AS THE deadline looms for the courier to arrive and pick up samples from Kate Anderson’s Adelaide office, the local designer ponders last minute changes to a jumpsuit that lays patiently in front of her on her wooden floor.
In what borders on organized (and very stylish) chaos, Anderson’s eyes light up as she reaches for the scissors she had thrown aside just moments prior. Seeing she’s got a vision, I stay silent, mesmerized by her creative process. And – with a few snips and pins – a layered, incredibly cool jumpsuit with belt detailing lays before me. She’s done … and I am ready to order one in every color.
Having later had the pleasure of watching a model strut her stuff in the finished piece, I got a glimpse into the insanely talented and often by-the-cuff creative world that Anderson is acclaimed for. Quite frankly: she’s brilliant.
But, despite being named the 2014 Cosmopolitan ‘Fun Fearless Female’ Designer of the Year, Anderson’s just getting warmed up.
The humble former Head Designer of Finders Keepers – Australian Fashion Labels’ first-launched line – maintains that growing is a constant requirement if you want to stay relevant in the fashion industry.
“Never be better than your job,” Anderson said.
“Life throws us curveballs – some amazing and some not so. You need to remain grounded and have an attitude that doesn’t falter.
“The fashion industry can be quite fickle and fake at times so keeping grounded is so, so important.”
Last year Anderson announced she was moving on from her role at Finders and, although she said the move was the right one at the right time, was quick to express her gratitude to the company that helped launch her career.
“It really was an amazing journey,” she said.
“I started with Australian Fashion Labels when it was in it’s infancy and as the company grew I had the amazing opportunity to grow with it … from being a ‘Girl Friday’ to Assistant Designer and then eventually Head Designer of Finders.
“I had the opportunity to meet some phenomenal people and (I was) constantly inspired and blown away (as I watched it) all grow around me.”
The decision to leave, one many people branded as “bold”, considering the label’s popularity at the time.
“Bold or crazy,” she joked.
“No, I think that in the fashion industry you need to be relevant and have a strong following.
“To most it seemed like a strange time to leave but it really made so much sense. I’d worked on Finders for six years and grown with the label throughout this time, and eventually my taste changed and I wanted to design for me and not necessarily the ‘Finders girl’.”
But her departure from Finders Keepers was anything but the end for the Adelaide talent. Next month her new label – So It Goes The Label – is set to launch and has already turned heads from within the fashion industry.
“The first range drops in early February which is super exciting,” Anderson said.
“I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever!”
The range she speaks of is one of style, comfort and effortless swag. Anderson said her new label was indicative of a lifestyle choice, and represented more than just a ‘style’. She said her pieces were designed to be comfortable, able to be layered and mixed with ease and intended to provide a high-fashion look without the effort.
With a mix of leather statement pieces to everyday basics with an Anderson twist; dresses to jumpsuits and pretty much every important closet piece in-between, So It Goes The Label, is set to be a go-to destination for girls far and wide. And, with stockists already lined up across Australia and internationally, it seems Anderson’s reputation for quality designs and fashion-forward-thinking has preceded her.
Many people would say having celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Taylor Swift wear your designs will do that. But, the truth is, the beach-lover’s popularity stems more from her personal reputation and genuine desire to create clothes that will be worn and loved by everyone than any celebrity endorsement.
“I would always wake up in the middle of the night and see amazing press being emailed through from the US with big names,” Anderson told Stylehunter.
“Taylor Swift wore one of our coats once – that was pretty exciting (but) to be honest though nothing beats walking past someone on the street wearing one of your designs.”
Anderson’s genuine love for fashion, only exceeded by her love for her family, which she said was the reason for her success and the inspiration behind her brand.
“(My family is) the best and the reason I am doing what I am doing,” she said.
“They have been nothing but supportive and right there through the highs and the lows in the last year.”
And how proud they must be. Their daughter and sister the head of a new label which is quite simply the epitome of cool. But when it comes to the day-to-day life of Anderson, she was kind enough to let us in on a dirty little secret.
“I would love to say I’m glamorous all the time but that would be a lie – I love dressing up but, much like the SIG vibe, I’m generally a low maintenance gal … I get ready in five minutes,” she laughed.
“If I could wear double grey marle sets all day every day I would.
“I think the most important lessons I’ve learnt which translate to life and business are to stay true to yourself.”
So, just as you sit there pondering how a young woman can fit so much success into her short life (while looking cool every step of the way), Anderson is probably pulling on her trainers and starting her daily run in preparation for the New York Marathon which she will be running later this year with the Little Heroes Foundation. It just so happens the marathon will coincide with SIG launching a new active wear range. Let that sink in for a minute.
So It Goes The Label may be laid back and effortless … but Anderson’s career is travelling at a million miles an hour.
Keep up if you can.
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