If you’ve been living in Australia for more than a minute, you’ve likely encountered one of our most renowned fashion labels, Tigerlily. Established in 2000, the Tigerlily brand has become synonymous with an Australian sense of style for its beach-side aesthetic, relaxed styles and bohemian prints. Now, this beloved brand is reinventing itself. After retailing for over 20 years, Tigerlily is evolving with a new company direction. Dubbed as their ‘brand renaissance’, the label we all know and love will maintain their quintessential essence, however, behind the scenes it is striving for a more inclusive brand identity.
Sophisticated, yet playful this new identity will speak to the core Tigerlily customer - “a passionate dreamer and experience-seeker with an unapologetic love of life.” A crucial part of this new identity will be Tigerlily’s endeavor to be an industry leader in sustainability and ethical fashion. They have pledged a transparent supply chain, the incorporation of recycled fabrics and ethical production practices as part of their rebrand.
Along with a new and modern wordmark and a complete wipe of their Instagram account (and its 4,300 + images), the label has launched its 2020 Resort Collection to celebrate their new identity and reintroduce themselves to the world. Style Magazines was able to get the 411 on the rebrand and the new collection from Head Designer Lesleigh Jermanus. The new collection, which was inspired by 1960s Hawaii, embodies the already established (and cherished) Tigerlily style combined with the excitement the rebrand brings. Vibrant prints, effortless silhouettes and holiday accessories, are staples for this collection making it a perfect capsule for your summer shopping. Check out our interview with Lesleigh below for the low-down on this bold and exciting move for the Aussie fashion powerhouse.
Tell us about your career and how you came to be Head Designer for Tigerlily.
I have been fortunate enough to work for some incredibly inspiring and visionary female leaders who have empowered my creative development and career, all of which helped me get to where I am today. It all started when I was 8 years old standing at my mum’s old Singer sewing machine, waiting impatiently as she pieced together a ditsy floral cotton poplin 80s dress with big puffy sleeves and peplum skirt. I didn’t wear anything else for a month! From there, I started my own business at the ripe young age of 18, sewing at home and selling at the local markets - I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do. I applied for a BA Fine Arts majoring in Fashion Design and started to explore offshore production in Vietnam, which was a huge learning experience for me at such a young age.
My first job out of university was with Gail Sorronda. From there I have been lucky enough to design for some incredible labels, including Hussy Clothing, MARCS, Nicholas the Label and most recently Zimmermann.
What’s an average day for a Head Designer look like?
There is certainly never an average day in the office, but I am very lucky as it never feels like work! I always start the day with a coffee in hand, usually followed by a design session, trade meetings and a fit session. Often then, followed by a quick dash to a production meeting and a conversation with the sales and marketing team on current and upcoming collections as well as fabric and supplier visits. Never a dull moment!
Why do you believe Tigerlily has stood the test of time as an iconic Australian brand?
Tigerlily’s valued for sustainability, as well as such iconic eclectic designs, simplified cuts and bold patterns. I feel Tigerlily has stood the test of time by creating incredible pieces for women to make memories in.
Describe the epitome of Tigerlily in one sentence.
Optimistic, Adventurous, Ethical.
Tell us about the Tigerlily rebrand. What can we expect to be different from the brand we know and love?
We’re still the Tigerlily that our consumers know and love, although as our consumer grows, we also evolve with them. We’re particularly strengthening our efforts in sustainability; we’re focused on using ethically sourced materials, reducing our carbon footprint and working with incredible organisations like Artisans of Fashion.
What motivated the rebrand?
Tigerlily has been retailing for almost 20 years. After a thorough brand audit, it showed that although 15 years ago we became a clothing brand, the current perception in market was that we’re purely a swimwear brand and this is what we wanted to shift. The redirection celebrates the evolution of the brand throughout the years, reflecting the adventurous, globe-wandering spirit of the Tigerlily woman. Our rebrand is about aligning with our customers – creating a refreshed new look and perspective that is aspirational but accessible.
What is your design process, how do these pieces come to life?
We work almost a year in advance, we source inspiration from all things - our environment, holidays, vintage pieces and interiors. My team and I share inspiration and decide what feels good based on our emotional reaction to an idea. It is a very personal, authentic and instinctual process and has to inspire our imaginations to create the narrative.
Do you have some favourite pieces in the new collection?
You can catch me at drinks or dinner in our beautiful Villaya Linen maxi dress, or laid back on outdoor adventures in our Thea Mini Dress.
What does ethical and environmental responsibility mean to you as a brand?
We’ve always been an ethical brand, and we consciously make decisions that best impacts our environment, planet and people, but we are always working towards continually evaluating and improving our sustainable efforts.
We report on our sustainability annually, which we make public - this allows us to take responsibility for our environmental impact and evaluate how we can improve and be held accountable.
By the beach or poolside hangs?
Beach, always the beach!
Go-to Summer beverage?
On a Sunday morning, you’ll find me…
At Christian Ralston’s Yoga class
Must-have beauty product?
Nassomatto ‘black afgano’ parfum
My grandmothers diamond ring.