Friday, 2 March 2012

jewellery designer andrea haynes

Melbourne-based jewellery designer Andrea Haynes has worked for the likes of Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, helping them set up stores in Asia. She lived and worked in Hong Kong before returning to Australia and joining Seed Femme. From there, Andrea was asked to head the Australian operations of the London-based jewellery business, Lovisa, which in no time at all has opened 58 stores.

Which five words best describe you? Fashion-obsessed, Melbournian, passionate, loyal, well-travelled.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started out in visual merchandising for a number of brands including Midas, Mollini and Evelyn Miles. I was given the amazing opportunity to take over buying and product development for Mollini. This made me realise developing product and building ranges was my true passion! As well as Mollini, I was also the buyer for designer footwear brand Evelyn Miles – dealing with designer brands Miu Miu, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, to name a few. Following this I moved to Hong Kong to work for the footwear and accessory division of luxury department store Lane Crawford – here I continued to work with designer brands, including Christian Louboutin & Jimmy Choo to build stand alone stores for these labels and others in China and South East Asia. I returned to Melbourne with a strong desire to get back into creating product – I missed the excitement of creating something and seeing it through to the end product, to sales in stores. I joined the Seed Femme team in the early stages of the business to develop product categories within the accessories range. I was then given the opportunity to head up the Lovisa buying team and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never assume that your taste is what the customers' taste is – need to look at product through the customers' eyes.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing the evolution of the Lovisa brand is definitely the highlight. Being intricately involved in a fast-growth start-up company is one of the most rewarding moments for me to date; I feel very grateful. The success it is today is a total team achievement, of which I am very proud to head up the product team on this journey. When your vision becomes a reality - an iconic and aspirational brand with a rapid growth plan that is successfully represented in 58 sites across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - those late nights spent in factories and the office all become worth while!
What’s been your best decision? Throwing out my acid wash jeans in the late 80s! Photo history horror! And taking every opportunity presented to me.
Who inspires you? I travel a lot so love seeing the trends on the street. It’s the everyday people in NY, London, Milan and Melbourne. Of course, there are the designers too! I love Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Miu Miu and accessories from Comme des Garcons. Locally I’m a big fan of Scanlan & Theodore, to the point where no one asks me where my everyday dresses are from anymore!
What are you passionate about? At work I love researching the trends, finding the next big thing and developing our successes.
At home I love all the usual stuff, spending time with friends and family, a Saturday on the couch with the papers and some mags is a treat when you travel as much as we do at Lovisa! And I love eating out, a new restaurant discovery is a memory created.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I have to say Karl Lagerfeld! He is so intriguing and a personal brand all of his own.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I’ve been to fashion shows but the ultimate would be a Haute Couture show in Paris. Fewer and fewer brands are investing in fashion at that level, I’d love the chance to experience this art before it’s gone for good.
What are you reading? We have to keep up with the trends, and to be honest, I never get sick of reading magazines! I love Paris Vogue, UK Harper’s and there’s always few trash mags in the mix too. I do have a pile of novels next to my bed I want to read but never get the time.

images courtesy of lovisa

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