Students are in for a treat when TV star and style icon Lydia Bright brings her fashion boutique to The Mall in Luton tomorrow.
For one night only, Bella Sorella, which Lydia runs with her sister Georgia Bright, will be in Luton offering students a massive 60 per cent discount.
The Essex-based boutique sells vintage-inspired clothing, prom dresses and quirky homeware and gifts, inspired by the sisters’ lifelong love of fashion and shopping.
Speaking to the Luton News, former TOWIE star Lydia said: “We jumped at the chance to bring a pop-up shop to The Mall for student lock-in night. It’s really good to be able to introduce more people to our store. Rather than them coming to Essex, we come to them.”
Named after the Italian for ‘beautiful sister’ in recognition of the sisters’ heritage, the boutique has been on tour over the summer with pop-up shops appearing everywhere from Liverpool to Brighton.
The girls wanted to visit as many places as possible, so when the tour ended they contacted towns they hadn’t managed to fit in to see if they could do one-off pop-up events.
Bella Sorella at The Mall will be filled with new season stock, all discounted for students.
Lydia said: “I’m absolutely loving tartan at the moment, we’ve got a lot of that in for autumn, as well as velvet as that always does well in the winter, staple black dresses and everyday stuff. We can’t bring everything from our shop because it’s massive but we’re trying to showcase one of most things.
“I would advise students to come because online the same stock will be full price. It’s good to introduce some new people to the brand but if people see something they like they should snap it up because it’s such a good discount.”
Lydia certainly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion and is constantly photographed by national magazines and newspapers for her unique style.
Lydia said: “I just really love fashion, it’s always been something I have really enjoyed so I never feel much pressure [now I’m photographed]. It’s part of me, I love the process of getting up in the morning and deciding what to wear. I have a whole dressing room at home that’s my massive wardrobe, and I’m always raiding the shop. Whenever I get new stock I make sure I take one of everything to keep in the stock room so if I’ve got an event and need something to wear I can just pick it out.”
The sisters, who were born just 13 months apart, have always been close, but have very different styles.
Lydia said: “I am very into my vintage clothes, 1950s styles and I love standing out and experimenting with my dress sense. Georgia plays it safe and tends to wear a lot of tailoring. She’s a Zara girl, wearing pencil skirts, jackets and more traditional clothes. We work really well together because when we’re buying for the store I get a bit carried away, I will buy all dresses and ballgowns, totally over the top, but my sister is the one who brings me back to reality so we balance each other out.”
Before starting Bella Sorella, Georgia worked for the NHS as team leader for a Day Surgery, Endoscopy and Lithotripsy unit.
Lydia said: “Me and my sister are really really close and it’s amazing we have set a business up together. We’ve experienced all the highs and lows and it’s great to be able to share that with someone that I really love.
“We do argue but because we’re sisters we can sort it out straight away. If you have a business partner you would feel a bit cautious about how to deal with it, you might worry about there being friction afterwards, but with a sister you can argue and then it’s swept under the carpet and you can move on. We’ve argued since birth so we know how to handle it.”
Lydia found fame as a main character on ITV2 reality series TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) which she was in from 2010 for three series, making a brief appearance again in series nine.
She said: “I would never say never about going back to TOWIE. It’s just a case of timing and it’s the wrong timing at the moment because things are so chaotic with the store, my designing, my radio stuff. I don’t have the time to focus on TOWIE, but if the time came when I wanted to then I might do.”
The new series of the show started last night with a special called The Only Way Is Vegas.
Lydia said: “I still watch it, I haven’t seen the Vegas episode yet but I will watch it today. It’s strange but it’s nice because we used to watch it when the public did, we never go to see it before so we were always really nervous, not knowing what was going to air, how you would look in an argument, whose side the viewers would take. It’s nice to sit back and watch it now without that feeling.”
In the meantime, Lydia and Georgia have Bella Sorella to focus on.
Lydia said: “It’s so much hard work but I really enjoy it. I always knew it would be hard work, but it really does take over your life. If you are passionate about something you are willing to put as much into it as you can. It’s all worth it because it’s paid off. In your own business no one is going to work as hard as you so you give it your all.”
Celebrity friends including Denise Van Outen and Danielle Lloyd are often snapped in Bella Sorella designs.
Lydia said: “I am very lucky that they support me. I would love it if an A-lister wore my brand, but I am honoured when any one, celeb or non-celeb, wears my clothes. Whenever I see someone in a nightclub in my brand, it’s such a lovely feeling.”
Don’t miss your chance to snap up some Bella Sorella bargains at The Mall tomorrow night.
Students can register for their exclusive invitation at www.themall.co.uk/lutonstudents.
The night will also see a performance from Britain’s Got Talent star Jordan O’Keefe, a live DJ from Liquid & Envy plus exclusive offers, promotions and one-off discounts from stores around the centre.