“Lie Down I Think I Love You”: interview with Emily Trotter

If you walk down Amwell Street in Barnsbury, London, you won’t help but notice what may be the strangest yet catchiest name for a shop. Lie Down, I Think I Love You is Barnsbury’s best-kept secret that can be found in a quiet Victorian road near Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Featured in magazines such as Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan, as well as in last year’s November “Fashion’s 100 Hottest” list in Grazia, this one-of-a-kind label is quite the success story, attracting wholehearted fans all the way from Italy and Japan.

The duo behind Lie Down I think I Love You: Emily Trotter and Lisa Dulieu Smith

Behind the label is the duo Emily Trotter, the designer who provides the creative input, and Lisa Dulieu Smith, her business partner, who makes Emily’s ideas come to life. After completing an MA at Central St. Martins, Emily launched the accessories brand with Lisa in 2006: “Me and Lisa had collaborated previously on another project, so we knew we worked well together,” Emily said, “and the idea of doing a label ‘made in London’ definitely brought us closer.”

Lie Down, I Think I Love You has been steadily growing into a global brand but was originally created to go against designer mass production and banal accessories. “Our ethos is to create romantic, non-disposable accessories which last more than a season,” said Emily.

The two London-girls also emphasize the importance of working closely with British-based craftsmen to create a true British product: “Localised production is very important for us. Me and Lisa have both worked abroad and we felt it was time to give some credit to local manufacturers. It’s nice to give something back.”

The label’s shop opened in April 2009 and Lie Down, I Think I Love You has been selling worldwide ever since. Emily said: “We’ve been very well received outside the UK and we’re extremely proud of our export market. I think we knew we were getting somewhere when we won the UK Trade and Export Award.” What is it that makes the label stand out? “Definitely colour,” said Emily, “and the fact that we use framed bags, an old technique that not a lot of other people use anymore.”

The brand's shop in Barnsbury, Islington (London)

Working with the motto “less is more”, Lie Down, I Think I Love uses customised vintage fabrics with modern shapes on its trademark accessories. Only a few key models are created each season and all of them incorporate a different silk scarf into the signature design: “Every bag we do is a one-off, no two are the same.”

The brand is usually associated with eccentricity and romanticism but Emily thinks the perfect words to describe it are “bubbly, fun and quality”. Oh, and was it not clear? “‘Lie down, I think I love you’ is a saying from the 60s, a bit like ‘Make love, not war’,” Emily explained. “We chose this name for our label because it’s gentle, nostalgic and whimsical, just like our creations.”

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