Brooke Testoni has built a career that many can only dream of. Her eponymous blog serves as a visual diary showcasing her ability to mould trends to fit her own personal style. With an extensive background in the fashion industry, it was only a matter of time before the Brisbane-born beauty added the title of ‘designer’ to her skill set.
You’ve been in the fashion industry for over a decade, what prompted you to launch your label?
Yes, time goes fast doesn’t it! About two and a half years ago, I was searching for my ‘ideal’ bag. That being: inspired by the past, classic in style, without statement branding, and underneath the $1,000 mark. Unfortunately, there weren’t any that I was excited about. This is how the Rylan brand was formed.
How long did it take you to develop?
From the initial concept to the launch of the brand in August 2017, it has been around two years. I had hoped to launch a little earlier, but it was important not to rush the process and to be sure it is exactly how I had envisaged the brand.
Where do you draw your design inspiration from?
Music and furniture design have always been my biggest inspirations. I could put on an Otis Redding or a Bill Withers record and instantly have new thoughts and ideas run through my mind. Growing up, my Dad was in a band, so I have always been around old music. It truly brings me so much peace and joy. My husband and I collect vintage furniture and art. Each piece has inspired me in some way.
Your husband also works in the fashion industry, did he have some input?
He definitely has input. For those who know him, he is such a great guy and is a mentor to a lot of people in the industry. I have been so lucky to have him mentor me on the business side of the brand. I personally am a creative type, and he has more of an analytical approach.
Who is the Rylan girl?
To me, the Rylan customer loves her fashion, yet isn’t one to label herself with obvious branding. She has a love for the mid-century era and has a classic yet effortless style.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My style is quite classic, effortless, androgynous. Lately I’ve been adding a bit of femininity.
What’s your go-to outfit? High waisted denim, RM Willams boots, a t-shirt, gold jewellery and the small black Rylan satchel. However, for Summer, I would opt out of the jeans for a mini skirt and flats.
What sort of thing did you consider when designing your collection?
When designing the collection, I considered what the ‘Rylan customer’ would want in a bag. Obviously, I also considered quality. It is important for a staple like these bags to wear impeccably for many years.
Do you have a favourite design in the collection?
I actually designed the large satchel in aged cognac first. it reminds me of something my Grandmother would have carried when she was my age. The small satchel was created for usability when I was going out at night and wanted a smaller shoulder bag or clutch. I reduced the size and eliminated the handle but maintained the original aesthetic of the large bag.
You also run a hugely successful blog/website. What’s next for you in 2018? Do you see Rylan expanding?
I have loved having my blog for the past 6 years, however 2018 is the year for change. I have been studying Interior Design over the past year, so the relaunch of the website this year will incorporate a lot more of this topic. My husband and I would like to start a family, so I would like to step back a little bit and focus on Interior Design and the Rylan brand.
You’ve got such a knack for interior styling, do you have any other passions we might not know about?
Thank you, thank you! This is something I am so passionate about and have left on the back burner for too long. I am thirty this year (crazy!), so I thought it is time to do the things I have always wanted to do and studying interior design was one of them. Other passions would be collecting vintage furniture and beautiful art; however, I guess that falls into the Interior Design category.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is completely different for me, but in regard to tasks I do on a day to day basis, these would be: Taking my dog for a walk, grabbing a green juice or acai bowl, answering emails, writing a strategic or creative plan for a brand I am working with, shooting content for my clients, planning shoots, writing stories or articles, checking and posting on social and my Interior Design homework!
Does your style differ on weekdays to weekends? What would you typically wear on each?
I was going to say no, but I actually do dress a little bit more casual on the weekends. During the weekdays if I was to have meetings, I would wear cropped trousers, kitten heels, a t-shirt/blouse and blazer, however I mostly wear high waisted denim, a blouse or t-shirt back with flats or sneakers. On the weekends, I usually wear a dress and sneakers, or shorts, a tee and sandals. When it comes to accessorising, I have always loved statement earrings, so I would even pair a set of statement earrings with a casual outfit.
Off topic, but I have to ask…how can I get those brows? Are there any particular products/techniques you use?
These brows are from my Dad. He probably has some of the thickest eyebrows I have ever seen! Don’t let them fool you, a lot of maintenance has to go into them unfortunately! They aren’t the cheapest asset to have haha. In regard to product, I don’t need to fill them in, but simply use a clear eyebrow gel or simply some hairspray to keep them in place.
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