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Samantha Wills

Bec&Bridge | Bianca Spender |

FASHION FUTURE INTERVIEW

Australian designer

Samantha Wills

talks of her timeless style and fashion journey.

______________________________________ Raised on the beaches of Australia’s East Coast, Samantha Wills moved to Sydney and established her self titled accessories company when she was just 21 years old. After displaying her debut collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2004, Samantha Wills Jewellery became the ‘must have’ item in the Australian accessories market.

In 2008 Wills was a finalist in the prestigious ‘Telstra Business Women’s Awards’ and her fast rise has been referenced in many design and business publications including the widely distributed book ‘Women in Business’.

Samantha’s Creative talent, media profile, modelling background & media training have made her bankable property with other brands outside of the Fashion arena approaching her to collaborate on a variety of projects including a Brand Ambassador for TONI&GUY and Tourism NSW for which she was one of the ambassadors for the ‘City Of Inspiration’ Campaign.

Tipped by fashion writer Inez Mendoza to be “Australia’s biggest export since vegemite’, Wills is Inspired by world travels, culture & life experiences, Samantha travels to different parts of the world 8 months of the year & also divides her time between her homes in Sydney & NewYork City.

Describe your style or collection.

Relaxed, glamorous, and chic. I travel constantly for work so tend to change my style according to what the local weather is doing! My personal jewellery style is really well represented by my most recent collection ‘Le marché d'épice’ . meaning Spice Market.

I was really inspired by the juxtaposition of Manhattan chic and the raw beauty of stones, rope and beads from Morocco.

When wearing jewellery I always like to play with the combinations of pieces and wear both glamorous and earthy elements at the same time – I think it is quite a modern way to wear jewellery.”

How and why did you enter fashion Industry?

“I have always loved fashion and hand made my own jewellery purely for the enjoyment of the process.

Friends began to ask me to make pieces for them and eventually the demand grew into a really healthy business. I feel very fortunate to have been able to grow my passion into a business and receive so much support. “

Where did the journey into fashion design begin for you ?

“Growing up, I wasn’t really a girly girl, so it probably beging in art class, rather then spending my pocket money on clothes as a teenager. I love that fashion allows you as both a designer & an consumer experiment & express.”

Who has influenced you the most in your life ?



“Without a doubt my parents. The values they have instilled in are the basis for how I conduct myself in life & business. “

1.Why is it so rewarding to be a Leading Jewellery Designer?

The process of designing is incredibly rewarding. I love bringing all these beautiful elements together, silk rope, crystals, turquoise and ornate castings and seeing them transform into a beautiful piece of jewellery. It is rewarding to see what was a table of components come together into a beautiful piece.”

2. Where do you get your inspirations from?

*I am lucky enough to travel the world and when I do visit a place I try to stay out of the touristy areas and really embrace the culture and local materials. I found some amazing Jade Stones in a flea market in Paris. Walking though the local markets in foreign countries is like a sensory overload. “

3.What has been your greatest achievement?

“I think starting a company at 21. I didn’t know it at the time as I was a typical naive 21 year old! But when I look back know I think it was pretty courageous. The last twelve months have been amazing I have really grown the business and now have a fantastic team, based out of Sydney, NYC & LA.” . .

4.What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

“The biggest challenge was keeping up with the business side of things when the company grew at such a quick rate. There gets to a point where to grow properly you have to hand things over, so I brought in a business partner who is an amazing businessman, but also inspires me to push the boundaries creatively, so I feel blessed to have the best of both worlds!

5.Whose style do you most admire?

”I love the Olsen twins as they are trend setters. It takes guts to be a leader, especially in fashion & I think they do it bravely & honestly in being original.”

6.What changes in your business, if any, have you made to adapt to the current economic climate?

“As a business we have been lucky enough to experience growth despite the challenges presented by the economic climate recently. We have maintained our focus on our product offering, PR and customer service and well as branching out into new markets. “

7.Divulge the fashion piece that you couldn't live without?

“My Chanel handbag I bought in Paris this year! I treat it like gold & the novelty has not worn off & I am confident it never will!”

8.What is your worst fashion faux pas?

“Happy Pants! MC Hammer anyone!?”

9.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

“Living abroad, with a very ratty passport! SW is expanding so rapidly globally that NYC will be ‘home’ & Australia will be my holiday destination..”

10.What advice can you offer to emerging fashion designers?

“Perseverance. Its not easy. If you love what you do, keep at it, but it requires dedication & sacrifice.”

11. Samantha’s ‘HOT TIP’ A touch of sparkle is always the answer - Start with the accessory and work back…

Take time out of your week to give back to yourself. Read, visit a beautiful store or gallery and be inspired.”

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