In honour of our co-founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($20), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (to parallel the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of inspirational female leaders who are at the top of their fields. So far, we’ve tapped Lisa Gersh, Pip Edwards, Kelly Wearstler, and more. Up next? Kacey Devlin, founder of the eponymous label.
You may know Kacey Devlin as the brand behind your favourite luxe wardrobe staples. From the dreamy metallic fabrics, to the unique silhouettes, the brand has become synonymous with contemporary Australian fashion—and for a good reason. And while the name may be one that’s recognised in the households of our country’s most fashionable women, what’s not-as-often considered is the woman behind the brand.
Sure, we all know which colours the brand’s skirts come in this season, but how much do you know about the woman behind the brand? As in any industry—though fashion may sound extremely glamorous—there is a fair amount of hard work put in, a lot of which often goes unrecognised. So to get an idea of what being the name behind a brand really looks like, we went straight to the source. Speaking with Kacey Devlin herself, we were able to glean some insight into what a day on the job looks like. To get the inside scoop on everything from Devlin’s best career advice to the surprising thing she wears everyday, keep scrolling to read the full interview below.
Supplied by Kacey Devlin
In civilian terms, how would you describe your job?
I design luxurious and wearable womenswear that make our Kacey Devlin (KD) girls feel confident, brave and in control. The brand’s DNA is about celebrating the women that wear KD and giving them every day livable pieces that allow them to their best foot forward —be it at work or for a special occasion.
What part of your job would people find most surprising?
That I wear my take on KD ‘fake fitness’ every day. My days are either spent in a factory with our production team or in the studio dispatching orders, cutting samples, pattern cutting or racing the clock for new season deadlines – so activewear is my attire of choice!
What did you wear to your first job interview?
I was 17, applying for my first ‘real’ position as the P.R. and Marketing Assistant at Gorman, and I wore a pair of high waisted, flared black suit pants and a white oversized button up shirt that I borrowed from my mum.
Who would you love to have a 30-minute meeting with?
What are your go-to resources for staying up to date in the industry?
What is one thing in your career that you've regretted?
Taking too much advice on board. There are a lot of opinions surrounding your work, and the best way to do things in the creative field—and sometimes, there is certain advice that’s best left behind. It’s important to build a tribe of equally knowledgeable and inspiring individuals who understand your business and brand and believe in your vision and end goal.
What are the top five qualities you look for when hiring?
- A positive and strong work ethic.
- Grit (never too ‘good’ for a task, not afraid of getting their hands dirty).
- Someone who is proactive.
Working at KD is hands-on, and there is no time to be precious or pretty about things. You have to be able to get on with it straight away and get the job done.
What do you wear to work to feel powerful?
When I am not pushing around in my fake fitness or KD Jersey, my go-to outfit is our Tapered Deep V Blouse and matching Duality Full Skirt. There is nothing more powerful than feeling comfortable and confident. Committing to a full colour block in our KD version of relaxed suiting is a soft yet powerful look that I love to wear!
How would your assistant describe you?
I would hate to think about it! I’m very honest and unfiltered and am known for grammatical and spelling errors in my emails. Near enough is good enough?
What do you do when you're feeling uninspired?
I have assembled playlists on my Spotify that capture the inspiration when I have it so that it’s always there whenever I need it. I do this before I start working on each new season. Music is so important to my design process, it informs movement and feeling ,which our KD design aesthetic is centred around.
What's the best way to quit a job?
With honesty and gratitude.
What is your go-to lunch?
Brown rice quinoa cup, tuna, spinach, seeds and tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. I mix it all together!
What are the most common mistakes entry-level employees make?
Being too precious and having the misconception that working in fashion is glamorous 100 percent of the time.
Who do you love to follow on Instagram?
What are your morning and evening rituals?
A cup of hot lemon water followed by a coffee in the morning, and a peppermint tea and 10 minutes of mindfulness mediation before bed.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?
Feel the need to check out the online store yourself? Shop the latest styles on the Kacey Devlin website.