KIRSTY IRWIN

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Kirsty Irwin is a self-taught fashion designer from Adelaide. Having started at a young age her talent was strong and didn’t go unnoticed. Before Kirsty would get ready for the weekend she would think to herself “if I could wear anything what would it be”?. From there she would then go on to design her own clothes and draw them from scratch. Such a talented person it takes to do this. Kirsty first began working in retail and from there working as a wholesale fashion agent. After gaining experience she then went on to create KIRSTY IRWIN &  JAGGAR the label. Now relaunching her self-named brand  KIRSTY IRWIN. One of her main focuses is on cutting edge style, and quality as well as high-end pieces for individuals.

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You’ve created not one but two labels! Tell us about JAGGAR The Label. How was it creating your first brand? It must’ve been exciting to get your ideas out and creating a collection!

I had actually started Kirsty Irwin before JAGGAR & that is how Australian Fashion Labels stumbled upon me as a designer. Starting up a label is a very exciting experience and I would encourage anyone to give it a crack, if you have a true passion for it.

Tell us, What made you want to create your own self-named label? 

Although I had almost complete creative control with JAGGAR, designing/owning your own namesake label is a completely different experience. This is what I have always wanted to do in life, so I’m just going for it!

Typical day in the office?

Step 1- Get caffeinated… This is a very important step!

Step 2- Answer the abundant amount of emails you have received overnight.

Step 3- Could be anything! The best thing about this job is that no day is the same. Anything from designing, fittings, fabric approvals, to the administration side of the business.

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What inspires you when you’re designing a collection?

I find both music & travel my biggest sources of inspiration.

How do you go about sourcing your products? Especially leather, I’ve always been so curious about the process (I'm a big fan of leather jackets… I love them!) Tell us about how you source your leather- to creating a leather jacket or leather skirt. What is the process?

I am a huge leather lover, as you probably know. So it’s all about the quality of the leather. I don’t start designing until I have found the leather that puts a smile on my dial. The process for leather styles always take a little longer, so I have to do these styles before the rest of the collection. So it’s really the leather that sets the mood for the collection sometimes.

What’s it like to see both worlds from model to fashion designer?

My sister is the one living the #modellife! I decided to stop that at a very young age. I think immersing yourself in as many sides of the fashion industry is always a good idea.

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What is the most challenging thing about creating a label?

There is so much more to it that just designing. Obviously the business side is another huge aspect. You have to wear many hats, so sometimes you aren’t going to know how to wear some of them.

……And the most rewarding? If I see someone in one of my designs as I am walking down the street I give myself a little mental fist pump. I get a real kick out of girls that just contact me on social media, appreciating all the time and effort gone into their garment.

How would you describe your personal style? Does it reflect into your designs?

I always cringe when having to describe my “style”… I like to mix grungy, worn in pieces & match it back with more structured, sophisticated style. This will definitely be imminent in the KIRSTY IRWIN collections.

Your biggest achievement with your brand?

Seeing JAGGAR on the runway at  Fashion Week, has been my career highlight so far. Watch this space!

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And lastly, any advice  and tips to people who want to get into the industry!

Prepare to work hard & be ready to overcome some hurdles along the way… It’s a wild ride, so make sure you hang on!

Special thanks to Kirsty xx Website: http://www.kirstyirwin.com Instagram: kirstyirwinofficial Blog: http://kirstyirwin.blogspot.com.au

5 Second chit-chat with Kirsty…

Most treasured item in your closet? My first ever design… A pair of crazy leather pants!

The person that inspires me the most…… My amazing boyfriend, Tom! He is pretty much a design assistant ha ha.

When I leave the house I never leave without my…..My phone! Instagram never sleeps.

Dream location shoot? Somewhere no one else has ever been allowed.

If I could go anywhere right now I’d go to…………………………… Mexico!

Describe the fashion industry in three words. Exciting, innovative & challenging.

Definition of Style. What does style mean to you? I personally think true style is not something that can be taught; you are born with it running through your veins.

Georgia Guy

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www.georgiaguy.com.au

Georgia Palmer & myself

Georgia Palmer is the creator of Adelaide fashion label Georgia Guy. Having completed her advanced diploma of fashion design and technology at Tafe SA, graduating in 2011. Georgia  last year won Emerging Designer Award in 2013 and since then never looked back. Her unique brand is well known for her bold silhouettes and individual designs. Georgia takes pride in her quality of garments. Every piece is hand made in her Adelaide studio. From designing to patternmaking as well as cutting and sewing which makes every piece of her collection unique. Using materials sourced from around the world. Having a great attention to detail and highlighting on quality of craftsmanship. I met Georgia at the Norwood Parades for AFF2014. I was able to get a feel for her textures and quality of her garments which were so beautifully pieced together. Below I interviewed Georgia as she gives us an insight to her life as a designer.

