Tallulah Willis' Debut Clothing Line Features Her Own Artwork as a Way to Foster Mental Health
"I want my brand to be synonymous with safety, with awareness, with sensitivity, with kindness," Tallulah Willis tells PEOPLE of her new summer collection
Tallulah Willis is taking the phrase "look good, feel good" to a whole new level.
The famous daughter of actress Demi Moore and actor Bruce Willis, just debuted the summer collection of her brand new clothing line, Wyllis, a carefully curated line that features feminine dresses, butterfly-print pants, bold Hawaiian shirts — and each design has an unexpected, but very important, focus: mental health.
Items in the collection (which debuted with a soft launch earlier this year) feature Willis’ artwork as a way to promote mental health awareness and self-empowerment, aspects that are the crux of her brand.
"I want it to be an extension of myself," Willis, 26, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I think that when you do a personally named brand, there is a closer connection because it's who you are."
Willis explains that her "ethos as a person is to be kind, gentle, compassionate and sensitive" so she wanted to incorporate those qualities into tangible elements in her line. "Because of my own journey and my own struggles with mental health and how closely it resonates with me, and this is a very widespread, universal issue of well-being. I felt that it was something really, really important to touch on and create visibility on [in the line]. I want my brand to be synonymous with safety, with awareness, with sensitivity, with kindness."
So in addition to creating pieces with empowering statements (like the phrases "Laugh With Me Buddy" and "Nothing Like Feeling Super Vulnerable") she also included the numbers to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline on a tag inside each garment.
"It was really important for me because I have personally been actively suicidal and know that feeling very well and know the feeling of being alone in those moments," Willis says, mentioning her time in a treatment center for drugs and alcohol in 2014. "And this brand really was truly birthed from a deep, dark time in my life where I did feel alone."
She continues: "Anyone who is close with me knows that I'm very, very vocal about my journey. I'm very open and vocal to kind of talking about these subjects of trauma and healing. And it becomes quite paramount in my adult life as a topic. So I really wanted to see if this visibility could help others. That's my hope."
Willis also hopes her designs serve as a way for people to fully express their moods, no matter how different they may be. "I have always loved clothes and this idea of transformation with each day," she shares. "Each day you can be someone new. You can kind of inhabit a different vibe just based on the different pieces you're wearing. I'm all over the map sometimes, it's not one style."
She explains that she didn't want her line to represent a status symbol in society (like certain branding or luxury brands put forth) but instead be a means of communicating moods. "You're getting to know me by seeing that I'm wearing a really bright, loud printed shirt. And maybe that means that I'm trying to be bright and loud today. Clothes and fashion, they can be an armor, they can be a protective barrier of how you're feeling. As women, once a month I go through a week and a half where I feel like s--t and I'm about to get my period, I feel terrible and I don't want to wear anything but sweatpants. But if I can muscle up the energy to throw on a cute outfit and if I have to go run errands, that makes my day fundamentally better."
Sticking to the theme of inclusivity and function for all, sizing ranges from XS to 3X and prices range from $75 to $275 for apparel and $218 to $268 for footwear.
Plus, Wyllis is donating 10% of the proceeds from its collection for one month to The Loveland Foundation, an organization founded by writer and activist Rachel Cargle that provides free therapy and healing to communities of color, with a central focus on Black women and girls. "We're really excited to keep building and figuring out more opportunities and ways to work with them," Willis says.
Besides designing clothes during quarantine (she said she was making so many her business partners had to tell her to stop) she has been checking out real estate, taking baths, reading sci-fi fantasy novels, but spends the most time looking at puppies online. "I wish that that was a funny joke, I literally can't stop looking at available puppies online to just know what's on the market right now. It's an obsession."
"Basically my dream is to have wild success with my clothing line, heal the world with mental health and then move somewhere on a ranch and get 15 dogs of all shapes and sizes. And just be a Willy Wonka sort of like hounds."
For now, she's on her way to having wild success with her new line, which is available to shop at Wyllis.com.
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