Erina Emery, designer and owner of fashion label Erina Emery.
Erina Emery‘s sense of fun and love of doing things a bit differently comes through in her namesake label which launched in 2011. She first learned to sew as a child and later found her way back to fashion as an adult, now Erina is living her dream as a fashion designer and owning her own label which is gaining in popularity each season.
We caught up with Erina to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
My Winter 2016 collection “Sweet Rebellion” was designed with a defiant spirit in mind, grabbing beautiful luxe prints and sophisticated dresses to deliver some rock-n-roll glamour! It’s a little bit rock-chic and a whole lot “Sweet Rebellion”. But more importantly the pieces are easy to wear, versatile and lots of fun, giving day to night pieces an effortlessly modern twist.
What made you become a designer?
I have always loved fashion and being able to be creative. I started making clothes on my Mum’s sewing machine when I was about 11, (even though she hated sewing) but I had two very creative Grandmothers. I used to love to visit my grandmother that lived close, and go through all her bags of fabric. Whilst doing my OE I realized that fashion was my true passion, and I came back to NZ to do a fashion design course. From there I went to work making costumes for Xena and Hercules and when the shows ended I moved into the rag trade helping with production out of China. I stopped to have my 3 lovely kids and starting thinking about how great it would be to have my own business, and then driving along one day I heard a quote on the radio “That you are never too old to become the person you thought you would be” – it was the kickstart that I needed to finally follow my dream and start my own label. Something that I had wanted to do all my life.
What inspires you?
I am inspired literally by everything around me, the things that will catch my eye are usually the unexpected.
Campaign images from Erina Emery’s Sweet Rebellion collection.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your products and brand?
I would say that my personal style is fun, with lots of bright prints – I try to not take myself too seriously and I wear things that make me feel happy. I generally don’t wear a lot of black. I think that everything that you are as a person will come through in your design aesthetic. I want my clothes to be the favorite piece in a women’s wardrobe, something that is fun and uplifting to wear. Versatility in a piece of clothing is my ultimate goal, so that you never have it sitting lonely in your cupboard. I have balanced my style with classic tailoring to ensure that they are easy to wear and unpretentious.
What is your all-time favorite purchase?
I think it would have to be a white leather jacket that I bought from Sandro in Paris; I had been crushing on a very similar one from ACNE for years. It has detachable sleeves so can be worn as a vest also. A classic that goes with everything.
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
Well there can’t just be one thing! You need that perfect high/low dress that can be worn to a day event and then dressed up for an evening party. The perfect fitting pant is also essential – black is an easy go to, but I personally love a fun print. And finally a great jacket that can go with those great pants or a cocktail dress.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
It’s not really a style rule as such, but I never would wear all black. I love colour and great prints, wearing them makes me feel happy and alive.
Campaign image from Erina Emery’s Sweet Rebellion collection.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Often clients will contact me to tell me how much they have loved a piece of clothing and how it has made them feel great wearing it. It is an amazing feeling to know that you are making women feel more empowered about how they feel about themselves, I also love it when I see total strangers wearing my clothes.
What can’t you live without?
My gorgeous family and friends, without the people I love – I am nothing.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
I try to not have any rules, as more than likely you end up breaking them at some stage.