Eliza J head designer Julia has been working in the fashion industry for 15 years with names such as Elie Tahari, Betsy Johnson and David Worn prior to taking over Eliza J. The better dress market is her niche, and for the past 5 years the identity of Eliza J has truly reflected her aesthetic. The collection offers vivid color and a charming femininity with little dressmaker detailing that makes the pieces truly special. The looks embody the essence of brands like Milly, Alice & Olivia, Tibi and DVF, but have a friendlier price point with most pieces under $200. The company produces tremendous volume, with dresses for every occasion, from bridal to beachwear! In addition to 500+ specialty boutiques, Eliza J also sells at major retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s, and have done private labels for companies such as White House Black Market and Victoria’s Secret.
The keys to Eliza J’s widespread success are the color, prints, fit, and attention to details. Anyone from a mother of the bride to a sorority girl can find the perfect dress because of these elements! Julia’s right-hand man is Tyrone, who has played an immense role in shaping the company for the past one and a half years that he has been here. Tyrone is a graduate of Suffolk University and Parsons, and has worked with David Rodriguez, Derek Lam, and Armani Exchange before landing at Eliza J. As a designer, the team stresses that you have to pay your dues, and with all the experience behind these talents, I deem the dues paid! Julia explains that you will not get rich quick as an emerging designer, and you have to LOVE what you are doing to make the 11pm-at-the-studio weekends bearable. It also takes a versatile and mature personality to be able to take the criticism that comes with this industry.
One of the ways the design team stays inspired is the streets of New York City! “There is such diversity on the streets that you can get a lot of homework done by people watching,” explains Julia. As far is this team is concerned, this city is THE place to be when working with fashion. Another interesting fact that differentiates Eliza J from the competition is how they have their own in-house sample room! As our discussion came to a close, I asked what we will be seeing from Eliza J in the near future. The team is excited about the strong colors, lace, peplum, fabric mixing, and the continuation of floral and geometric patterns that they have in store for the upcoming season. Below is a sneak peak of the new collection straight from the showroom in the heart of the fashion district!