Designer Jane Laird-Pick from Stella Royal by Augustine. Images supplied.
Jane Laird-Pick is the Designer and Brand Manager for curvy fashion label Stella Royal by Augustine. She has worked for the Augustine brand (owned by Kelly and Nathan Coe) since 2015 and has been involved with Stella Royal since it was first created and launched in 2016. Jane has worked her way up in the fashion industry over 16 years since completing her degree in Fashion Design and Technology in 2003. Now a mum to two young boys she loves her dream job as Stella Royal’s designer and is proud that the label has become a go-to for curvy women who love colourful, stylish clothing. Stella Royal will be part of Augustine’s upcoming NZ Fashion Week show which takes place at Fashion Weekend on Saturday 31st August.
We caught up with Jane to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Our latest collection is Spring/Summer 2019 (launches Friday 30th August), which is full of gorgeous prints, splashes of stunning colour and touches of sequins which are signatures of all Stella Royal collections. We offer styling that takes you from day to night – cute casual off-duty looks for weekends, pieces you can dress up or down for work, right through to beautiful dresses for parties and special occasions.
What made you become a designer?
A lifetime love of fashion and playing dress ups! My Grandmother was a designer specialising in bridal wear and my mother was a keen sewer, hand-making me pretty dresses when I was a little girl. We always used to watch shows like the Benson and Hedges Awards and the Miss World competitions to see what the contestants were wearing. I remember designing clothes and trying to make them on my little sewing machine when I was young. I feel like fashion has always been a part of my life and knew from a young age that I wanted a career in fashion.
What inspires you?
I feel inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, places you go, people you see, and I love working with fabrics and find that they often inspire me as to what I should make out of them. I also find Mount Maunganui, where I live, very inspiring – there is something magical about The Mount.
But mainly it is our loyal followers who inspire me, gorgeous confident smart women who want clothing that suits their lives and their personalities. It’s my job to create collections that appeal to them and I am lucky to have personal contact with many of them via our Augustine stores and our social media channels.
Looks from Stella Royal by Augustine’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I would say I have quite a feminine style but do like to mix it up with items that are a bit sporty say like a bomber jacket and sneakers with a pretty floral skirt. My current weekday style is very much centred around skirts with a printed tee and denim jacket, or a floral dress with leather jacket and ankle boots. I am lucky working for Augustine that we have an incredible portfolio of labels so we can really play around with our wardrobes and what we want to wear. This definitely influences my designs as I feel like gorgeous fashion should be available to women of all shapes and sizes, and for too long plus size clothing has been limited to dark androgynous styling that worked to conceal the figure rather than celebrate it. At Stella Royal we are all about empowering women to love their curves and love their clothes (we even use those hashtags on all our posts!)
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
I have had so many pieces over the years that I love and still hang in my wardrobe, but if I had to choose it would be a gorgeous Stella Royal sample that lucky for me was too small to use for production. It’s a wrap maxi dress style in the most stunning print. There’s a photo of me in it below at last year’s NZFW show with our beautiful Stella Royal models.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
It’s got to be two things: a denim jacket as they literally go with everything, and a great pair of jeans.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Wear what suits you and don’t be a slave to the trends just because that’s what’s in fashion… but I am going to slightly contradict myself here in saying don’t be afraid to try new looks and step out of your comfort zone as there is nothing worse than getting stuck in a fashion rut and not knowing how to get out.
Jane Laird-Pick (centre) with models on the runway at Augustine’s NZ Fashion Week 2018 show.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
That is easy – working for Augustine and presenting our ranges to a crowd of over 600 women at NZ Fashion Week. It takes my breath away every time I step out on that runway at the end of the show and see all those gorgeous ladies wearing our clothing.
What can’t you live without?
My husband and kids and friends, walks on the beach and sunshine.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Those massive chunky sole sneakers that are in fashion at the moment. Sorry but it’s a no from me!