EXCLUSIVE! Fashion designer Lili Sidonio is writing her own style rules (and giving amaze advice)
Raise your hand if you've ever dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. Everyone? Thought so.
Whether you've always imagined hosting a New York Fashion Week runway show or hoped to rock your *own* designs in your next #OOTD TikTok, get ready for ~major~ inspiration from Lili Sidonio.
Lili's been crafting her own looks for years and we couldn't be more obsessed. We got all the deets when it comes to the behind-the-scenes of designing her own line—and the advice she's giving to any teen girl dreaming of style stardom, too.
Girls' Life: How did you get your start in fashion?
Lili Sidonio: I grew up in a very fashion-focused environment. Before founding Molly Bracken in 2008, both my parents worked in American sportswear. I've always looked up to my mom and loved doing things with her, so when she created the Mini Molly collection around the time I was 8 years old, I got involved in the design process and even modeled for our seasonal campaigns.
At around 14 years old, I grew too old for Mini Molly, yet too young to wear Molly Bracken, so I decided to design my own collection that catered to girls my age. My mom's passion for design definitely rubbed off on me. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
GL: And what inspires you when it comes to creating each design?
Lili: A lot of what I design is inspired by the women around me—keeping things timeless and comfortable yet trendy. It's important to me that each piece brings me joy and excites me. From neutral tones to bright colors, there's something for everyone in each of my collections. As someone who adores vintage shopping, I also apply retro references to my garments to set them apart from the crowd.
GL: Yes, love a retro moment! Is there a particular style era that you heart?
Lili: Personally, I'm a big fan of the '80s. With the success of shows like Stranger Things that bring back the '80s and '90s, I think that we'll continue to see those vintage-inspired pieces trend this winter. My Fall Winter collection was inspired by the [1979 French comedy] film Les Bronzés font du ski, where the characters spend their holiday in a French ski station and sport flashy puffer jackets layered over sweaters with loud graphic prints and tight leather-like trousers. I gave the style a fresh, modern twist.
GL: Outside of your own designs, what fashion trends excite you most this season?
Lili: While runway fashion is beautiful, it's street style that encompasses everything I love about fashion. It's fascinating to me to walk down a busy city street and see hundreds of unique styles—even if two people are wearing the same piece of clothing, they can style it completely differently. I love that fashion allows everyone to have their own voice.
GL: As someone who's been designing since you were a teen, what's one piece of advice you'd give your younger self?
Lili: That it's OK to be like my mom! Since we're both designers, growing up I was always so determined to set myself apart and to be super eccentric. It did help grow my personal style and how I dress today—but I realized that liking similar things as her doesn't mean I'm not unique. My mom has been a huge example and source of inspiration for me, in fashion and in life. She's not afraid to stay true to herself, take risks or play with color—all things that I strive for.
GL: Love those words of wisdom! Anything else you'd want to impart to aspiring designers everywhere?
Lili: Plain and simple: Be yourself. Design for yourself. Trends come and go and they can be a great source of inspiration, but it's important to stay true to your style. Don't bind yourself to fashion rules since they change and evolve—make your own.