FAWN FEATURES: WHITE LILY RED ROSE
Since graduating from FBI Fashion College in 2009, Jackie Steen has powered her way through the fashion industry to be the proud owner and designer of label White Lily Red Rose. This didn’t happen by pure luck; Steen is a hard-worker and determined to make her mark in the industry.
Having been in the industry for seven years, Steen’s first gig was a design room assistant role juggled with study. Since then, she has held roles with The Glue Store and Henleys, working her way up to the Henleys Womenswear Designer, which she has headed for the past two years. You have to admire her perseverance; to have landed such a role while still in college proves you’re never too young to start working towards your dreams.
In addition to her role as Womenswear Designer, Steen needed another way to express her creative side. “White Lily Red Rose originally started as a fashion blog in 2011. It created an extra outlet of creativity and a snapshot into what was inspiring me from time to time. Meanwhile, I was making bits and pieces and selling them at the markets.”
There evolved White Lily Red Rose. In today’s world, new labels almost automatically come with an online outlet and this is something Jackie was very aware of. “It became clear that as we grew that we needed to provide to customer requests in between market weekends. This realisation saw the birth of our online store,” she says.
“The digital age is well and truly here and if you can’t bring your product to your customers’ immediate needs, you will likely miss out on another competitor who is accessible from a phone or computer. I was thrown into the deep end of the online world and the endless possibilities; however I have fine-tuned and designed what works for us and the heart of the label.”
Alongside the pieces that she designs and hand sews herself, Jackie also works with photographs. “I collaborate with fantastic photographers from around the world in putting together this walking photo exhibit,” she says, referring to the label’s Photography Exhibit tees.
Just when it seemed her plate was full enough, the young designer has taken another step in introducing a jewellery collection by Canadian label Wolf Circus. “I stumbled upon Wolf Circus while blog surfing. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful crystal pieces,” she says. “Wolf Circus jewellery is owned and hand made by [the label’s designer], a woman named Fiona. Each piece of jewellery has as much love put into making it as there is with my label and I loved the idea of introducing the brand into Australia.”
So what’s next for Steen and White Lily Red Rose? “We are continuously growing and expanding. The label is about to release some fun handmade cord bracelets and candles. We are also in very early stages of releasing a lingerie line.” With such a diverse and promising future ahead, Steen is one to watch.
Words by Angela Palo