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Tallulah Willis on mental health and the healing power of fashion

As the youngest daughter of Hollywood heavyweights Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Tallulah Willis has spent her whole life in the spotlight — and will be the first to tell you how growing up in the public eye has taken a toll on her mental health.

But throughout her struggles with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder as well as suicidal ideation and sobriety, all of which she’s openly discussed, the 26-year-old star has always found joy in fashion.

“On some of my lowest days, I would see the impact that putting thought into my outfit would bring,” Tallulah told Page Six Style.

“Even if it was a cozy day, having that specific sweatpant or special slipper just elevated my mood ever so slightly. If I could bring myself to push past the desire to just ruminate in my pain and throw on a ‘look,’ I felt more protected going out in the world.”

Tallulah Willis in WyllisWyllis

That’s what inspired her to create her new clothing line, Wyllis. After soft-launching earlier this year with a range of cozy sweatshirts featuring phrases like “incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin” and “I am worthy of love and care,” Tallulah has added a range of shirts, tops, and pants in colorful, vintage-inspired prints to the lineup.

Mental health is a core aspect of the collection; hang tags are printed with information on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline, and 10 percent of Wyllis’ proceeds will benefit the Loveland Foundation, which provides free therapy to communities of color.

The collection also offers inclusive sizing — XS to 3X — and a relatively accessible price point, ranging from $75 to $275 for clothing and $218 to $268 for shoes. There’s even a range of pint-sized pieces for “kiddos.”

“I wanted to create something as inclusive and safe as possible. Bringing in the advocacy element felt organic to me, given how personally I have struggled with mental health,” Tallulah said, adding that working on Wyllis has proven to be a healing experience.

“I had been in a very low place, locked in a swirling loop of fear, of self-deprecation and lack of passion within my creative world. To take the first step into saying this was something I wanted to pursue gave me an inch of breathing room outside of the cycle, and I finally got some momentum to keep pushing forward.”

Tallulah Willis in WyllisWyllis

The logistics of designing a clothing line have proven more challenging. “It’s been a massive education that I am profoundly grateful to receive,” Tallulah told us. “The team around me — led by my dear friend and brand manager, Rachael Finley — is incredible, with such a dynamic mix of perspectives. I feel like as a designer, my narrative and point of view has been acutely honed over the past 15 months, and with it my confidence in the pieces we are creating has absolutely magnified.”

Her older sisters, 29-year-old Scout and 31-year-old Rumer, are fans of Wyllis as well. “My sisters’ favorites are the ‘Edie’ button-down ($150) and our ‘Dora’ pant ($178),” Tallulah revealed. “I think they love the print and the shape we made.”

Tallulah Willis in WyllisWyllis

Meanwhile, the designer herself has a soft spot for the retro-inspired footwear. “There’s just something really special about the vision I had for them coming into the physical world,” she said.

Wyllis’ summer launch feels particularly timely considering that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a spike in depression and anxiety across America, making mental health access more critical than ever. For Tallulah, having a creative outlet has proved invaluable during these dark times.

“I think I have really harnessed whatever has come up for me during this time as fuel to keep creating and designing,” she explained. “When I am in that mode, I can feel more in my body and less disassociated. In addition to designing, Ive found writing, reading fantasy fiction novels, and lots and lots of baths to be really healing and nurturing during this time.”

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