She currently resides in Los Angeles with Tom Bugbee and their two children.
Background and education
Monique Lhuillier was born of French and Cebuano descent from a prominent family in Philippine high society. The Lhuillier family owns a chain of pawnshops currently operating in more than a hundred cities in the country.
Her father, a French mogul, introduced her to the idea of entrepreneurship. Born and raised in the Philippines, she says much of her fashion sense comes from her Filipino mom, a former model who dressed her four children in matching outfits.
After attending boarding school in Switzerland, Lhuillier studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She met her future husband, Tom Bugbee, while she was a senior; he was an accountant.
Lhuillier and her husband founded Monique Lhuillier & Company in 1996 to rave reviews, quickly establishing the label as a leading bridal couturier. In 1999, the company launched its designer evening wear collection, which was also met with accolades. Both the bridal and evening wear collections are handmade of imported fabrics, hand-beaded laces, exquisite embroideries and the finest silk, satins and chiffons. The result is feminine, sexy, and timeless.
Luxurious fabrics, striking details and exquisite workmanship define her gown creations as trendsetting, traditional and romantic. Subsequently Lhuillier added evening wear to her line, and several of her efforts showed up on red carpets before awards shows. For the Fall 2007 season she branched off into more typical oddball runway collections.
She and her husband opened up another branch in Minneapolis, which also sells licensed shoes, bags, furs and perfumes aside from her bridal gowns and evening dresses.
She has already expanded her offerings to a complete ready-to-wear collection in addition to the ML Evening, Bridesmaids and Bliss bridal collections.
Lhuillier has also collaborated with Waterford on a tabletop collection which included fine china, stemware and giftware. She has also set up Monique Lhuillier Fine Paper in 2008. It offers a collection of wedding invitations and stationery. Her company also offers a home fragrance collection of candles and diffusers. Lhuiller also launched a signature shoe collection and bridal jewelry.
Lhuiller's stores are currently available in 140 stores through out the world, including prestigious retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Harvey Nichols. The Monique Lhuillier flagship boutiques are located in Beverly Hills and Minneapolis and most recently in New York City.
Achievements and recognition
Lhuillier has dressed many celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, Britney Spears, Sharon Stone, and Teri Hatcher. Others, like Sarah Jessica Parker, Janet Jackson, Jessica Simpson, Tyra Banks, Megan Mullally and Debra Mesing (of Will and Grace), Marg Helgenberger (of CSI), Natalie Imbruglia, Jennifer Connelly and Mariah Carey, have also been seen wearing her creations.
She made the news with two high-profile celebrity weddings in a row. She designed Christine Baumgartner's wedding dress for the fall 2004 wedding to Kevin Costner shortly after designing both of Britney Spears's wedding dresses in her wedding to Kevin Federline.
Lhuillier collaborated with Mattel to create Bride Barbie, joining the list of international designers who have designed fashions for Barbie. She is also one of the nominees in the Filipina Women's Network search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States for the category "Innovators and Thought Leaders."
She is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and is established as one of America's leading designers for women.
- 2001 Glamorous Designer Award
- 2002 Avant Garde Bridal Designer Award
- 2003 Designer of the Year Award from the Wedding Dresses Magazine
- 2006 Medal of Honor from the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
- Rodriguez, Ces. Fashion Princess, Monique Lhuiller. NEGOSYO. Quezon City: ABS-CBN Publishing, 2006.
- “Monique Lhuillier”.Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.(Accessed on 18 June 2013).