Fashion Icons I love and why
Fashion to me, has always been a conduit for connection and without the people component the world of fashion simply wouldn’t be what it is. What’s that famous fashion saying? Fashion might not change the world but the women who wear it will.
The clever designers, the fashion movers and shakers, entrepreneurs, the fashion lovers (aka me and us, am I right?). I’ve always been so in awe of people who start their own fashion label or make a life long career invested in everything fashion. From where I stand it takes a lot of hard work, drive, determination and guts. In my thirteen years of fashion I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few of the people in fashion who I really genuinely look up to. It’s been equal parts humbling and inspiring and I can hand on my heart say that there've been a couple of moments where I’ve been a shameless, excited fashion fangirl.
CAMILLA I love Camilla because I think she is real and relatable. Every time I’ve met her she has made me feel so welcome, at ease and at home. Given all that she has achieved and the multiple evolutions of her brand, she is down to earth, warm and someone who truly listens when you speak. Camilla was the first fashion show I was invited to. To this day it was the best show I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I have never ever ever seen every person in the audience stand up in a standing ovation for her at the end. It was like being at a huge overseas wedding. There were fresh rose petals all over the floor, you couldn't see the floor. Her attention to detail is incredible. And that’s what fashion is about. Its about creativity and self expression. The after party in Double Bay was sensational. A lot of the Camilla angels I work with were there. I was welcomed into the Camilla tribe. After this I wanted Camilla to adopt me so I could come home with her, drink tea and do forward rolls in her fabulous fun living room (because she’s really into Yoga). I love her because she takes risks. She never thinks she’s better than anyone else. Camilla has transcended as a designer and businesswoman and she has truly moved mountains in fashion. Camilla the brand is so beyond what it was when it launched. Do a double take on Camilla if you haven't experienced her designs recently. If you are new to Camilla or haven't shopped with her in a while I would recommend trying on these pieces: the short shirred skirt, the raglan button up shirt and the tees. And for all the naysayers who have always said they don’t like Camilla, or Camilla this and Camilla that, I can tell you with all of my heart that she has absolutely clawed her way to the top in fashion. And has genuinely made it.
ANINE BING Anine is so different to other brands. Where do I start? She is my absolute fashion girl crush. In person, she was just as I imagined. Incredibly sweet, immaculately groomed, softly spoken and am I allowed to say just ultra hot. Her accent is gorgeous, I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s a cross between Dutch and Los Angeles. Her presence is cool, calm, collected and completely enigmatic. Simply put, you want to be around her. The term ‘supermodel’ is absolutely not wasted on Anine. She is supermodel from head to toe and super mogul in business and fashion.
I was so excited to be invited to Paddington in Sydney to meet and have lunch with Anine in person. We chatted about our children, her flight to Australia and she was happy to make a little cameo (to camera) with me for an upcoming series for my YouTube channel.
I'm sad because every photo I had with her I totally forgot how to pose in a way which is flattering because I was so genuinely excited like a child at Christmas. So I was hunched over, all 5 foot 5 of me, next to this chiselled striking statuesque woman, grinning from ear to ear and just looked like an overjoyed fan girl (because that's exactly what I am).
As soon as I saw her designs I knew I wanted to stock Anine Bing in my boutique.
I admire her because she started her namesake brand in her garage and now has concept stores all over the world. What she has created; her business, her brand, her boutiques, her designs inspire me every single day. Whenever I feel overworked or run down I always think of the future and I look to Anine for motivation. The Anine Bing brand was created in 2012 and has flourished. There are ten Anine Bing stores in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid and Berlin and she has 300 boutiques internationally.
If you're new to Anine Bing this is one label to embrace. Think luxurious staples, incredibly well cut basics, statement pieces which you can keep forever and collections which are timeless and classic. My go-to favourites are the tees. I also just bought the special Bridgette Bardot x Terry O’Neill tee and jumper/sweater. I loved it so much I’ve ordered it for my boutique. I feel this will be a sell out piece. Anine Bing is possibly the hottest designer on the planet right now.
I’m now turning my sights back to an Australian fashion girl boss who is leading the pack, Rochelle. She’s a hidden gem. Her designs are a fusion of effortless cool and rock chic. When you’re with Rochelle you just feel inspired, excited and ready to go to the next level. With Melbourne roots, she floats between Los Angeles, New York and Bali (pre pandemic). Rochelle is a naturally beautiful looking girl, an amazing designer with an eye for stunning fabrics and her pieces are quite literally one of a kind. As soon as I saw one of her creations I knew she was talented.
I knew I had to feature Rochelle’s creations in store because it would resonate with my customer and sell so incredibly well. I wanted to bring her designs to the ladies of Brisbane because each piece is thoughtful, heartfelt and ultra chic. She really puts a little bit of herself into every design and each piece has its own back story.
