Bordeaux in France is not where Laetitia Trouillet wanted to spend her days. After studying art history there she packed her bags and went to live in London. During this time Laetitia went on holiday to Morocco and struck on the idea to create a range of leathergoods and accessories. And so Lalla was born. At first she sold her range in Portobello Market and a range of boutiques, including Paul&Joe and CocoRibbon. But after receiving a large order from Topshop, Laetitia made the decision to move to Morocco. She’s been based there since 2005. While her wares are available at her boutique in Marrakech, Lalla is stocked in a range of stores around the world.
Which five words best describe you? Happy. "Bohemian". Mum. Lalla. Marrakech.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I've never thought about my work in terms of career... it was more like: “What could I do to live in an exciting place and have the best lifestyle!?!” After studying History of Art in Bordeaux, I moved to London seeking adventure. A holiday trip to Morocco inspired me to produce my own bags and accessories that I sold at Portobello Market every Friday. Quickly after that, my label was born: “Lalla”. Lalla means “Madame” in Arabic. A big order for Topshop got me to move from London to Marrakech where I’ve been based since 2005. My agent at this time, the clever Margot Davies, suggested that I set up a “Sourcing & Shopping” service for people such as fashion buyers, interior designers or stylists. My new activity as Shopping Consultant got me very well-known as Marrakech is such a fantastic shopping destination. I really enjoyed meeting and helping all my clients, but I had neglected my Lalla designs a bit. So in 2009, I decided to open my own Lalla boutiques and Studio in the Red City. Today, after years of consulting for other people, I am concentrating on my Lalla label again with lots of exciting projects coming soon.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Believe in yourself. Make it happen. Be optimistic. Learn from your mistakes. Be nice to people. Listen to wise advice. And more than anything, don't take yourself too seriously, and have fun!
What’s your proudest career achievement? A few years back, seeing my Lalla bags worn by strangers in the streets of Paris or London and thinking, “Oh, so there are people who actually bought my bags and they’re not my mum’s friends. They didn’t buy my Lalla bags just to be kind to me.
What’s been your best decision? Leaving my hometown Bordeaux and following my instincts.
Who inspires you? People who follow their dreams.
What are you passionate about? My family. Travelling and discovering new places and cultures.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I'm lucky to meet a lot of interesting people through my job and lifestyle. I would like this to continue.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? That my children become happy and open-minded grown-ups.
What are you reading? For the last five years, children’s books every night.