At an extremely young age, armed with nothing more than sheer determinism and very few bucks she had saved along the way, the always fiercely independent Lala left the town she had called home. She landed In NYC with no clue where she would go, no apartment, no hook ups or any friends, so a cabbie with a hustle took young Lala to Central Park West where she stayed in an over-priced hotel for a few days.
Riding the train home from her very first day of a new job, she watched the literal masses of women with their sneakers on, heels in tote bags and looks of disdain on each and every one of their faces for a day spent not their own. She quit her job that very afternoon, vowing that if she were to work that hard everyday, and she had no problem working hard, she would do it for herself.
That was over a decade ago.
People say that what one is meant to do is always right in front of you, and not to say it was easy, but Lala had found her calling in fashion. She quickly started 2 Funky Chicks and designed a line of tee shirts with custom sayings—before everyone was doing this very same thing—and within a year Lala had received press usually reserved for heavy hitters and people in the game longer than her tender one year fashion career.
When the other Funky Chick left, without hesitation Lala reformed Funky Lala and within the next year she was designing for Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, The Fashion Awards, Hugo Boss, Saks, Lucky magazine, Ricky Martin, MTV, Allure and many others, with press to match her list of who’s who in fashion.
In August of 2001 Lala was on a much needed vacation when a market editor from Saks Fifth Avenue called her after seeing her in Daily Candy. Saks Fifth Avenue commissioned her to take designer denim and customize it into couture pieces, a project that was interrupted by the tragic events of September 11th.
Lala changed her theme to an American spirit inspired motif that would be the first display to occupy the famed fall Saks’ windows that had been empty and unlit as a sign of respect post 9/11. The exhibit would stay in the windows for three weeks making a memorable statement of patriotism in fall fashion. The couture denim went on eBay with the profits dedicated to Auction for America.
Lala continued working on freelance design projects for Hugo Boss, Marie Claire, Lucky Magazine and others including another charity project with Saks Fifth Avenue designing for the CFDA Fashion for America Breast Cancer Event that raised money for research.
Designing her first full line (LaMa, co-designed with M Shop), she began to offer event and fashion show production services. Relying on only herself—as she had done every day since her first in New York—she managed all aspects of her events from creation and production through marketing, branding and public relations.
Through Funky Lala Productions, Lala offered consulting and all of the services to the newest most talented young designers and companies and fashion elite. These services include a full public relations firm, fashion business consulting, and services from business creation and development, through manufacturing and production all the way to sales campaigns, strategies, events and product launches.
Giving back and teaching the things her experience in the fashion industry has taught her, she teaches workshops nationwide on the business of fashion and marketing, branding and PR as well as guest lecturing at Parsons The New School For Design in New York.
As for the name, Angela Lowe is Funky Lala. When she was 2 or 3, her sister, Charisse, could not say Angela and started calling her big sister Lala. Anyway it stuck and now everyone calls her that.
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Visionary Diva Questions:
1. What was the best decision you made in your life?
Moving to NYC when I knew no one, had no plans and just did it.
2. What is your most memorable travel moment?
I traveled to London for the first time with a rock star and friends. My quickest trip overseas was to Italy for a wedding. Also touring Israel by Air in a helicopter was amazing! The birds of Kauai and the Arabian desert and the sounds of the sand outside of Dubai. There are so many!
3. What was the worst travel experience you had?
It takes a lot for a travel experience to be bad for me, but anytime my luggage is lost I am not happy!
4. What have you learned about yourself through traveling?
I have learned a few things—one, that I am not afraid to just get up and go, even solo, and that I am not really attached to any one experience of traveling. I love people, ALL people. Also that I miss my dogs and cats completely and that I must come home and nuzzle them.
5. If you could choose your ultimate travel companion, living or dead,
real or imaginary, who would it be?
My girlfriend, Lizzy. She is adventurous and understands that while I love roughing it I also love to have doses of luxury mixed in my travel.
6. What moment in your life did you feel the most alive?
When I was a kid, my aunt and I took a road trip through the North Dakota and South Dakota. I was maybe 7 and I was standing on top of a huge mountain and all I saw was water, sky and beautiful fields, and I remember thinking that life was full of possibility and everything was beautiful and that the world was my oyster!
7. If money and time were no object, where on earth would you go?
All around the earth with my top spots. A trip to Africa—all around it. To see the glaciers and hope the world gets hip to the fact we need to figure out a way to keep them. I am going to Shanghai this spring though, should be fun!
8. Who is your hero?
It sounds cliché but my MOM. She is everything to me and taught me my work ethic.
9. Name a place in the world that you know a lot about. Dubai
10. And finally a word from our Featured Diva, you in your own words- give
us a stirring, Diva-worthy battle cry for women everywhere to hear!
Ladies, I tell everyone this: that anyone can do anything they want. I come form a very humble beginning and came to NYC, started a fashion company, dress celebrities, trend spot on tv, design for a living, guest at Parson’s and around the nation and a slew of other things, and I learned everything just from doing it. Do not think you need to have tons of money or even a formal education to do what you want—all you need to do is do it. Like Nike says…Just do it!
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