Fashion / Shopping

Rodeo Kid Turned Texas Fashion Designer Creates the Innovative Mrs. Momma Bear Line — Lee Evans Lee’s Work Clothes Roar

This Brand Dreams Big and So Does the Woman In Charge

BY

Lee Evans Lee loves fringe and lace, feathers and tulle. She also loves getting things done and looking good while doing them. 

Her to-do list is long and includes working the family’s West Texas ranch, being momma to her 10-year-old son and wife to her husband, completing her counselor degrees, sculpting, painting and now designing a collection of innovative workwear she’s christened Mrs Momma Bear. 

Lee is a petite blonde with big blue eyes and wears a nameplate necklace with Mrs Momma Bear spelled out in diamonds, but she’s every bit as tough as she is elegant.  

A self-described “rodeo kid,” Lee grew up riding horses under the Texas sun. Ranch life isn’t necessarily glamorous, and Lee’s only wardrobe work option was Dickies mechanic onesies. They got the job done but left her wishing for something that looked and felt as good as she did after work. 

Lee’s grandfather raised Angora goats and her grandmother taught her how to sew. Textiles were always a part of her childhood, so when she had an epiphany one night during the pandemic, Lee took action. 

“I was finishing up several degrees as a counselor and working primarily most of my hours at University Hospital and was finishing up at Methodist. Covid happened, and I told my boss, ‘Ok, I will see you in two weeks,’ ” Lee tells PaperCity.

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Mrs. Momma Bear comes from the mind and life of Lee Evans Lee.
Mrs. Momma Bear comes from the mind and life of Lee Evans Lee.

We all know what happened to that two-week timeline, of course. Lee became a homeschool teacher to her son and one night, when all was quiet, Lee thought through what she wanted in clothing and assumed she wasn’t the only one with the same wardrobe wishes. 

“I was in the city trying to get stuff done, or back then, leaving the hospital, I had scrubs on; I still want to look good for my husband and feel sexy. The options were either workout clothes or sweats or very utilitarian style outfits and I asked why,” Lee says. “I want to wear tulle, fringe and lace all day long, no exceptions. Who wouldn’t?” 

That’s when Lee added designer to her resume, spending the hush of the evenings sketching, sewing and researching. Part of the prep was finding design software so she could skip using fit models. With more than 100 designs at the ready, Lee discovered CLO, an intuitive and cohesive 3D garment design software bringing her vision to life.  

The only hitch? No one in the United States knew how to use CLO. Lee went global and began working with Anastasia Sternad in Florence, Italy and Lejla Hoxha in Skopje, Macedonia. 

“We’ve gone on this journey together. That’s how it all started,” Lee notes.

Mrs. Momma Bear Comes to Life 

This brings us to the unveiling of her debut line, comprised of jumpsuits and separates made from a nylon/Lycra/Spandex blend that can stretch up to five to eight times its actual size.  

The lined jumpsuits and pants are soft to the touch and cool on the skin. While the collection is a love letter to so many of Lee Evans Lee’s favorite things (see the aforementioned lace and tulle), Lee designed each piece with practicality in mind. So there’s no need to wear additional undergarments. The clothing is travel ready as well, withstands wrinkling and can be washed with cold water and hung to air dry. 

Mrs Momma Bear is a tribute to the many important relationships in Lee’s life, including her son, who calls her Momma Bear and also to herself. 

“Momma spelling is also an ode to the ’80s sexy Mommas,” Lee says. “Even if you don’t have children, we’re all mommas to everything and every one by just being us.”

Mrs Momma Bear
Dancing Anyone was inspired by one of Lee’s fringed ball gowns.

Lee elevates the Mrs Momma Bear motif with an adorably cheeky bear found on the back pockets of the jumpsuits and pants. The Mad Hatter three-piece suit features a bear wearing a top hat, while the “Dancing Anyone?” a pink-flecked and fringed jumpsuit, has the signature bear holding a disco ball. 

It’s whimsical without being kitschy, sweet, but not saccharine. Lee truly loves fringe and combined her love of the free-wheeling fabric with the practicality of chaps on the ranch in the design of the “Going Somewhere” and “Dancing Anyone?” jumpsuits.  

Many of her life experiences and relationships are woven into each design. 

“My mother was a rodeo queen, and I grew up running around the San Antonio rodeo in Western shirts with little snaps,” Lee says. “That was my inspiration for “Fringy Baby.”

The Johnny Cash black-approved jumpsuit, with its open back and red cowboy hat-wearing bear, is sure to be an instant hit for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the spring. 

Most of the 20-piece Mrs. Momma Bear collection can be mixed and matched with each other, as well as an existing wardrobe. The themes include teatime and bridal and range in size from extra small to extra large. 

Mrs Momma Bear is found exclusively in Houston at Sloan Hall, another of Lee’s favorites, but it’s about more than cards, gifts, jewelry and apparel for her. She has known Sloan Hall owners Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan for more than 20 years, shopping at their San Antonio store. 

“When they opened their first store, they had cards and candles. I was obsessed with quotes and would go in the store once a week and buy a card,” Lee says. “As my career grew and their store grew, I would save my commission money, buying a piece of jewelry here or there.” 

They became close friends (Lee and her husband bought their wedding rings at Sloan/Hall), and when she unveiled Mrs Momma Bear, Hall and Sloan reached out.  

“We love Lee, and we love statement-making style. The collection has such a charm to it,” Hall says. 

Lee Evans Lee will be at Sloan Hall through this Friday, July 28, fitting shoppers in Mrs Momma Bear pieces, but the collection will be available at the boutique year-round. Mrs Momma Bear is also available at 02 Aspen. 

“With these fabrics, you can move, get things done and still be sexy,” Lee says. “The Mrs is like I am married to me. We can work hard without having to compromise.

“That’s the whole idea behind the brand and background of the name. Dream big and do it.” 

Spoken like a true queen of the range. 

Looking to buy or sell in Aspen?
Tommy Kanarellis
tommyk@compass.com  970.452.9661
Compass Compass
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