Sexy, Boho Chic & Luxe: Loving Samantha Wills
Modeliste has fallen in love with Australian Fashion Designer, Samantha Wills. With a boho chic, luxe signature style, SW Wills has been tipped by fashion writer Inez Mendoza to be ‘Australia’s biggest export since Vegemite’. We agree.
Raised along side the picturesque beaches of Port Macquarie on Australia’s East Coast, Samantha Wills moved to Sydney in 2004. The same year she unveiled her debut collection at Australian Fashion Week to rave reviews. Entirely self-taught, design came as second nature to Wills who began hand-crafting pieces for her friends and family while she was still at school.
Inspired by her love of travel, many of Wills’ designs are affectionately named after her favourite destinations & adventures had along the way, while her home in New York City provides a constant source of artistic stimuli. Wills rarely leaves her apartment without a camera in hand to capture the magic of the city. Wills down to earth nature is easily spotted in her communications as a spokesperson for the brand, the designer has established a cult following, especially on digital mediums where she communicates honestly & openly with fans as she would friends, sharing personal stories from her life, in & amongst communications about the brand.
In 2011, Wills was hailed the ‘Break Out Star’ by The New York Times. Often referred to as ‘SW’ by colleagues & fans alike, Wills has been tipped by fashion writer Inez Mendoza to be ‘Australia’s biggest export since Vegemite’. If her mass following & early success are anything to go by, the future is bright for this glamorous brand & its young namesake.
MM: What inspired your latest collections?
SW: We are doing a lot of FINE jewelry at the moment – it is still inspired by my main source of inspiration, the SW Woman. I love the concept of bohemian luxury. A mix of raw & polished stones with silk, wood with faceted jewels. I design this way for the SW woman – She is my muse. She is creative. She is strong. She is adventurous & marches to the beat of her own drum. Charting a life of extraordinary moments. The FINE installment is just an addition to her style, she mixes her costume & fine. I am very much about creating a full look within the brand, and then women can make their selection to interpret it in their own style.
MM: You’ve recently launched a handbag and sunglasses line as well! Tell us about this exciting news!
SW: Our small clutch collection was a small capsule to incorporate our jewels into small pods. We are planning a much bigger leather division launch soon. The eyewear is very exciting! We just did a 12 piece collection trial & it sold out within weeks, so we will be releasing a 30 piece collection in the next few months.
MM: What did you see as the top Summer 2015 fashion and accessories trends?
SW: I have always designed to remain true to my own style & the SW woman’s style, I do take trends from interiors into my designs, and in that instance it is definitely white marble & rose gold tones.
MM: What are among your favorites?
SW: I am definitely obsessed with rose gold at the moment, and white marble for sure. I love layering rings, with stones & super tiny crystals. Also ear creepers… I have two holes in my ears, but I am definitely about to go and get a few more to be able to wear more of the FINE earrings together. Just don’t tell my Dad!
MM: What would you say is one of the most defining and playful fashion pieces for women?
SW:I think the earrings, most of them are designed to look like you have multiple piercings, so even if you only have one ear piercing, it looks as if you have more.
MM: What inspires you in creating some of the season’s hottest and most trend-setting styles?
SW: Making it wearable inspires me. When I first started the brand, I was all about making special occasion pieces – which is fun to do, but now I think completely the opposite & try to make pieces that (still might be statement) but are to be worn everyday.
MM: Are there any rules to fashion you live by?
SW: All trends don’t suit all people – the most fashionable people are those who dress to their body shape.
MM:How do you use social media to build your brand?
SW: Social media has always been a big part of our brand. I feel I am in a very luxurious position as a designer in this day & age, being about to connect directly with our consumers, they are gracious enough to show us how they wear their SW, where they are wearing & what they want to see from us. I use social media very honestly & very personally, and I think people resonate with that.
MM: Best advice you’ve ever received?
SW: Work hard & be nice to people.
MM: Greatest success or achievement with the brand?
SW: When we were named as a Break Out Star by the New York Times – that was pretty surreal! Patricia Field sent us a card once, with an illustration of the 4 SATC girls on it, that said one hand in the air for the big city, thanks for making us look so pretty – that is how we found out a pair of our earrings had been selected for one of the Sex And The City Films – that was VERY surreal! But I think this biggest achievement is the incredible team we have within the brand. We truly have a team of young, dynamic, intelligent, passionate & savvy women – & I am incredibly proud of that.
MM: Style Icon?
SW: I love my Mum’s style from the 1970’s – to me it is the ultimate Bohemian Luxe style. And to make it even better – she made all her own clothes!
– How would you describe your personal style? I describe my style as Luxe Bohemian. I was raised on the beach in Australia, and now I live in NYC – so it is a true fusion of the two. I mix designer items with high street, if I am doing a red carpet event, I will wear bohemian jewelry to juxtapose the luxe of the gown… and day to day, I usually wear FINE jewelry with black skinny leg jeans, a leather jacket & Givenchy hand bag. Its kind of like the concept of masculine meeting feminine.
– 3 Summer must-haves. A Tigerlily leopard print bikini, tiny gold rings to layer, and go in search of some aqua water!
MM: Life’s Theme Song at the moment?
SW: New Romantics, Taylor Swift 1989
Why I love Modeliste, is that it’s a fresh take on fashion, it seems like if MODELISTE was a person, she would wear leather & sequins at the same time, and I like that.