Claudia Lambeth’s entrepreneurship began at the tender age of 6, when she sold coloured soaps to members of her family. At 22, she became founder and CEO of Luna Mae, the most exclusive lingerie brand in the world. Her first sale? A bustier made for an employee of American Vogue, who then gave it to Valentino to build a wedding dress around.
On Wednesday evening OxWIB welcomed Claudia as the first speaker in a three-week series. Claudia immediately captured our attention with her infectious energy and vivaciousness. She studied law at King’s College London but fashion was always the endgame: university years were spent chasing after internships, fashion journalism jobs and courses at the London College of Fashion. She recognised the importance of lingerie as an intimate, subtle way of empowering women about their bodies and themselves, and decried the male dominance of a women’s industry. Now, Claudia is a top fashion designer, with a law degree to fall back on.
When asked about her success, she tells us, ‘It’s persistence; it’s not quitting. Know that the quality is there and remain patient.’ She speaks about compromise: at such a price point you can’t stock inventory. Sales are by appointment only. With just two years of sales Claudia competed against 12 big brands to win a retail space in Belgravia, opening Luna Mae’s flagship store just last month. She bought it first and googled how to open up a shop later.
Claudia encourages young women to use any negative energy in the industry to push them further. It’s not all bad: she tells us that ‘being young, being female and being an entrepreneur, people are excited to help you.’
She quotes Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence’. At Luna Mae, on CBBC, and even on Wednesday in Trinity College, Claudia Lambeth has certainly lived up to that.