Style File: Tess McCone from su`mar

Style File su mur

Tess McCone from su`mar. Image supplied.

Tess McCone is the designer and founder of considered label su`mar which she launched in early 2020. Tess gained over a decade’s worth of experience in the fashion industry having worked for the likes of Zambesi and AGE eyewear before founding su`mar. The label offers capsule collections and made-to-order pieces that are produced in Auckland in su`mar’s contemporary, whimsical style which features innovative pattern cutting and soft tailoring.

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

Tell us about your latest collection?
A lifetime obsessed with seashells, sketching the lines evolved into silhouettes, finding their way off the page forming BEACHCOMBER.

Inventive pattern cutting and intricate draping create intriguing shapes, while amplified ruche details add volume, texture and dimension. Bold shoulders and exaggerated shapes are approached with ease and comfort in mind.

With crisp cotton and lightweight suiting easily layered, delivering an overall trans-seasonal quality. Bold colours feature throughout a base palette of black, white, and khaki. Whilst the texture of soft ivory crinkle embodies an ethereal feel, weaving together the textural elements and dreamy essence of the range.

BEACHCOMBER is available now for pre-order, exclusively at

What made you become a designer?
I was always an imaginative day dreamer as a child and loved making things, this evolved into sewing when I was about 13 and started making my own clothes. There was something so exciting about coming up with different ideas and creating them into something I could wear, I became obsessed with the process and I guess that was that!

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Looks from su`mar’s BEACHCOMBER collection.

What inspires you?
So many things… I love finding beauty in unexpected places! Memories, moments and feelings. Nature, how things form and grow. Arts and craft.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My style sits somewhere between comfort and extravagant! I love wearing and making things that are comfortable and easy to wear, but there also needs to be an unexpected or surprise element somewhere.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Hmmm there’s a few worth noting, but to pick one I would say my Margiela Tabi Toe boots, they are so beautifully made and incredibly comfortable, the only heel I will ever wear these days!

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
An incredible jacket! Something that you can just pop on and it instantly makes you feel magic. And I would also say invest in good quality, and consider your purchases with care – where/who made them etc..

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Not so much… I love exploring different styles and wearing/pairing things unexpectedly.

Style file su mur

Looks from su`mar’s BEACHCOMBER collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Starting my own brand has definitely been a huge milestone.
I was also part of a collaboration with Zambesi in 2017 when I was working for the brand, at the time it definitely felt like the highlight and I won’t forget that moment.

What can’t you live without?
Sunshine, visits to the ocean and wine!

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
I mean never say never… I like to think I’m pretty open-minded!

Images supplied.

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