction, but mostly I love seeing how they bring their own flavor to the images.
WWW: What are your most popular pieces right now, and what are the top three pieces you’re projecting will be huge this fall?
GC: People are loving sunglasses by my good friend Ahlem, our “Venice or Nowhere” collaboration with Knowlita, Henrik Vibskov’s voluminous dresses, and brass ring totes by Otaat/Myers Collective. This fall, I’m super excited about Alyx Studio’s roller coaster belts arriving (supposedly some stores have wait lists in the hundreds), Nomia’s asymmetrical knitwear, and furry cardigans from Ryan Roche.
WWW: What makes Lust Covet Desire different from other e-retailers?
GC: The most important thing to me is how LCD treats people. Everyone on my very small team treats each other, our clients, and our designers with respect and kindness. We try our best. The rest is just fashion.
Do you have any favorite sites you’d like to see featured next? Share them with us in the comments!
Opening Image: Lust Covet Desire