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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.