Interview: Sarah Street and FashioNZ
This interview originally appeared on FashioNZ.
Tell us about your latest collection?
Our Spring/Summer 2017 collection is called Quietude. Both the name and the essence of the range, this idea really came from feeling the need to slow down and catch a breath. Life is constant; we’re in a world where we are expected to be always “on” and connected 24 hours a day. The world is in hyperdrive at the moment and it seems like it can’t be satiated, we feel the pressure as much as everyone else.
The theme of Quietude is really an ode to the idea of pausing, taking a moment, and reflecting on life. Taking time to steal quiet moments, celebrate the good things in life, caring for one another, and focusing on quality over quantity. In doing this we create breathing space that allows for creativity and connectivity on a deeper, more genuine level. Design as always is a huge focus for us, so everything in our collections is carefully considered and has earnt its place in the range.
What made you become a designer?
Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved creating - whether it was drawing, painting, or making something with my hands. Design allows you the freedom to creatively express yourself but also challenges you to think about how things are made and constructed; ergonomics and functionality are as important as aesthetics. As a designer, I’m able to create beautiful designs that push boundaries from an aesthetic sense as well as a functional sense, and explore new materials that haven’t been tried before.
It’s not always easy, patterns or heels can take countless attempts get right, but once you do they’re so worth it. Design is a role where you’re constantly challenged by the limitations of manufacturing, or by a certain material or construction – but then equally you can challenge traditional manufacturing methods and explore new ways of doing things, which is so exciting. For me personally, this role is the perfect combination of both creative and analytical thinking. I’m fortunate that my role enables me to do what I absolutely love for work.
What inspires you?
I think as a designer you can be inspired by anything: a conversation with a friend, a visit to a gallery, a walk on the beach, a great book. It’s really important to keep looking at things from a different perspective, and to keep learning.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is pretty minimalist, however I also love to experiment, have fun and try new things. As a business we following fashion so closely and we’re researching and forecasting all the time, so I frequently respond to particular trends on the horizon.
What I’m into on a personal level definitely influences elements of a collection I’m designing but not all of it. I’m always really aware of keeping my personal identity and the Mi Piaci identity as separate entities. They’re naturally still very close, but both are unique in their own right.
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A great mule or slide, a classic sling back, a crisp white shirt and a really classic, investment overcoat.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I think rules are restrictive and complicate things, so you should wear what makes you happy. Have fun with it; the best part about fashion is being able to experiment with what works for you. In terms of more general rules I follow, always moisturise and drink lots and lots of water.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think being able to do what I love as a career is a highlight in itself. Every design role I’ve had has been so incredible. They have all had their own challenges, but each experience has also taught me something. The role I’m in right now at Mi Piaci is definitely a particular highlight for me.
Finish this sentence “You would never catch me wearing...”
What can’t you live without?
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
I found this question really hard, and the answer isn’t what you’d think. There are so many things that I have bought and cherished over the years, but then I remembered my wedding video. It documents one of the most special days of my life, and features my late Mother who died five days after my wedding. This video means more than words can describe to me, because it captures both the best and the worst moments of my life, which were so closely intertwined. My Mother is a huge inspiration in everything I do; I’m the woman I am today because of her, and I will cherish those moments captured forever.