Kelly Coe, designer and owner of Augustine.
Kelly Coe has a wonderful ebullience that comes through in every aspect of her colourful local fashion company Augustine. After working for a top New Zealand label for three years Kelly saw a gap in the market for her vibrant style of occasion dressing and set up Augustine in 2008. Her gorgeous garments quickly gained a loyal following and meant Kelly added a sister label, Charlo, to her company in 2013, which offers casual pieces that still have her signature playful style.
We caught up with Kelly to find out more about her label, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Well, I have a new collection arrive into stores every month, so it is a tricky question! We have Charlo high summer collection arriving into stores today, which is the last drop for the year, phew. Charlo is very casual, relaxed styling for busy ladies. Colourful, playful, practical yet still beautiful and feminine.
What made you become a designer?
My shopping addiction! Haha! having my label has cured me of my addiction as I only wear my own clothes now. I have always loved clothes but wasn't sure in what way I would work with them. I worked for another NZ fashion house for 3 years prior to having my own label so I saw all facets of the business. I saw a big gap in the market for Augustine and went for it.
What inspires you?
Women inspire me, seeing how they dress, how I think they should dress, haha. I just recently returned from 6 weeks holilday in Europe so the people watching there was incredible, and the effort and time the European ladies put into themselves was beautiful. I get inspired by fabrics, colours and life in general.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your products and brand?
I looove colour. My personal style is pretty dressy and lots of colour. I mix prints and wear colours that shouldn't go together. I will wear animal print heels with a print dress and a bright necklace. I love wearing oversized tops with a fitted sequin skirt. I dress up everyday and I love it and I am trying my very best to inspire other kiwi women to do the same. Put more effort into their everyday style and wear less black. I am a one woman campaigner to get NZers wearing less black. I always think that no matter how amazing a dress or an out fit is, or how much you paid for it, if it is black it's boring. I hate seeing celebrities wearing black on the red carpet, colour is so uplifting and makes life more fun.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Well I only wear my own label so it's not clothes, haha. I looove my Porsche aviator sunglasses that I lost while on my 6 week trip, agghh. I have a sunglass addiction so it would be one of my many pairs.
Looks from the Charlo High Summer 2015 collection.
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
Something colourful. Ditch the black, buy more dresses, skirts and pretty tops. You also need a great pair of jeans and go-to heels to wear with your pretty floaty tops.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Dress up, every day for any occasion. Don't save clothes for a special occasion, life is a special occasion and every street is a catwalk. Be creative and go for it, in colour!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Reaching 100k followers on Facebook was pretty awesome, it just meant that 100,000 women were loving what we do and take the time to follow my clothing and my journey.
What can’t you live without?
My family; the little rugrats are full time hard work but they rock my world. More superficially I cant live without sunglasses, lip gloss and dark chocolate.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Black to a wedding!
Nathan and Kelly Coe at a wedding.
Images from Kelly Coe and Augustine International