NATALIECHAPMAN The Interview
NATALIECHAPMAN is a high end ready to wear Australian brand and it’s taking the world by storm. Think clean lines, feminine silhouettes, luxurious fabrics and bold colour palette. The recent collection I will describe as glamorous, sophisticated and classy.
NATALIECHAPMAN the brand has earned it’s recognition very quickly. Since been established in 2008 to representing emerging designers of the Australian Fashion Industry at G’Day USA New York in 2010 to then showcasing at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and 2013!!! Natalie dressed a number of Australian and international celebrities for red carpet events like Sydney’s Film Festival 60th anniversary and this years Loggies.
Natalie certainly is an overachiever starting her own label at 22 and gaining global popularity and exposure withing the first couple of years of her brand’s life. I’m extremely excited to be working with this amazing Australian designer and more so ask her questions about past, present and future of NATALIECHAPMAN the brand.
AL : What started your interest in fashion?
NC : In my early teens I used to spend a lot of time designing and making my own clothes. I would spend the Saturday in my room making patterns just so I could have something new on that know one else had.
AL : What influenced you to make fashion your career?
NC : I have always been very driven and hands on. It was a family member that pointed me in the direction to give fashion design a go.
AL : You started your own label at a very young age. What kept you motivated?
NC : I started very young, however I was lucky knowing I knew what I wanted and at the time needed to give it everything I had. With every challenge there is always a step forward. I had lots of energy and time to achieve results and keep going.
I never once looked at having a plan b, my label has always been the plan.
AL : How has your work evolved since starting your label?
NC : Throughout the process of my label so far I have gone through making everything myself, running the label myself and now have a team behind me. Designs have changed dramatically simply by now being able to design and not make the product. When you make the product and produce orders you are limited to skills and resources. Now I can completely focus on putting out the best designs I can for each season.
There is also a learning curve of growing into your design aesthetic over time. You learn through experience how to design on a commercial level and high-end scale.
AL : What has been the main inspiration behind desk to dinner concept in your designs?
NC : I am my customer, I live and breathe being a NC customer there fore designing for my clientele comes naturally. I think it’s important to be able to see what your customers needs and wants to wear everyday and being able to deliver that. That is after all how you build your customer base.
The NC customer works during the day and tends to be out at night. For most of the demographic I sell to they need to look professional yet stay on trend so they feel confident and look fantastic.
AL : How did the direction of the brand change after your many achievements and international success?
NC : I saw very quickly what it takes to be an international success. I was very lucky in that I had a lot of highly experienced fashion mentors who could direct me in the best way to move forward. It’s not as easy as saying you need to do this and then it will happen. You have to build, learn, fail just to get it right and then you move forward with the strategy that works and keep going.
AL : What is the biggest lesson you have learnt since starting your own company?
NC : The move from being a sold trader to a CEO and head designer is a great challenge. Being the leader has taught me so much. My job was to build a great team who I wanted to work with and can trust. Building a great time is a challenge on it’s own and now that I have that I have the room to work on the company rather than in it. Choosing the right team for your company is so important so that you can take a step back when you need to and look at what needs to be worked on in the company. We all need to be inspired and to work towards goals.
Communication is key! Letting the team know what’s happening weekly so we can always be on the same page and work together.
AL : Are there any fashion trends you are obsessed with right now?
NC : I don’t necessarily have a fashion trend I’m obsessed with, I have a person that I always keep an eye on as she is my epitome of a style icon. Victoria Beckham.
AL : What are your top styling tips?
NC : KISS (keep it simple stupid) and dress to impress yourself! You will look good as long as you think so!
AL : Is there anyone you would love to dress but haven’t had a chance yet?
NC : The Duchess of Cambridge is my idea of class. One day we will have an NC piece of this style icon.
AL : What’s next for NATALIECHAPMAN the label?
NC : We are now getting ready for our Winter16 collection, which releases in 2 months time. We are dressing some stunning profiles in Australia and the US. Very excited to see where the brand will be in 6 months.
AL : What advise will you give to emerging designers?
NC : Work hard, stay focused, don’t expect success work hard to achieve your goals. Don’t be disheartened from challenges or mistakes that you need to make. Keep learning and evolving to be best version of yourself.