Interview with Insight’s Laura Mayby emily on Jul 22, 2010 • 14:16 •
Welcome to the world of Insight: hot Australian surfer boys, free-spirited beach babes, and fashion that is both edgy and wearable. Sound like fun? Yeah we thought so. The label’s Womenswear Head Designer, Laura May, may seem like your average care free hippie chick on the outside, but this career-driven designer is only 25 and already has her “dream job”. Our friends at Insight sent us this interview conducted by TheRivaled.com (an ill blog; if you aren’t already up on it, check it out!) so we could gain some “insight” (haha get it? No?) into what inspires Laura May. Enjoy!
Laura, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Hows everything?
Hey, life’s great. I’m in London. We’ve just finished our Spring/Summer Range releases in the US & Europe. The collections were received really well, but it’s been a crazy few weeks of long flights, little sleep, presentations and partying! So it’s nice to have some time now just to hang out and get inspired.
For those not familiar with Laura May/Insight, can you tell us a bit about yourself and
your design background?
I joined the Insight family just under a year ago and am now the Womenswear Head Designer. But it’s very much a team effort over here. I work with a bunch of insanely talented artists and fashion peeps that make it all possible! Prior to Insight, I spent 6 years working for a bunch of Sydney labels in various roles across design, production, sales, styling & trend consulting. I’ve always been interested in the whole process, and having such varied experience opened many doors for me.
I landed my first assistant role at 18, only a few months short of finishing my first year of fashion study. I have learned most of what I know from the incredible people I’ve worked with. I’ve also spent a lot of time travelling and taking time out for courses and internships in Paris, New York & London. These experiences have really shaped me as a designer. I’m now 25 and have my dream job, so I’m stoked.
How did you link up with Insight?
I was consulting for Ksubi when George asked me to do some work for his other label, Insight. A week later I was in Bangkok & Tokyo on a sourcing trip, and a few months later I was offered the role of designer.
What would you say differentiates Insight from similar labels on the market?
Our art. Our vibe. Our history. At Insight’s core is surf, skate, art & fashion. Mash it all together and you have a lifestyle. If you work here you more than likely live – eat – breathe what the brands
about. And that comes across in our product, our marketing, our parties. Everything we do. It’s an approach to life. People get it. It’s real. That’s what it feels like to me anyway.
Is the brand a personal reflection of your style?
Definitely. As I said, you need to live it to work here. That’s what keeps you going season after season. When your creating stuff you’re genuinely passionate about people will believe in it too. As for my style, you’ll notice a new direction come through for Spring ’11. It’s the first collection I worked on, and I feel it’s a good representation of who the Insight girl is. At the end of the day I’m designing clothes I want to wear.. my friends want to wear… and what I think like-minded girls want to wear. Also, I’m trying to design pieces that stand out from all the boring, repetitive stuff on the market.
What can we expect from the Summer season and looking forward to Fall/Winter?
Spring is a mash up of military derangement and early 90’s grunge, taken down the road less traveled. The Summer component introduces a 70’s beach bohemia with a rebellious undertone. In other words, loads of cool band inspired art, beautiful floral, paisley, animal & watercolour prints, trashed pre-loved basics & experimental knitwear teamed back with printed, distressed & dyed denim. The looks are layered, and we’ve paid attention to all the finer details of fabrication, wash, dye & subtle finishing’s. Each piece feels worn, loved and like it has story to tell.
As for Fall / Winter, it’s taken on a vibe of it’s own. But you’ll have to stay tuned because it’s too early to give anything away!
Insight is quite an eclectic label, what kind of surprises can be expect moving into
There’s not too much I can say without ruining the surprise. But I can reveal there’s a pretty sick campaign you can look forward to. It involves Warhol-esque factory parties, bathtubs, hot chicks, team riders, exotic locations and projections!
Insight is involved in other projects away from fashion, including art shows and music events. Can you tell us the importance of bridging the gap between those initiatives and the apparel side of things?
Fashion – music – art – they all feed off each other. You can’t have one without the other. It’s what drives this label. Insight really is just a bunch of super creative, like-minded people who live & breathe the arts. So having these external collaborations and projects is only natural. It’s also only natural our fashion lines are then influenced by these initiatives, and vice versa.
What is your favorite part of designing?
I love the early days of conceptualizing a collection. From the moment we leave on our inspiration trips, to the weeks of traveling, sourcing, sketching, dreaming and brain-jamming with the team that follows! There are no boundaries at this stage. You can completely indulge in all things creative. This is what I love most.
What is your favorite travel destination?
New York. I want to live there one day.
Any particular designers/brands that you look up to?
I went to the Maison Martin Margiela ‘20’ Exhibition in London this week. It was a really in-depth look at the concepts and themes behind the house’s last 20 years work. For an incredible few hours I was completely immersed in the MMM world. This radically conceptual label reminded me of why I’m in fashion, and what I want to achieve. I left inspired.
Any last words?
Nice chatting, you’re mag looks rad!