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What made you create this label? Tell us your story about your label Georgia Guy?

After finishing my study it felt like a very natural progression to make, I wanted to create clothes that were modern, classic and feminine without being girlie. Georgia Guy is my maiden name so it really is a reflection of me, my style and my life. Wear ability is a key factor for me and something I really take into account when designing as I want customers to not just love their clothes but feel comfortable in them.

Did you study fashion?

I studied an advanced diploma of fashion design and technology at Tafe SA, graduating in 2011.

What is your experience working in the industry before creating your brand?

I had very little fashion industry experience prior to starting my label, which made it a little more challenging and a big learning curve! The year in-between finishing my study and putting together my first full collection (Spring Summer last year) was spent creating small runs of different styles and selling through a small Adelaide based boutique. I also worked in store once week which was great seeing first hand how customers reacted to my garments.

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How many years did it take for your idea to hit and start becoming a reality?

After spending a year making bits and bobs I put together a full collection and entered it into the SA emerging designer competition last year and won. That really gave me the boost that this dream could become a reality and what I was doing was worthwhile.

How did you select and source the materials you use for your collections? What’s the progress for you?

I tend to start off with a few designs in mind- key features/silhouettes and feel that I want to achieve before seeing a few local fabric agents. Fabric choice is a big dictator for my collections so once that is chosen I can get stuck into designing/patternmaking and sampling. My designs really evolve during the patternmaking and sampling process and during that time I can see how things will work together and any gaps in the collection I need to fill.

How and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration?

I try not to focus on gaining inspiration as it has always happened very organically for me, seeing a photo in a magazine or finding some fabric will set me off and once I’ve started ideas generally flow pretty easily. I try to keep up to date with what is going on in the world as well as spending a lot of time checking out fashion/street style blogs. I am very excited about the fashion icons exhibition which is coming to the Art Gallery of SA as historical fashion has always been very inspiring to me.

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Where is the final product made?

I work from a city studio which is a shared space with several other designers, photographers and an architect. From there I do all the designing, patternmaking, cutting and sewing. Every piece is hand made by myself which is incredibly time consuming but does give me complete control of every piece I put my name to.

Last year you won Emerging Designer Award at the Adelaide Fashion Festival’s Designer Showcase.

Tell us what was it like to win such a prestigious award what opportunities did it open for you?

That was such an amazing night, I can’t believe its been a year already! It was a huge surprise and honor to win as it was my first full collection and what a way to kick things off! Winning the award has opened many doors and helped me to promote my label in a way I could not have done before. As well as brand awareness it has given me as a designer and my label cred within the industry.

Your showcasing your collection at Adelaide fashion festival 2014 this year what direction have you taken with your collection this year?

My spring summer collection this year came from wanting to create a collection which has broad appeal and is wearable. I have also embraced the trend for sheer fabrics by sourcing a beautiful sheer stripe which I have accentuated by playing around with the direction of the stripes. The collection is light with crisp elements such as angled seams and clean silhouettes softened by the use of a beautifully soft cupro blend fabric. There is also a subtle sexiness to it through the use of open back tops which show off just enough skin and giving knee length lady like sheer skirts short lining. The result is casual elegant and easy to wear.

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Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

Locally I love checking out Bianca Spenders work as it has the clean modern feel I really love. Internationally I really love vintage YSL, Roskanda Ilinic, Gucci (especially the 70’s throwback collections) and most recently at New York fashion week Delpozo- loved it!

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!

Be prepared to work really hard! Also, as in life, treat people how you want to be treated as it’s a close knit industry (especially in Adelaide).

Special thanks to Georgia Palmer xx Check out more of her beautiful collection from her new spring summer 14/15 collection online!

Website: www.georgiaguy.com.au Instagram: GEORGIA_GUYAU

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Christie Nicole

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Become acquainted with flairfashion designer Christie Nicole Trowbridge. A pipedream that blossomed into her own label at the youthful age of 23 years. Completing a Bachelor of Design in fashion, Christie landed the grand opportunity of an internship with one of the finest fashion icons of the century, Karen Walker.

Based in New Zealand, Christie embraced prospectus offers to learn the business and flourished with the continual success of where the brand has emerged today.

Christie Nicole took sexy intimate apparel pieces and tailored every woman with the desire to feeling and looking beautiful. Accessories are an ensemble when assembling an outfit. The designer’s exquisite handcrafted bralettes are carefully crafted in her personal Sydney studio.

A roundtable discussion with Christie about her passion – her label.

“Grabbing inspiration from anywhere & everywhere.”   

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What’s your name?

Christie Nicole Trowbridge

 Age? 23

Did you previously study fashion? 

I sure did, studied a Bachelor of Design

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How did you get started?

