What It's Like to Work as Creative Director at One of Australia's Biggest Brands
Have you always dreamed of working in fashion but not exactly sure in what area you'd be keen to pursue a career? We spoke to Tigerlily's creative director, Amelia Mather, to find out more about her role and her day-to-day responsibilities.
Since its launch in 2000, Tigerlily has positioned itself as one of Australia's go-to brands for women who chase an endless summer. Whether it's holidays at home, or travels abroad, Tigerlily will always have a swimsuit or resort wear that will suit.
This year, the label will take part in Who What Wear's VAMFF runway presentation on International Women's Day (March 8, 2019). If you're yet to grab a ticket, now's your chance before they're all sold out.
Read on to discover what it's like to work as creative director at one of Australia's biggest fashion brands.
What was your experience before joining the Tigerlily team?
I was determined to be a fashion designer from a young age. I gained my degree in Fashion Design at UTS whilst working for Seafolly as a design assistant for three years. There I immersed myself in Lycra, learning about the construction of swimwear and fits from some of the best. Then in 2004 I joined Tigerlily as a designer, an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
As creative director, what does your day to day look like?
It is quite varied. My day could consist of designing, conducting garment fittings, catching up with our designers and textile artists, preparing ideas for campaigns and building content with our marketing team, to sales meetings and reviewing press placements.
Where do you continue to find inspiration season after season?
I believe Australians are natural born travellers, in part due to our geographic location. Therefore it is only natural that Tigerlily has evolved from much of the travel I have taken over the years. Covering both coastal summer enclaves, to culturally rich locations, these all inspire the exotic range of influences we are drawn to.
If you’re feeling ‘stale’ what do you do to re-energise creatively?
Sydney’s beautiful beaches! I love Wylie’s Baths or Clovelly beach to go for a swim and lounge for a bit, to recharge my body and mind.
Travel is a big part of your role—where do you love to go? What do you think will be the next ‘it’ spot to travel to next year?
I’ve been drawn to Europe the past few seasons and keep discovering great new spots to return to. I love Croatia and Greece so I’m predicting Albania will be the next ‘it’ spot which is between the two countries, bordered by Montenegro. But I can’t pass a European summer in Ibiza, personally I love both Ibiza and Portugal. Outside of Europe, I would love to explore Vietnam.
What can we expect from Tigerlily in upcoming collections?
We’ve got a renewed focus, fresh direction and some great new talent has joined the team. Expect the Tigerlily you love but re-imagined! Imagine lots of versatile dresses and separates in luxurious fabrications for your holidays overseas or getaways at home.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about what you do?
That we only do swimwear! When I joined Tigerlily in 2004, I was initially hired to design the clothing collection, which at the time was a new category for the brand. Apparel has been 70% of our business for some time now. We have been working on some beautiful new fabrics, all exclusive to Tigerlily and I am so excited to launch the collections we have for release in 2019.
What’s your message for other women who look up to you and hope to work as a creative director of a brand one day?
Get as much hands-on experience as you can. Be grateful, listen and learn and be nice! Aim to gain experience at both large and small companies to get a big picture view of the industry. I was lucky to be able to experiment and take risks when I was hired to design a new category for Tigerlily, this really helped shape my design aesthetic and am forever grateful to Jodhi Mears (the brand’s founder) for this opportunity.