By Xina Giatas
A woman of impeccable taste, Lisa Harbottle runs her bespoke, custom womenswear line, Revelle, out of Los Angeles, CA.
Inspired closely by the women in her life and their everyday lives, Lisa cultivated a clientele that helped her develop her real purpose in the fashion field; beautiful, custom pieces designed with integrity.
Revelle’s pieces are made-to-order and produced with sustainable materials in the USA. Working in this responsible, individual way lends itself to a personal connection between Lisa and her audience, only further inspiring her to create with intent.
My favorite quote of hers, “When clothing is truly made for an individual woman, it creates a feeling that is undeniable and a value that can never be compromised.”
How would you best describe the quintessential Revelle woman?
I always love this question and I equally love when I can spot a Revelle woman out in the crowd. She is one who prefers classic, clean and simple designs which have a touch of sophistication, a touch of glamour and are all softly feminine. She chooses pieces that are comfortable for her to wear and live in, finding that comfort allows her to be the best version of herself. She is a woman who loves to be one of a few to own something incredible and that makes her distinctive, refined and timeless.
Where and how do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere whether it’s a particularly interesting color combination seen out in the wild, a beautiful abstract piece of art or a woman walking down the street and imagining what I would dress her in. It is also simply the fabric - the drape or the color, often the fabric always tells me what it wants to be.
How did you first become interested in design?
It’s always been a part of me. I’ve been sewing and making clothing since age 6, equally I’ve played piano. I always knew that I might become one or the other and after an attempt at becoming a professional pianist, I knew quickly that what I could do for the world was fashion. What I kept for myself was music.
In your past you were an intimates designer. What was the transition like from intimates to custom ready to wear?
For a long time I made custom clothing privately alongside designing lingerie. I didn’t get the chance to design those custom pieces, it was always what the client wanted, so being a bit burnt out from making dresses, lingerie was exciting and fun to design - it made me giggle. I always knew I’d start my own clothing company someday, where I would be what we call now the maker - which is both design and creation. It was years of thinking I’d start planning for it and then one day life happened and Revelle began with a sweatshirt. Now it’s all I do.
Who is your dream person to dress in head to toe Revelle?
It’s someone who no one will know and that’s why I feel she’s so special. I met this woman a few years ago and she had such a profound impact on my personal style and taste. She changed everything for me by just being herself. I’d never met anyone like her before and the way she wore her clothes, the way she was herself in those clothes, I can only hope to bring that feeling with every piece I design to each individual woman who chooses to wear them. She’s not my dream person to dress. For me, it would be the highest honor if she chose my pieces to wear on her own. This woman, she just had…style, and you always stopped to look at her when she walked in the room.
How has e-commerce changed the way you design custom pieces?
E-commerce has exposed Revelle to such a large audience with many private custom size requests. A good portion of this year has been testing a new program with a few private clients to make this a public offering on my site next year. Composing this program has taken time because it requires much more communication than just plugging in numbers on an order form and because it’s only me over here, I want it to feel like you are working with me and not a machine. Stay tuned!
As a responsible line, how does Revelle commit to sustainability and ethical production?
There are many ways - from the fabric, to how the fabric is produced or dyed. The production end - pricing every piece with respect to my time for creation. Small, exclusive collections to not produce any waste. Finally, which is equally important in my opinion - being able to offer a practice where the customer is able to select their exact measurements for my pieces which results in the purchase of a few items per year that fit perfectly vs. purchasing several dozen from others that don’t fit perfectly. My impact at Revelle extends far further than my personal output. It has also changed the shopping habits of some of my Clients, and that has a sustainable impact as well.
Where do you see Revelle in ten years?
Definitely an extension of where I am now - I would love to have some help with a small team, and I’d love to be able to begin creating my own sustainable fabric with local mills. If I could have a space that was large enough to create and have a small store with everything under one roof, that would be amazing. Wishing on some lucky stars for that someday.
How do you spend your free time, if ever you have any?
You will find me in the kitchen with my nose in a cookbook and always a bit extra butter in the pan, or outside in our garden with more wild animals to feed than you can probably dream of, for someone who lives in Los Angeles.
Further peruse all that is Revelle at -