In Melbourne last year we did a collaboration collection. Together we selected some special designs just for my boutique, Miss Henry and the process was such a special experience. I know that Rochelle will be recognised for her design ability with all the heavy weights in fashion.
On top of this, Rochelle’s designs are often worn by celebrities. With all that she has accomplished, Rochelle remains extremely humble, funny and easy going. She is constantly going from strength to strength and she’s the one to watch. Australia’s fashion treasure.
Where do I begin. As I’m typing this I feel like I am squealing internally. Anna’s style, her class. All in all, she is the epitome of being a lady. Something she said has really resonated with me. To paraphrase, it was ‘You are nothing without your team. Hire people who challenge you, who aren’t scared to speak up when they know a more effective way to achieve an outcome. Surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses.’ If we surround ourselves with ‘yes’ men and women our brands and business become stagnated and insular.
This has been a huge learning for me in business and in fashion and when you’ve built a business and brand from the ground up virtually all by yourself it’s so personally challenging to relinquish control of each aspect. But in releasing control, your business can and will flourish. From Anna Wintour I’ve learned to hire people who excel at the roles I know I’m not strong at.
I love the fact that Anna Wintour has a look. She always has sunglasses on. Her bob is always perfect. She’s renowned for treating her employees really well and empowering her teams. Every outfit she wears is made complete with her signature necklace. I love signature pieces, (as you’ll recall from my first ever blog post) because they become part of you and speak your identity for you simply by always being present with every outfit. It goes without saying that Anna is such an icon. Knowledge is power when it comes to Anna. She is around the most famous people in the world, immersed in fashion, business and fame every day at work. She is an absolute fashion leader and business leader.
Before I go to bed I watch her tutorial, Anna Wintour Teaches Fashion, every single night. It’s the most inspiring thing to take in before bed. You never stop learning in fashion and business, it’s part and parcel of both industries. It’s my absolute goal, and I feel in my bones that one day I will meet her. Anna Wintour is on my vision board and I ask the universe every night before bed for this once in a lifetime goal to come true one day.
VICTORIA BECKHAM Small in stature and so incredibly stylish. I’ve never seen this woman have a bad outfit day. We’ve all watched her evolution from Posh Spice to power couple (did you know that when she met David, it was in fact Victoria that was world famous. David asked to please meet her because he had a crush on her. I think this story is so ridiculously lovely). Victoria has journeyed from celebrity fragrance creator to power couple, she’s done the long hair, the short hair, closed the door on her Spice Girls roots and wholeheartedly committed to the beginning of a new chapter in fashion. No exception. She’s done absolutely everything: written a book, created a line of jeans, created a gorgeous family, taken a tonne of risks, modelled for Emporio Armani underwear after having three kids and stayed married for years in the public eye as a celebrity. No easy fate for any mere mortal. Victoria once said, “I’m so grateful to the fashion industry for accepting me and for giving me a chance.” In my own very small way this is how I felt in fashion when I secured my first internationally renowned labels for my boutique after years of hard work as a boutique business owner.
She’s a mover and a shaker. What we can learn from Victoria is to embrace the future, go with the flow, and let your kids teach you a thing or two. Times are changing, millennial culture is everywhere and resistance to the future of technology is, to me, not a mindset will not serve women in business or in fashion well. While I am all for being old fashioned, still here with not even an online store at the moment, I have realised that being not only digitally literate but also joining in with the flow of technology and using it to connect with even more like minded souls is paramount to sharing in the joy of fashion now and beyond. I feel inspired to replace my digital fears with faith and thanks to all of you who log on to read my blog I am taking the plunge. Victoria Beckham embraces change and seeks to have understanding about the digital age with a “what’s next” mindset. I really admire her willingness to adapt, to go for it against all odds and to keep on evolving and building and learning. On top of all of this, her home and interior style are on another level. If you haven’t Googled what Victoria’s home looks like, do yourself a favour and take a look. My second passion has always been home and interiors. Also I’m not the biggest fan of tattoos but I have to say that Victoria wears hers so well. A true queen and icon.
This was taken at our most recent content day at the Gold Coast. I'm wearing a stunning black and gold Camilla skirt and silk cami. Both are current season and you can wear them all year round. Simply add a coat and non-opaque tights to complete this look and make it 'winter'.
Thank you so much for joining me for our weekly blog. Each week I will open up a conversation related to either fashion, homewares, lifestyle or business. If you have any topic requests I am all ears so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this week has been entertaining and insightful, I hope I’ve been able to fill up your cup and inspire you for the week ahead. So many of my readers are incredible women who give and give to their families, children, businesses, work and do everything it takes to make everyone’s week better and easier. My goal is to lift you up, make you laugh, open up myself and share so that you feel re-fuelled and re-energised.
Thank you for being my friend in fashion.
See you next Tuesday.
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