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.

aboutagirl

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.

Beau In The Wood

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Get acquainted with
, creator of a new raft of fashion, the Wanderlust design, BEAU IN THE WOODS. A former media mogul (journalism and communication), colluding in secret and every woman has a Rendez-voux with herself, Kylie ran with her secret. There she entered the Universe of an unimaginable fashion career.

Residing on the ever so captivating Brisbane, lined with shimmering warmth of the sun and white sandy beaches, Kylie began a love affair in retail fashion. 

Not a seasonal girl, she focused her tag lines on a summer theme, as she lives for summer.

We are loving BEAU IN THE WOODS and with a luxe of whisper, I invite Kylie Dadson to hone in on her vision and her incredible rise towards her success.    

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Below Kylie answered some of my curious questions about herself.

 

What is your label about?  

 It’s about a wanderlust, summer life style. (Yep two words!) …  

Beau is the love and In The Woods is the adventure. It’s really about loving the adventure of life and creating a lifestyle that individually suits you… 

In my world it’s always summer! 

Our prints are created from photographic images, so travel is my biggest influence, but I am also inspired bygone era’s for their classic styling and design. I love a 50’s, 60’s and 70’s woman as a style muse and often think in print design with 1920’s deco lines. 

What’s a usual day in the office?  

I don’t think there is ever a usual day in the office in the fashion world, but it’s always very task focused and I break it into timeframes to suit. It might be based around pattern or production meetings one day. Design time another. I also tend to work best at night when nothing can distract me! 

Did you study fashion? If not what did you study? 

 I studied journalism and communications whilst working in a photography lab/shop. Towards the end I moved to the Gold Coast so I could be near the beach and fell into fashion retail as a back up plan to support my socialising and travel addiction. 

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?  

When people come to us for an outfit for a special event. At the moment we are outfitting a bridal party … We have customized the boys bow ties to go back with each bridesmaid who is wearing a different style across one of our prints. It is going to look so fabulous! It’s been such a fun process to communicate with the bride leading up to the wedding! 

How do you select the materials you used?  

I have a slight obsession with silk. In particular crepe de chine silk. It’s heavenly to wear on the body, perfect for travelling and lasts season after season. Plus our digital prints look amazing on it. 

Beau Maharaja Prints

How many in your team? 

 Me + my pattern maker, machinist and production. It’s a small circle and I couldn’t do it without them. 

How did you get to where you are now with your label? 

 With a lot of support and encouragement from people in my life … My husband and customers that are now more like friends have been amazing! 

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

 I have planned trips to gain inspiration, but honestly it just hits me sometimes when you see an image or have an experience. I collect everything I can, screen shot everything on my phone, take photos like crazy and then wait for a vibe to hit me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I am happiest when near water, so generally all great ideas come together in my head in the shower… it’s a lot more practical that being constantly pool-side.  

Who is your target market? 

 Confident girls that know what they love and don’t want to strictly follow trends. Our age demographic is anywhere from 16-60. It’s crazy but fabulous that a piece like our Palms Kimono or Bow Cami can kit out such a wide age bracket so perfectly. 

How do you go about sourcing your products? 

We create them all! I am super passionate about building local industry and manufacture all of our garments locally. I drive to drop off items for production, then drive to pick them up. Soon I will have to get couriers of course but I love the conversations I get to have with our makers. It puts life into the garments and everyone is so passionate and proud of the work they have created. 

Where is the final product made?  

Brisbane. 

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of? 

I can never answer this questions!!! Sorry, maybe in another a few years!! ;) 

How did you go about creating this label?  

Omg, sooooo many years of trial and error and fabulous moments all in between. Jumping in head first. Just going with it. A ridiculous amount of passion for an idea and turning it into a product. First there was a trip to Vietnam and falling in love with fabrics. Then my husband and I started a fashion agency. Then our first label. A few stockists. Then a shop. Then a raiding of my step father’s photography from which the Beau’s first prints were created. Then a flagship boutique. Now I have pulled it back and am starting super organically with everything I have done to move it forward on a e-platform.  I feel that this is a more modern approach to retail and pop up’s will give the brand the flexibility to change each season. It’s been a constant work in progress for almost 4 years so far.  

Any difficulties in creating and production?   

There will always be a challenge somewhere along the line but because we work so closely with everyone involved in the process it gets sorted quite quickly.  Maintaining great business relationships and creating a beautifully finished garment is the utmost importance to us all. 

Beau SS1415

 

Before creating your brand did you work for another label? 

 Not behind the scenes, just on the shop floor.  

What are your future plans with your label?   

Online retailing is my focus at the moment. I am working on developing a new website and have plans to re-launch the label later this year for the resort season. Moving forward Beau is about summer all year long. (I can’t pretend to care about winter anymore!) We plan to do pop up’s with designer friends too! Kind of like the wanderlust lifestyle we constantly covet! 

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

 I always rave about Jenny Kee. I love following Matthew Williamson on instagram. I am terrible at looking at style.com to follow new season shows and trends. I much prefer street style, architecture, vintage finds such as bohemian glassware and purses and daydreaming about as many travel destinations as possible. 

What’s your feeling for future trends?  

I don’t really follow trends personally. I think it’s the flipside to working in retail for so long and getting such a huge wardrobe that gets outdated so quickly.  (There are only so many market stalls one gal can do!) I love styling for longevity, lifestyle and personal taste. I only buy pieces I absolutely love and encourage my fabulous customers to do the same.  Quality is the biggest trend. The second is knowing your style and just simply rocking it. 

Beau Summer Breaks Print

 

 

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry! 
Get as much experience as you can. And get onto that shop floor! Listen to what people like and don’t like and really gauge if there is a market for what you want to produce. Just do it.  

Special thanks to 
Kylie Dadson xx

 http://www.beauinthewoods.com

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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