>> Luella Bartley folded her Luella label last November — and while she says she doesn't know what's next, she's sure that the Luella girl isn't gone. “My lifestyle changed, but she stayed, which is nice,” Bartley — who has been living full-time in the Cornwall farmhouse she shares with her photographer boyfriend, David Sims, and their three children, since Luella shuttered — explains. She adds that her next step may not be about dressing the Luella girl — she's thinking of turning her into a graphic novel.
Bartley doesn't seem torn up about the end of the label, for which she had to commute daily into London. “It’s a difficult thing, being a woman, trying to have a successful business, be creative and do the best by your family. I sold it to myself that I could do it all,” she tells the Times UK. “You can, but not the way my business was set up. It was set up for the old me. Maybe I was moving away from that life without realising it.”
“To anybody urban and creative, it obviously sounds like a drop-out situation,” she continues. “Letting go has been the biggest lesson. I used to think that if someone wasn’t successful, it was because they were crap, but now I realise that if people aren’t successful, it’s probably because they aren’t that bothered . . . You think that everyone’s going to forget who you are. But I had a chat with Phoebe [Philo, the creative director of Céline], who I admire so much. She took three years out and made sure her kids were secure. Then, when she was ready, she got the deal she wanted. You’ve just got to know what you want. I know I’ve done the right thing. I don’t mourn anything. I loved what it was, but I’m happy to be out."