Loya, interior designer and fearless fashion experimenter.

Lucinda Loya is telling us how to create an outfit, picking up this, that, another thing, and “absolutely this pair of bold platforms.” We are in her overstuffed but organized closet, somewhere in the Memorial area.

“I like to take two things that don’t go together,” she declares, scanning the closet—a massive collection of clothing and accessories—until she eyes a brown-and-nude printed dress. She holds it up to the shoes. “Like that!” She sees a necklace and throws that into the mix as well. “See how those go together? The nude on the dress and the nude on the shoe? The green on the shoe and the green on the necklace? I never thought it would go together, but there it is. It does!”

This is typical of Loya, an interior designer who chooses an outfit for a luncheon in the same way that she outfits a client’s home: by collecting like a curator and experimenting fearlessly. Case in point, her backward shirt. 

What made you turn your shirt backward?

I had a meeting before the shoot that ran over. I had to come back home to change, dry my hair, and drive—I was 45 minutes late! I grabbed pants that I thought would look great while standing, then I pulled out six shirts and I was like, “This? This? This? This?” As I was putting it on, I thought, “Maybe it would be better backward,” so I flipped it. And it worked! That top was $1,000, by Marc Le Bihan—I cut the tag out just so I could wear it backward. 

What else are you wearing?

Dsquared2 trousers,  Proenza Schouler shoes, GUCCI earrings, and my Hermès cuff—a staple.

How does your work as a designer influence your personal style?

Where you live or what you wear, it’s all about your surroundings. When you go out into the world, what you wear communicates things to others. When you invite people in your home, you’re representing yourself on a larger scale. My wardrobe is full of classic lines with edgy details. With home design, it’s clean lines with character. 

What’s your favorite thing in your wardrobe?

I love a great cuff—or two! I love a great pair of earrings or a cool buckle. I’m all about accessories—I love accessories. They can tie anything together. It’s the same with interiors, you can take two things and add things to make them belong. 

Any fashion pet peeves?

I think leopard is overdone. It should come in small doses—if at all. I do have some leopard, but I’m very particular about the way I wear it. I don’t think it’s for everybody. And it has to be age-appropriate. I think that, for the most part, the only people that look good in lots of leopard are young girls.

You have a wardrobe full of unique, eclectic things—why do you collect instead of shopping seasonally?

When you collect, you’re not buying Gucci, and then it becomes last year’s Gucci. Being on trend is too much work. You have to have an open mind. I’ve purchased things in the boy’s department of the Gap. I’ve found some really cool pieces at this headbanger store in New York. I don’t care about the label. I care about quality, but I don’t discriminate. You can’t get a really cool pair of ripped-up jeans at Neiman Marcus. 

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