We talk to Stephanie Saxton, designer of lifestyle brand Saltysea which debuted on the NZFW runway today.
Stephanie wanted to create something of her own, but also something she could use as a vehicle to give back. She wears activewear 90% of the time, and tries her best to live a healthy and ethical lifestyle. Teaming these things together, Stephanie created Saltysea, an ethical swim and activewear label which embraces diversity.
For the Saltysea swimwear range, Stephanie was determined to create the perfect mix of cheeky and comfortable - introducing the Ulu Suit.
Stephanie's inspiration for Saltysea comes from a variety of places, including her golden Labrador Trooper (her 'salty sea dog'), and the ocean. There is vast beauty in the colours, the waves, sunrises and sunsets.
Being an ethical label, It's important for Saltysea to provide a fair living wage to their manufacturing team in Bali. The team are able to choose work hours that suit themselves, their families and their lifestyles.
1. You debuted SaltySea today at NZFW. Tell us about your vision for the show.
To come out with a bang. Activewear and swimwear can be comfortable and fun, we wanted to inspire people to live a balanced lifestyle while looking and feeling great.
2. Tell us about the NZFW model casting. Do you have any advice for other models and designers?
Naxos 18 collection was designed to fit a range of sizes. It was hard to choose a select few models, as all of the girls had something unique to offer. I chose a range of women of different shapes, sizes and ethnicities.
For the models, try not to be nervous at castings. Be yourself. Every designer is looking for something different. For other designers, go with your heart and pick who you believe epitomises the spirit of your brand.
3. We loved the runway looks today, can you tell us about your creative vision?
I attended our creative meetings leading up to Fashion Week. For SaltySea we went for comfortably chic with a beachy vibe.
4. Congratulations your debut, Stephanie. Is there anything else you'd like to say?
It's important for me to mention the incredible people I collaborated with for NZFW. A big part in creating Saltysea was the goal to create more than just a 'clothing brand', but to build a community and collaborate with other young entrepreneurs in New Zealand. I am grateful to align Saltysea with Matt Bear, founder of Kiwi company BearBones SurfCo in Mount Manganui. Matt hand crafted a custom surfboard purely for today's show. We also collaborated with Zoe, designer and jeweller of Caja JewelleryC in Wanaka. Zoe makes jewellery which is mined only from certified ethical mines. Each of her pieces embody ethnic soul and wanderlust.
I'd also like to thank Birkenstock NZ for the shoes our models walked in today.
Stephanie, we are so proud of what you have achieved, and we commend your commitment to diversity in the fashion industry.
model basics. xx