Meet Lucia Hanna, the founder of With Harper Lu, Melbourne's latest cult slow-fashion brand and new kid on the block. We sat down with Lucia to chat about the journey of With Harper Lu and plans for 2022.
WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND WITH HARPER LU?
As weird as it sounds, I always knew I wanted to have 3 names for my brand's name. Lu is short for Lucia, mum and I always liked the name Harper and liked how it flowed with "with" at the beginning (“with” also feels like we are all part of this community).
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR OWN LABEL?
Before with Harper Lu, I was a full-time university Student studying a Bachelor of Business Management, I worked part-time in hospitality and part-time as a Human Resource Intern. Mum and I were also writing our business plan for “with Harper Lu”.
WHAT WAS THE IDEA THAT STARTED YOUR BRAND?
The original concept for with Harper Lu grew from my love for fashion and having a certain eye for tailoring vintage pieces with my local dressmakers. Myself and my twin sister used to buy Vintage clothing and alter the designs. We spent every weekend at our local Dressmaker having clothing redesigned. This planted the first seed of creating with Harper Lu. With the help of my mum, the vision become reality as I knew we would work well together in bringing this to life. I have always loved fashion and even though that sounds cliché, we felt there was an opportunity in the market for a young small business to create individual and easy to wear clothing with beautiful fabric designs.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
I get my inspiration from a range of things. Beautiful fabrics are one of the primary sources of our creative vision. It is just instinct that drives us. We don’t follow trends – we create them! We only create clothing that we would love to wear ourselves. As the brand has grown, the vision and our creativity has evolved and individuality and creating original content has become more important to us.
TYPICAL DAY IN THE OFFICE?
I start most mornings off with Pilates at my local Coreplus, I then usually process administration work which can often take most of the morning. Most days I like to work on the creative elements of our brand. A large part of our creative element is designing, drawing, sourcing fabrics and creating designs. We usually leave this for the afternoon when we are more relaxed. I am also on the phone a lot with our manufacturers and the wider team that helps pull this together.
BIGGEST PINCH ME MOMENT?
Every day is a bit of a pinch me moment. I never take it for granted that I am able to do something for work that I absolutely love. The biggest pinch me moment would have to be when Kendall Jenner’s assistant stylist contacted and when we collaborated with Endlesslyloveclub on Instagram.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO START THEIR OWN LABEL?
Some advice I would give to someone who is starting their own label is find your niche and be original! I find being true to yourself and your own instincts is the only way you will truly be successful rather than just following trends.
FAVOURITE NAKEDVICE PRODUCT?
I love everything from Nakedvice, so many great staples! However, I am obsessed with my new black heels called the Jas. They are so comfortable, and I can pair them with literally anything.
WORDS TO LIVE BY?
Everything happens for a reason.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR WITH HARPER LU?
We are incredibly excited about what is coming next. We intend to design every print we use moving forward. We are also in the planning stages for 2022. As we develop and grow, we gain confidence in bringing more color, individual creativity, and exceptional quality with our own branding. We want our customers to recognise our designs without checking the label. I am most excited for next year and to hopefully be able to work without experiencing any lockdowns or delays due to COVID.