Style File: Lee Kleiman from Repertoire

Designer Lee Kleiman of Repertoire.

Lee Kleiman is the head designer and creative director of Repertoire which is a contemporary womenswear brand created by Lee and her friends Debi and Meghan in 2006. The trio wanted to create clothing that inspired women and gives them confidence to embrace life. Every piece is made in New Zealand at The Mount in Tauranga with Lee designing elegant pieces that are versatile and easy to wear. Lee is also a talented abstract painter.

We caught up with Lee to find out more about her latest collection, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
Orient Express is inspired by a Japanese aesthetic. Pieces are architectural with strong confident lines but at the same time are very feminine. The collection is built around a fusion of dark Indigo, Cherry blossom pink and lacquer orange which come together in Kimono inspired prints and bold stripes. Wraps in dresses and blouses, obi belts and quirky cropped wide-leg pants all make an appearance in this story.

What made you get into fashion?
My Grandmother was an incredibly talented couturier who worked with beautiful fabrics turning them into magical creations which captured my imagination from a very young age.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by so many things in life, art, travel, nature, different cultures. Inspiration is everywhere you look.

Looks from Repertoire’s Orient Express collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your brand?
I love architectural fashion with interesting details and a little edge. I tend to favour dark colours and invest in pieces that have longevity. I look to put these same design elements into the Repertoire collection.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My Repertoire military brigade jacket. I love how confident and strong this piece is but at the same time it’s relaxed and really easy to wear.

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
This season it would be a great jacket. There are some fantastic new shapes, the bomber, the blazer, the coat and of course the moto jacket. All these pieces would be a great investment.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I am not a great rule follower but I do feel strongly that if a piece of clothing doesn’t make you feel great it has to go. All the pieces in my wardrobe work hard for their “cupboard real estate”

Looks from Repertoire’s Orient Express collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The greatest highlight of my career is that I am honestly able to say that I love coming to work everyday. To truly love what you do is one of the greatest achievements we can strive for.

What can’t you live without?
Family, friends, tea and a sense of humour.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Lycra leggings outside of the gym.

Images supplied.

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