Lifestyle

Have Household Items Become the New LBD During the Pandemic?

Jac + Jack

Lisa Dempsey and Jacqueline Hunt, founders

Inspiration
Jacqueline: We were approached by Sheridan to collaborate. We don’t do it often but the heritage of their brand really won us over.
Lisa: In the past we’ve done cashmere throws and cushions, so this collaboration really feels like a natural extension.

Brand personality
Jacqueline: Our motto has always been a wardrobe defined by style and ease. People also want it at home. This translates into the bed linen – there is a sense of comfort and quality in the range, which is really the essence of Jac + Jack.

The new LBD?
Jacqueline: Women always want to buy clothes, and our sales growth is proof of that. But what they want is probably to change a bit. We received a lot of emails during the pandemic from women who made various requests – including scrubs. I think she still wants to look good even though she stays closer to home.

Pandemic influence
Lisa: We got to the heart of what matters to our customers. We have been in business for 16 years and online sales have been out of reach for the past six months. We both helped pack the orders and collect inventory from the stores.

Fashion DNA
Jacqueline: We showed the Sheridan team our spring collection and they took inspiration from our color palette and gave it a touch of bedding. It reflects our collection – there is a nice synergy.

Albus Lumen’s Marina Afonina housewares were “inspired by nature”.

ALBUS LUMEN

Marina Afonina, founder

Inspiration It was very organic to switch to housewares. I launched Casa last year in collaboration with Australian artist and ceramicist Alana Wilson. I wanted the brand to appeal to those who don’t wear our clothes but want to have Casa pieces.

Brand personality It is inspired by the raw elements. I use linens in clothes, while housewares are little escapes – with small plates, dinnerware options, and now four espresso cups, cutlery holders, and napkins in very earthy tones.

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The new LBD? Yes and no. I am still a fashion brand and want to be flexible during the pandemic; but for the moment, I am not pushing for extravagance. It’s a homecoming. People spend more time at home and are more aware of the house they live in, but the time to dine out and go on vacation will return.

Pandemic influence I stay positive. Yes, we have lost a lot of business and there is financial pressure – everyone in fashion has struggled. But this new world saw me wonder why I started the brand. It got too big too quickly and I got excited – I prefer small ones and niches. The pandemic brought me back to my heart.

Fashion DNA I’m all about minimalism, I never do color. Everything is inspired by nature – think brown, cream and black. The Casa range is made entirely of terracotta and textured porcelain.

Lisa Gorman kept her household items from her brands "fun and light ”.

Lisa Gorman kept her “fun and light” household items.

Gorman

Lisa Gorman, fashion designer

Inspiration Gorman started in housewares five years ago – customer demand led us to expand into duvet covers and pillow cases. We are a textile company and it made sense to develop this aspect of what we do. We like to develop our own prints and also collaborate with artists.

Brand personality Gorman is all about strong colors, graphics, and illustrations with a narrative. It’s fun and light.

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The new LBD? The way we dress has changed. I don’t think women will want the same items they wanted before the pandemic. I create clothes for May / June 2021; everyone wants comfort, but nothing too basic either. People are looking at their surroundings and rearranging everything from children’s rooms to living spaces. Traditionally, housewares climb in winter and at Christmas, but people are causing a boom now.

Pandemic influence You cannot stop the production which has been going on for six months and we are committed to selling, whether it is clothing, home goods or accessories. Dressing for certain occasions or places will change. There will now be a slightly off-the-shoulder, casual way of dressing and we tailor what we create in clothing accordingly.

Fashion DNA Collaboration is always a major part of the brand – we love textiles and are passionate about prints. There’s a lot going on – impressions can be beautiful in small doses or en masse – you choose.

Mimco CEO Sarah Rovis said the brand's goal is to create an uplifting vibe.

Mimco CEO Sarah Rovis said the brand’s goal is to create an uplifting vibe.

MIMCO

Sarah Rovis, Executive Director

Inspiration We launched our first home collection in October and expanded the line in April this year. We noticed that women were investing less in scarves and looking for something else. Our decision to move into the bath and home was also inspired by the global trend. Mimco now offers bathrobes, towels, candles, cushions and ceramics.

Brand personality We use patterns in all of our prints; it’s part of our brand. This season’s housewares are inspired by a lithograph of butterflies that I found in a Parisian flea market; this image appears on ceramics, dresses, jewelry and some of the material on handbags. The Mimco woman loves storytelling that ranges from the fashion line to housewares.

The new LBD? We spend more time at home and dress our homes accordingly. I don’t think that means women don’t want to dress anymore, but the attention has shifted to the house because we are inside.

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Pandemic influence Our online business has really taken off since the pandemic. Our customers want one-click and same-day delivery. Her browsing and shopping habits have also changed – she doesn’t leave it until the end of the day to shop – she does her shopping right in the middle.

Fashion DNA The prints are feminine and pink. The ceramics are shiny and polished. The patterns are great and there are shades of pink, lilac, and mint for an uplifting mood at home.

This article appears in Sunday life magazine in the Sun-Herald and the Sunday age on sale October 4.

Jane Rocca is a regular contributor to Sunday Life Magazine, Executive Style, The Age EG, columnist and columnist at Domain Review, the Personal Space page of Domain Living. She is the author of four books.

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