Jemma Browne is the head designer for Mossimo and she has an interesting fashion background. She took some time to chat with Beauty and Lace for this designer profile (check out the images from the Mossimo range while you are reading):
You are the head designer at Mossimo, how did this opportunity come about?
I was lucky enough to be freelancing for Brand Collective in 2010 when a position became available to come aboard the Mossimo team as the women’s wear designer.
Tell us a little bit about your background in fashion….
I started out by studying fashion at RMIT then continued in to a course on Visual Arts at RMIT and Design and Illustration at Melbourne School of Fashion. On completion of my study, I worked in a variety of roles for brands such as Rich Clothing, Neo Tokyo, and Wrangler, to gain first hand experience in all facets of the local and international fashion industry.
I then moved into a senior (designer) role at Olga Berg Bags before moving back to apparel as a senior women’s and men’s wear designer at American Cargo. I then joined Mossimo in September 2010 as the sole womenswear designer.
You have spent time working for a range of different brands including Wrangler and Olga Berg Bags, how does this latest position compare?
I see my previous design experience as excellent preparation for my newest role as women’s designer for Mossimo.
Every position has been its own unique learning curve where I have accumulated new skills and knowledge across many areas of the industry.
As such it is why I am working for a brand and product category that I love and admire. Mossimo represents everything I love – youth fashion with a fun carefree spirit, where girls will be girls and anything in life is possible.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is always evolving and ever changing depending on what I am inspired by at any given moment.
Right now I am all about being the rebellious girl at heart, feminine with a touch of toughness.
My style is to have fun, dress up, mix and match different patterns and textures, wearing turn of the century vintage finds with modern day pieces.
Think floral dresses in winter layered with a long chunky knit cardigan worn upside down for effect and paired back with a vintage belt and tough cowboy boots.
Or on the flip side wearing a vintage Edwardian cotton blouse, with skinny resin coated black denim jeans and fluro pink kitten heel sling back shoes.
Who is the Mossimo woman?
The Mossimo woman is fun, confident and carefree. She loves to look and feel great in what she is wears without having to break her budget on clothing. The Mossimo woman loves items that she can wear during the day with a pair of thongs then out at night with a pair of heels.
What kinds of pieces will be featured for Spring / Summer 2011?
The Spring Summer womenswear collection features an array of fun and flirty beach dresses, skirts, and tops in bold colors and strong prints. There are a number of staple pieces in the collection which can be easily translated from day to night and some great coloured and printed denim alongside the traditional styles.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am primarily inspired by international travel to countries such as the United States as this is where the brand was born. When Mossimo was founded in 1986 (by designer Mossimo Giannulli) it catered mainly to surf shops.
While our offering has expanded significantly to include street, urban and sporting styles, I still find myself greatly inspired by the type of styles/fashion you might find on the beaches of Southern California.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Every position I have had has been a big achievement for me as I have set out with the goal to work for particular companies designing on very specific brands.
As a result my current role as sole women’s wear designer at Mossimo is a huge achievement. I am lucky to be part of brilliant team, creating a new fashion component for the brand. This is history in the making and a very exciting time.
Do you have any favourite Melbourne designers right now?
I would have to say my most admired Melbourne designer would be without a doubt Toni Maticevski. Such a humble, creative genius. His creations always leave you breathless. I am always in awe and admiration every time I see a new collection. Truly an inspiration.
What is one accessory every woman should own?
A gorgeous pair of high heels will always make a girl feel fabulous.
What’s next for Jemma Browne?
Taking over the world with Mossimo.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means strength, independence and reaching for the stars. Knowing that the world is your oyster and you can achieve anything your set your mind to. I am all about girl power!