Q&A 1. Who is Lisa Barron? • I’m Lisa Barron…(laughs)… I’m a business owner and a Melbourne based designer behind the fashion brand Lisa Barron. 2. How would you describe your brand? • My creations incorporate fine tailored suiting day-wear and beautiful evening wear. • The Lisa Barron brand has a certain sophistication in the designs. 3. Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the day to day life like for Lisa Barron? • As a business-owner, you wear many hats often at the same time. • I am a very hands on member of the team and on any day I could be cutting samples, meeting with factories, on the shop floor consulting with customers, measuring for special orders, brainstorming window displays, the list goes on. 4. And it’s all locally produced? • Yes…. As the label keeps progressing and appealing to a wider audience who are increasingly conscious of quality, originality and beauty, they are also more politically, environmentally and socially aware, therefore I am persistent in having my label made locally rather than produced overseas.
5. How did you get your start in the Fashion industry? • I was at fashion school and was honoured with the “Fashion Excellence Award” in 1982, which lead me to Melbourne. • I hadn’t quite finished my fashion course in Perth when I decided I was ready to not only jump in the deep end but on the other side of the country. • So in late 1982/83 I arrived with my portable sewing machine, $500 and a car. • I set up a workroom in the garage at the back of the flat I was renting and so the label was born. • This is when I established a home business supplying stores around Melbourne and South Yarra. • I kept very busy at my sewing machine trying to create innovative pieces for myself…and with vinyl and leather been so fashionable in the early 80s, local niche boutiques started taking notice of my styles. 6. What do you enjoy most about the running Lisa Barron Label? • Teamwork and camaraderie are very important to me. • Firstly Max, my husband and partner have worked together in the business for nearly 30 years, decisions and directions are done together. • Our design room team is talented and passionate. • Kerith Barnett is our production manager and RMIT graduate and has been in this role since graduating for five years. • She has become an invaluable member of the team and extremely multi-skilled. • Our sample machinist Ippolita Raschilla has been with us for 15 years and has hands of magic there would not be collections without her.
Our retail staff provide outstanding service and many have fashion backgrounds to enhance their product knowledge. It is this team with the goal of producing and selling the best collections we can that keeps us all inspired.
7. So you’ve been a successful Fashion Designer for 30 years….what is your secret? • Design, quality, originality and fit are paramount. • I stayed focus on delivering a beautiful and creative Australian made label worthy of 30 years of experience. • Most importantly, I have continued to be inspired, allowing my creativity to flow. • I’ve continued to build relationships with my customers….which has given me more insight of what they want to wear. • There are many pressures on small business these days and you can get caught up trying to do everything. Websites, online, Facebook, Twitter. • So many more tricks you need to stay in the focus and often the core of a fashion business can become less specific…. I just kept my focus. 8. Where do you get your inspiration? • I would say all of my inspiration comes from LIFE and being creative.
9. You obviously have a passion for fashion, what inspires you about fashion? • I love the fact that one minute there is nothing and six months later there is a beautiful collection created by a very talented team of fashion artisans. • The process of fabric selection, the direction of a new collection, the trialling and sampling of a new idea that leads to more ideas is amazing to me. • Probably the most rewarding is the time spent on the shop floor and the joy a beautiful, well-cut outfit can give to a woman. • Beautiful fabric is also a great inspiration. It takes a lot of sourcing and viewing 1000’s of headers to find the right mix. Fabric is the draw card and it needs to have longevity and quality and above all be the right fabric for the right garment. 10. What do you think fashion should do for a woman? • Fashion should enhance, never overtake. • It should always flatter her and here lies the importance of the personalised service that is hard to find in many stores and impossible to find on-line. • The choices she makes need to work for her lifestyle and needs. • It should be one of those joys in life when you have made a decision to purchase a designer dress.