Jessica shares some insight into her label ‘On the Phone to Paris’ with FK.
Tell us about your label ‘On the Phone to Paris’
On the Phone to Paris is a collection of feminine, vintage inspired, leather fashion accessories. It took me a long time to decide on a name for my label. I wanted something cute and quirky. One day I walked past my bedroom and on my door I have a sign which reads “Please respect my privacy, I am on the Phone to Paris” and voila!
What is your background and what inspired you to start your own label?
I studied fashion design at Whitehouse in Sydney and worked as a design assistant in apparel for a few years. In 2002 I was working as a Design Assistant at Charlie Brown and decided I was ready for something new. It was then that On the Phone to Paris was born. I had always had a passion for leather so it seemed natural that I would have my own leather accessory label.
How did you start your label and how has it grown?
I had a friend who was selling printed t-shirts at Bondi Markets in Sydney and she invited me to join her stall. I bought an industrial sewing machine, started making handbags in my parents loft, and sold them at the markets every Sunday. A few months later I found myself a leather maker to keep up with the demand. I developed a range of embroidered leathergoods which became my signature. I still see people wearing them and can’t help but smile.
I sold at Bondi Markets for a number of years before I took 6 months off and went traveling around the world. Upon my return I took a role at Oroton as Junior Designer. It was there that I learnt the business of accessories and went on to design accessory ranges for other Australian designers. I think without the time spent at Oroton, and the knowledge gained, my label would not be what it is today. This year I have launched the On the Phone to Paris website and am in the process of launching my online store.
What do you think makes your label unique to others and what special features do you have?
With ruffle and bow details, On the Phone to Paris is flirty and feminine. All pieces are made from premium grade leather but are still affordable. There are not many made of each style so each piece is special. Personally I only buy something when I fall in love with it. I hope that On the Phone to Paris customers feel like this when they buy my pieces.
What inspires you as a designer?
Old photos, vintage clothing and accessories, leather markets, gorgeous prints, colour, flowers, the beach, friends, and being happy. I get so much enjoyment out of people loving my pieces or having a giggle at my label name, for me that is the best inspiration I could have.
Where would you love to see On the Phone to Paris stocked in the future?
I am currently stocked in Nicola stores in Armadale and Prahran in VIC. I would love to see On the Phone to Paris stocked in other special boutiques across Australia.