Once I graduated I went an did an internship with Karen Walker in New Zealand for 8 months and I came back and I could not get a job anywhere within the design industry. So I decided to start my label and amazingly it has bloomed and all my time goes towards

What made you get into fashion?

My grandma, I remember her always sewing around me when I was younger, then I did textiles at school and really loved it!

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Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

Riccardo Tisci – Givenchy – IN LOVE

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What’s your up coming design theme for your brand?

My Spring / Summer collection is being launched early October, called the ‘The Great Escape’ – that is all I can tell you for now, you’ll have to wait and see J

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What made you create this brand?

I always wanted to have my own brand from the start it was just a matter of when.

How many years did it take for your idea to hit reality and start producing and selling?

It honestly took about a month or two.

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what’s your main focus on your brand, where is your label made?

My main focus on my brand is to produce beautiful products that everything lovely lady will want. At the moment I am taking everything one step at a time, its all a learning curve at the moment.

I hand make all bralettes in Sydney, Australia and leather clothing pieces are made in Indonesia.

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What are your future plans with the label and your feeling for future trends!

A soon future plans would be to eventually expand into doing clothing etc

I do have a plan for the future but its top secret! :) 

Special thanks to Christie Nicole xx

www.christienicole.bigcartel.com

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University Apparel

University ApparelBy LeBlondeFox "This is a direct and unedited transcript from a recorded interview"

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It’s every fashion grads dream to create and launch their very own fashion label. These two passionate fashionista’s did just that, but without a fashion degree. Their desire and exploration of ideas were the foundation elements for succession. Life doesn’t always work out the way one plans it, and unexpectedly we are lead to a different path that awaits us, let’s call it DESTINY. (It’s a little bit girly, but c’mon sometimes things are out of our control!)

 

Meet the creative brains behind University Apparel; Jesse Gaarenstroom and Mark Jensen.

 

It all started for them just chatting away at Uni, conversing about how they both wished they could wear something comfortable and stylish rather than your typical boring trackies and hoodies. BANG! University Apparel was born, six months in and business is booming!

These guys are Melbourne based and not in it for the money, but for students by the students. We all love a local Aussie brand at an affordable price tag. I was able to score a one to one interview with Jesse, with the man himself and discovered more about his up-coming Melbourne label.

A) Hi Jesse, thank you for taking the time and coming for a coffee to chit chat about this exciting new brand you’re currently working on with Mark?

 

J) No problem, let’s get started!

 

A) What do you currently study Jesse?

 

J) I’m currently studying Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Accounting, Finance & Financial Planning and working two jobs. It’s been a bit tough to juggle everything but, I love what I do!

 

A) How did university apparel come about?

J) Well Mark got me into this! It was his idea/brand first. We were at uni one day speaking about how we want fun and stylish comfortable clothing for university because when you go to uni you just want be in the best stylish comfortable clothing as possible especially after a big night out!

A) What is your role at University Apparel?

J) I control all the marketing and finance side but as well as coming up with ideas. There is more than two of us, actually about 4-5 people in the brand that also work behind the scenes like with the media/ pr and sourcing.

A) Is your clothing made in Australia? Are they pre-made or made to order?

J) The clothing is made in the states but is brought over from there and printed in Australia in a factory in NSW which then shipped to Melbourne The designs are done by Mark down here in Melbourne.

It’s printed by a method called DTG direct to garment, its basically like a big printer which prints very high quality onto the clothing.

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A) How do you go about designing the clothing and the different pictures you have on your Uni and Street wear?

J) Since we are only a new brand at the moment, we brainstorm ideas in a group to come up with the latest designs. Mark sometimes, on occasion  sources designs and prints to purchase.

 

A) So how does one go about creating their own fashion label or brand? Any advice?

J) It’s not as easy as I’d love to make it out to be. Part of this industry is working with copywriters for the purpose of advertising or marketing your business. Another fundamental step to protect your ideas is to patent the product. This grants the creator (us) of original work and exclusive rights to use and distribute our brands, logos and other designs. A consulting contract is beneficial to the client- consultant relationship as this protects your project – this is a must and can be costly, but worthwhile. Once you figure out everything and get things into order, it somewhat gets a little bit easier from there on.

A) What are your future plans for University Apparel?

J) Eventually, we want to expand and create more designs and venture into jeans, hats, shorts, and create more unique choice of prints and designs. Just everything and anything! We just need to get our name out there, we have another forty to fifty designs which haven’t been made yet. So stay tuned!

If you are interested in purchasing some of your own cool threads from University Apparel then check them out here

www.university-apparel.com.au. A pop up store will be held at Deakin University for O-week!

It was a pleasure to sit down with Jesse, it really goes to show if you have an idea or dream, pursue it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. ;)

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