Designers Corner with Sinead James


So to start of the interview who is Sinead ..?
Born in Melbourne and raised on the Gold Coast, 23 year old Sinead James is the Chief Executive Officer and head designer of her label Sinead James The Label. After completing a Bachelors Degree in Business at Bond University and a Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design & Technology from GCIT, Sinead dove headfirst into the launch of her namesake label in late 2011.

What does fashion mean to you …?
Fashion is all about self expression. It’s a form of communication;  by adorning your body in different, shapes, colours and prints that identify who you are. For me personally, it is a creative outlet to express how I feel each day, my mood and what impression I would like to make.

What does Australian Fashion mean to you and what would you say makes it uniquely Australian …?
I personally feel that Australian fashion has a unique fashion style that is able to be clearly distinguished from European fashion lines. European fashion tends to take on a more tailored approach, where Australian fashion is more casual and street. Many top Australian designers have been inspired by versatile prints and textiles, as well as lifestyle and cultural influences, in my opinion these factors are what make Australian fashion so different to rest of the world.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a fashion designer ..?
Since I was old enough to put pen to paper I’ve had passion for drawing, art, shapes & people. From a very young age I spent every spare moment I had sitting at the dining room table sketching out figures and designing dresses. My grandma was very talented on the sewing machine and would always make clothes for my dolls, I was so fascinated by it all that my grandma got me my very first sewing machine when I was about 6 years old. I guess with my love of art combined with an early introduction to fashion I’ve always known I wanted to be a designer. After days of begging I even got my dad to let me change high schools just so I could study Fashion as a subject. After completing high school I then completed my Bachelors Degree in Business and a course in Applied Fashion Design & Technology, I am now finally living what is only the start of my dream.

What was the first item of clothing you designed…?
I have been designing since I was old enough to remember, but the first piece I designed, completed and actually wore was my 18th Birthday dress. It was a white fitted cocktail dress that I even began to produce as I loved it so much.

So this month you are showcasing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in Brisbane …?
How has this experience unfolded for you ….?
Being a part of MBFF means to me an opportunity to showcase your designs publically. It is a great platform to gain exposure and interest for our brand.  I am looking the most forward to presenting my label, collection and brand to the public, fashion industry and most of all to my family & friends. I always feel a great sense of accomplishment when I see all my hard work going down the runway. I am also looking forward to the experience of working and networking with a range of industry elite, whether it is the models, makeup artists, organisers & other designers. So far  it has been a very productive experience, I have organized for the launch of my Summer 13/14 collection to correlate with the opening of MBFF.

Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing…?
I usually allocate a few weeks to look for inspiration and sketch out an entire collection. I wouldn’t say I’m a traditional designer where I find inspiration from nature, architecture etc. I more so look at fabrics and get inspired from them; another way I come up with my ideas is imagining what I would wear to certain occasions if I could choose anything to wear.  I then do my trade drawings of each design, work with my pattern maker to perfect the style and fit then we make our samples and from there the design are off to manufacturing.

What have some of your career highlights consisted of so far …?
As an emerging designer my most influential career millstones to date are the first time I sold one of my designs, acquiring my business partners & investors and picking up my very first stockist.

What are your influencers with this year’s collection…?

The key influencers from our Summer 14 Collection “Reflections” are use

  •  The use of Sheer fabrics
  •  Strong futuristic Prints
  •  Mixture of flowy styles and fitted

Where can our readers see your collection …? And get some of your items ..?
The new collection is stocked in selected boutiques in Australia, as well as through the label’s e-boutique

How would you define your brands market and style…?
Sinead James The Label design aesthetic could be described as a combination of romantic high fashion with a street style twist. I like for all my pieces to be functional, quirky and fun, with a strong focus on cut and tailored lines.  Having a great love and respect for all living things that walk the earth, my designs are created without the use of animal derived fabrics. The Sinead James girl is someone between the age of 16-30 who is experimental with her style, loves to mix and match and have fun with her outfits.

About the label
Inspired by high fashion and beachside glam, Sinead James The label represents natural sophistication infused with hints of modernity, femininity and little bit of quirkiness—creating the perfect collection of garments for young fashion forward women.

While ensuring only the very best workmanship, all garments are also 100% Australian owned and handmade using only the highest quality fabrics and materials. With a great love and respect for all living things that walk the earth, Sinead James prides her brand on being 100% animal friendly & free.

The label’s inaugural collections are contemporary  yet feminine pieces that can dressed up or down and worn day to night. These collections provided women worldwide with fantastic wardrobe staples. Think simple, classic shapes with a modern twist, on-trend bright colours and colour blocking.

Now, the upcoming Summer ’14 collection is packed with pieces that are flamboyant, fun, bright and quirky. With a combination of  a strong geometric prints & soft colour palette  the “Reflections” collection is a culmination of high fashion and street edge whilst keeping true to the romantic feel behind the label.

This collection is for young women who are experimental with their style and are not afraid to be fashion forward.

You can view the  Sinead James collection at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane
in the Emerging Designer Group Show

Location: City Hall Auditorium, King George Square, Brisbane
Description: Molachino, Erin Hassall Designs, Molly & Polly Swimwear, Playsuit, Peony Swimwear, A Jacksonian Era, Sinead James, Begitta, Stokes Thompson Designs. Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of Azahara by Deakin Estate sparkling wine or S.Pellegrino sparkling mineral water at The Fashion Bar located in King George Square. $1 from every ticket sold at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane will be donated to The Courier-Mail Children’s Fund.

Model Featured:  Georgia Ansell
Photos By Studio Flamingo