When collection after collection of is full of stunning dresses that feel as though they were made for our bodies (no matter what shape) it comes as no surprise that the woman and namesake behind Leina Broughton is as passionate about wearing beautiful, well fitting dresses as we are.
She creates the most perfect classic black, work-to-play numbers alongside brightly coloured, wildly printed party dresses - and, somehow, she gets it right every single time!
As hers is one of Alice's absolute favourite labels, I just had to pick Leina's brains about her inspirations, why the perfect dress needs a hint of seduction, who she designs her collections for, and so much more.
Have a little read of our chat below and please know, she is as lovely as she sounds in writing!
I hope you enjoy xx
My Friend Alice: You've worked in the fashion industry for many years. What was it that lead you to start your own brand?
Leina Broughton: I just knew I had to... I had worked for so many years developing for others that I had a very clear idea of my style and how it would fit into the market and above all I wanted the challenge. It is one thing to think you are creative but to stamp your name on it and to make it a success is next level!
MFA: When did 'Leina Broughton' the brand launch, and how has it evolved since then?
LB: Since starting in 2010, everything has evolved! Looking back on the beginning, I realise how much I lacked the creative confidence. It was such a big deal to quit my job and move interstate and I was so busy trying to make a success that my focus on the brand was clouded. The more I get to know our customer, the more I am able to create and the design ethos is now so strong. On a business level, I have also gone into partnership with Business Dynamo, Fleur Richardson, which means I am able to concentrate completely on the brand, the design and the marketing; it has transformed my creativity on every level.
MFA: Where do you draw inspiration from when designing each collection?
LB: My inspiration always comes from somewhere different and it becomes my creative hook, expanding from there. I start by researching trends and colours and while I am in that creative space there will always be something that grabs me. I am currently working on my next summer collection... When at the beach the other night, it was one of those half stormy evenings and the colours just jumped straight out at me - the aqua against deep midnights and amazing peach tones. From there the fun begins with print design!
MFA: I can't wait to see it, that colour combination sounds amazing! So, when designing, is there a particular type of woman that you are designing for? If yes, how would you describe her?
LB: Yes definitely. The LB woman is a modern woman on the go. She understands the importance of style and confidence yet needs pieces that fit into her lifestyle. Her style is classic yet contemporary and quality in fit and style is paramount.
MFA: We couldn't help but notice that Shelly Horton has recently been spotted in your dresses (she looked stunning we might add), among other well known Aussies. If you could see anyone in the world wearing Leina Broughton, who would it be?
LB: Shelly is such a beautiful, smart, vibrant lady and we feel so proud that she loves our frocks!! On a world-wide scale, I'd have to say Kate Middleton: elegant and sophisticated, yet has a certain modern edge.
MFA: How would you describe the 'perfect dress' for you?
LB: The perfect dress for me always starts with amazing fit and a quality fabric and finish. The next element is comfort and of course seduction. By seduction I don't mean showing lots of skin, it is about how I feel in the dress. At the moment there would definitely be spots and navy in my perfect dress!!
MFA: If you could wear either bright colours or classic black for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
LB: Hmmm tricky one... It would have to be bright colours (paired back with navy and neutrals of course!) as colour is so powerful to your mood, it literally lifts you! We always feature a lot of colour in our collections and believe it has real power with your style and confidence.
MFA: What does a typical day in Leina Broughton HQ look like?
LB: I bring my little 3-legged pooch to work with me, so a quick early morning wander with him and then first thing, coffee!! We have just expanded our offices to upstairs as well so I head straight up and get into the creative zone. Most of my days are spent working on new designs (textile and garment) working online (web & social) and brainstorming new ideas with Fleur - we are constantly discussing and looking at how we can improve all areas of business. Shared healthy lunch, more coffee and go, go, go!!
MFA: We love that 'Leina Broughton' is designed and made in Australia. Why did you want to keep the process in the country?
LB: We still have amazing manufacturers in Australia and we love being able to work so closely with them. They have so much knowledge and skill and it is rewarding to know we can make so much locally. It also gives us an edge with being able to create so quickly. The more designers that keep part of their manufacturing locally, the longer the industry will stay alive here... Live local, love local!
For a closer look at Leina's current collection click here: Leina Broughton at My Friend Alice