Brigitte Sharp is the founder and creative director of, Lou, a luxury footwear label based in Austin, Texas and made in Los Angeles. Keep reading for the full feature below...
If you're new to this series, you're in for a treat today. Brigitte Sharp is a new friend here in Austin. She's also the kind of person that whether you bump into her waiting in line in 100-degree-heat at Pool Burger with toddler on her hip or cross paths during a lunch meeting at Swedish Hill, she always looks effortlessly chic. I wasn't at all surprised when I first saw the boots she designs for line, Lou, that they were equally as understated, chic, and timeless. Keep reading for Brigitte's daily uniform, plus the tips she gives for new moms struggling with their own sense of personal style... (Also, she's offering TEC readers 20% off their purchases with the code CHIC20-- lucky us!)
Jen Pinkston: Tell us about yourself! What’s your name, where do you live, who do you live with, what do you do?
Brigitte Sharp: Hello! My name is Brigitte Sharp. I live in Austin, TX with my husband, Spencer, and our 22-month-old daughter, Simone. I’m the founder and designer of Lou, a new women’s footwear label that is produced in Los Angeles, CA out of sustainably sourced Italian leather.
Your brand, Lou, feels so unique which is hard to say about many brands. It feels of another time and yet fresh and modern. What skills did you bring from your past experiences when starting Lou and what skills did you learn along the way?
Thank you! That is quite the compliment. My background is in apparel and accessories product development and production. Before creating Lou, I spent almost a decade working behind-the-scenes for fashion brands, both big and small. Throughout those years, I gained an in-depth knowledge on how to develop product from ideation through final production. Knowing how to source raw materials, find the right suppliers, develop lasting relationships with factories and understand pricing, really allowed me to build the foundation for Lou.
Not unlike most small business owners, there have been many skills I had to learn (and am still learning) along the way! Lou is a young, independent brand, so without having access to a full team, I’ve had to learn everything from digital and email marketing, to social media planning, and sales. It was quite a steep learning curve, but I learn best through doing, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Aside from dropping my daughter off at school and starting my day with a coffee, my work day varies. At the moment, my days are divided between design, development and marketing. One day I may be pulling new materials for an upcoming collection, or sketching ideas for new styles. Another day may be spent organizing my monthly marketing calendar, planning Lou’s social media schedule, or working with the factory on sampling. After years of working in a structured office environment, I’ve learned to love and appreciate having more flexibility with my schedule.
Tell us about your daily uniform:
Usually, it’s a pair of high-waisted trousers or vintage denim paired with a simple tee or white blouse. However, I’m expecting our second child, so my daily uniform has recently undergone some changes! I like to keep my look simple and stream-lined, opting for a black jersey tank dress that’s both comfortable and versatile. To elevate the look, I add a structured blazer (I’m constantly on the hunt for great vintage blazers) and my Simone boots for day or Eva mules for night. Since I’m always on the go or wrangling a toddler, I keep my jewelry simple. I recently inherited some beautiful vintage gold chains and a pair of small gold hoops from my mother, and I never take off my diamond initial “S” necklace from ERTH jewelry.
How has your style evolved? Did it look different in New York than it does in Austin? Did it change after becoming a mom?
I like to think that my personal style will constantly evolve as I continue to mature and enter new life phases. When I was in my early twenties, I was much more consumed with the latest trends, and I played around a lot more with color and patterns. When you’re young, I think it’s important to experiment and make mistakes to figure out what style and aesthetic fits your personality and lifestyle the best. Over the years, I’ve learned which type of silhouette works best with my body type, and I now lean towards a much cleaner, classic look. Although I keep my make-up minimal for day, its one area where I’ve always had fun experimenting. I love a bold lip color, especially bright red, and I’m not afraid to sport winged eye-liner or a deep burgundy lip hue at night.
When I was living in New York, I was much more of a shopper. This was probably a reflection of the lifestyle I was living, and the fact that it was hard to resist the temptation of having every amazing brand and store at your disposal! Since I was working in an office and went out a lot in the evenings, my style was a bit more dressed-up. After moving to Austin and becoming a mom, I’ve learned to embrace the laid-back vibe of the city (although it was hard at first!), and I now truly appreciate the need for a uniform. I simply no longer have the luxury of time to contemplate an outfit for an hour before getting dressed.
Moving three times in three years has forced me to edit my wardrobe on a continual basis. I’ve learned that having endless options creates too much noise and makes the daily task of getting dressed much harder. I stick to a neutral color palette and lean towards minimal, menswear inspired pieces. When I travel to LA for work, the city brings out the bohemian side of me, so I usually pack more feminine/romantic blouses, lots of denim, my favorite Simone boots, and a white sneaker.
What’s the one thing you own in multiple color ways?
I own lots of things in multiple colors! I own both styles, the Simone boot and Eva mule, from my debut collection for Lou in every color, and they are in constant rotation in my wardrobe. My vision when designing for Lou was to create a foundation of two essential styles that you would cherish and build on season after season. For the warmers months, I keep multiples of simple cotton tees and silk or linen button down shirts. In the winter, I reach for my classic crew-neck cashmere sweaters. I try to buy at least one new color every year, because they never go out of style.
What’s one thing we will never find you wearing?
Never say never, but you’ll be hard pressed to find me wearing a strapless dress any time soon.
What’s one thing you would tell a new mom struggling with her sense of personal style?
First, take a deep breath and cut yourself some slack. Learning how to dress your body when it is constantly changing shape is incredibly frustrating, and it’s easy to feel defeated. My one piece of advice would be to go back to the basics. Find one article of clothing from your wardrobe that works for your body, and build from there. Don’t be shy about repeating a look (its also the most sustainable way to dress…) if it makes you feel good about yourself. Becoming a new mom is all consuming, so streamlining your decision-making process when getting dressed will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary stress. Luckily, more clothing brands are starting to emerge that cater to mothers. I invested in a black linen kimono top from Austin-based label Chapter Goods, and I love that it not only accommodates my growing mid-section, but I’ll be able to wear it when nursing, too.
Photography of Brigitte Sharp by Taylor Prinsen
PS. To shop Lou at 20% off, use code CHIC20 at checkout!