The phones at Suzanne Juul's Beverly Hills offices have been ringing a lot over the last couple of weeks, ever since the designer's circular scarves, called "eternity shawls," appeared on the neck of teenage media sensation Mary-Kate Olsen.
"I am eccentric and I take risks. I walk about Beverly Hills in my pajamas," said Juul, who just started designing three years ago. "I'm someone who does what they want and feels comfortable doing, and I think that is what the Bobo fashion scene is."
The Bobo or "Bohemian Bourgeois" look appears shopworn, but it's not cheap. Juul's mohair knit shawl sells for $160 at high-end shops like the Los Angeles boutique Shop Intuition.
It's the fashion counterpart to the Bobo lifestyle, which has been described as a blend of consumerism and counterculture.
"It is about being big time, and at the same time being artsy," said Mark Tango, a Malibu designer who creates T-shirts worn by Olson that retail for about $100 and sometimes are made with holes and rips. "It is not a cheap style. It's really deliberate."
Olsen's recent spread in The New York Times Sunday Styles section wasn't the first time a Juul creation has been worn by celebrities. A poncho she designed was worn by Lisa Rinna of "Days of Our Lives" fame on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and Mary Hart sported Juul's mohair swing coat on "Entertainment Tonight."
But this one has had the biggest impact, with more stores showing an interest in carrying the scarf-like shawls.
* The full version of this story is available in the March 21 edition of the Los Angeles Business Journal.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.