With a background in fashion design, it was a natural progression for Alice Rawlinson to step into a design and production assistant role with Naomi Murrell.
“I started working with Naomi early in 2015, so it’s been just over a year now,” Rawlinson says. “It’s great to see how the business has grown in this short period of time, and I’ve been lucky to seize some great opportunities.” Rawlinson explains her role within the growing brand. “My main role with Naomi Murrell is Assistant Design and Production, which is where most of my time is spent, though I’ve recently started helping out with some marketing and PR strategies as the brand is growing. I also spend some time in the store, which is great to get a mix of all aspects of the business.” Rawlinson’s day is directed by each collection release. At the start of each new collection, she works with Murrell in sourcing inspiration, choosing the colour palette and fabrics and then refining ideas. “It’s easy to get carried away!” she laughs. “The fun part is seeing it all come together as a collection that we’ve built a story around, right down to the minor details like references in the product names (the Highway Pants are one of my favourites from the upcoming winter collection, inspired by 70s road trips and lush countryside). There’s always the technical stuff to get through (the less glam part) but it makes it more satisfying when you get to see the hard work pay off.” Aside from colours and shapes, it is evident that Rawlinson looks to the smaller details for inspiration. “I love the small delights like tiling, or interesting steps that I find in architecture. Detail in anything that is done well can be an amazing source of inspiration. The thought that someone has put into making a detail extra special is really inspiring, not to mention beautiful.” Aside from designing, Rawlinson is working hard to come up with new ways to help people discover the brand, and making sure the customers are having fun with the products as she explains. “Fun is a big part of the brand, so being able to creatively think of ways to get people to have fun isn’t a bad way to be spending our time!” Under Murrell’s creative direction, Rawlinson explains how she works collaboratively during the design process. “Of course she’s the big boss who makes the final call but it’s great working with someone who is really open to sharing ideas, and is also able to share her valuable skill set with me. We giggle when, on occasions when we don’t work together, we come back and discover we’ve sketched up some of the same ideas.” Extremely passionate about the ethics of fashion, consumerism and clothing production, the positive working partnership between Rawlinson and Murrell is key for the design process. “We care a lot about what we do, which is why we often find ourselves spending a lot of time discussing these important topics and considering them in the way we do things.” Being part of a creative team, and working on fun projects, is a big highlight for Rawlinson. “It’s nice to have fun and not always take everything seriously. We get together as a team every now and then for a big catch up and planning session, though we have more regular contact with Dave (Naomi’s partner, and sales manager) who is quite involved with our shop projects like launch parties, in-store treats for customers, and helping our big visual merchandising ideas come to fruition.” As we head into winter, Rawlinson is excited for the debut of knitwear in the new collection, which will be released in April. “We are super excited to be dropping our first line of cosy woollens and fun scarves this winter. We’re also lucky to have secured a pop-up shop with our friends at Limedrop in Melbourne for the month of April to share our winter collection with some Melbournian babes.” naomimurrell.com Photos: Sven Kovac