Ask any style-conscious mom-to-be to reveal her favorite maternity wear designer. You'll likely hear Liz Lange's name. From Brown University to Vogue, from her own boutiques to the Liz Lange Maternity line for Target, this fashion revolutionary and mom of two has blazed an incomparable entrepreneurial trail.
Thanks to her stylish vision and skillful designs, the “bulges” of pregnancies past, once perceived as inconveniences to be hidden, have now become the “blossoms” of pregnancies present-day, to be beautifully accentuated in modern maternity wear. Listen in as we chat with celebrity-loved designer, author, cancer survivor, philanthropist and mom, Liz Lange.
Mommy Tracked: Since we’re a mom-focused site, could I start by asking you to share a little bit about your children?
Liz Lange: My son Gus is 10 years old and my daughter Alice is 8. They are pretty typical kids. Gus loves baseball, football and guitar while Alice is all about animals (stuffed and real), drawing, and babies!
As a small girl, I adored Lucy Ricardo’s style . . . until she became pregnant with Little Ricky, that is . . . then, things seemed to go horribly, horribly awry. Could you describe a bit about what you feel were the biggest shortcomings of maternity wear of the past?
Well, we have certainly come a long way since the days when Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in separate beds and the words "pregnancy" couldn't be said on TV! And today's maternity clothing reflects that change in attitude! When I started my line 11 years ago (!!), I thought that the clothing that women wear when they are pregnant should reflect the sexy celebratory nature of pregnancy. I believed — and still do — that they should be fitted and fashionable and no different than non-maternity clothing. Believe it or not, this was a very new concept back then. All the maternity clothing back then was very oversized and tent-like. The fabrics were cheap and the designs were all babyish, almost as if the pregnant woman was turning into a baby, rather than expecting one!
What was the actual catalyst that propelled you to become a “revolutionary” in modern maternity design?
The idea for Liz Lange Maternity came before I myself had ever actually been pregnant. It was definitely on my mind as I was newly married and many of my friends were beginning to have children. I noticed that they were all always complaining that they couldn't find anything to wear and that many of them were wearing non-maternity clothing and that when they squeezed themselves into something that wasn't actually maternity that they looked better and slimmer! I had this “a-ha” moment that maternity clothing needed to be stretchy and smaller and that it needed to look exactly like regular fashion.
What was your favorite item to wear when you were expecting and why?
I lived in little dresses when I was pregnant and I still do. I was pregnant over the summer with both pregnancies and dresses were so comfortable. I find them the easiest way to dress in general as when you throw a dress on it will take you anywhere!