Welcome to our very FIRST EVER blog! Every week we'll be bringing you a post on a variety of topics... this week's is 'The people behind Astor + Tyne' and I've taken it on good authority that the first person in this series to be featured should be me! So, if you'd like to know a little more about me, then read on...
Meet Nicola - The Founder of Astor and Tyne - an Australian Women's fashion label.
Hi there! My name is Nicola. I am an Adelaide-based Fashion Designer and owner of Astor and Tyne - an Australian Women's fashion label.
I’m married and have two beautiful daughters, 16 years and 12 years and am 49 years old. They have grown up so fast it’s crazy, but they are one of the main reasons for me to start my own business. I really needed a creative outlet that was flexible for our family’s busy timetable, and they are super helpful when I have ideas I want to run past the ‘gen z’s’ of the world, or need to learn a new social media app!
My family emigrated to Australia from England (London) when I was two years old. I went to a very big public school and reached year 10 level in high school. It was a very suburban Australian life in the 80’s and I am now soooo very grateful for the risk my parents took back in 1974 to move so far away from everything and everyone they knew. How lucky we were to have been given Adelaide as our destination from my dad’s company!
During my teens, I enjoyed going to the football every weekend and was a cheerleader for many years – gotta love the ‘80’s cheerleaders! It offered everything I loved - dancing, gymnastics, costumes, teamwork, leadership and being pushed to a higher standard. If I could cheer today, I absolutely would.
The desire to create fashion has always been with me since I learned to sew at the age of 12 as I constantly wanted something that couldn’t be purchased in stores. Having this exposure to sewing has been a blessing for me and has taught me many things in life.
Sewing taught me how to plan, have patience, attention to detail, and deal with setbacks when things didn't go as planned.
Along the way, I have worked as a hairdresser for a whopping 23 years and owned a salon for 6 years in that time. Working in the Salon gave me great pleasure as you can help people feel good about themselves and give them a look they may not have tried before; it was always lovely to see them feel better when they left, than when they walked in.
It was my goal to ensure every client left feeling confident and comfortable with the cut and colour I gave them, while also ensuring they had the look and style that they desired. This is where I allowed my creativity to develop and it was massively rewarding.
I decided to combine my love for fashion, style, and helping people feel and look good with my interest in slow fashion, which soon led to founding Astor + Tyne - a brand passionate about making women feel confident and empowered.
Astor + Tyne collections are designed and developed in my home studio in Adelaide with accredited ethical clothing manufacturers in Melbourne, a team in Adelaide, and a small team overseas. With the help of my brand, I want to bring awareness and support my mission to build a safe industry for fashion workers and offer consumers an opportunity to embrace the movement towards buying local, conscious purchasing, and slow fashion.
How Slow Fashion is Different from Sustainable Fashion & Ethical Fashion:
There seems to be a lot of confusion between slow, ethical and sustainable fashion. This is understandable as there is a lot in common, sustainable fashion cannot be sustainable without being ethical, at the same time, what good is slow fashion without being sustainable.
The difference between them lies in their focus. Sustainable Fashion is often concerned with the environmental impact and Ethical fashion is often concerned with human and animal rights.
While slow, ethical and sustainable fashion all describe efforts towards an aspirational goal - rethinking our relationship to clothes - slow fashion combines a brand’s practices with a customer’s shopping habits. The movement works towards creating an industry that benefits the planet and all people. In all my choices at A+T, I may not be perfect, but I care, and I take careful consideration in every decision with this in mind.
Over the years, runways across the globe have been addressing environmental concerns one theme at a time including Sustainability, Zero Waste, and Slow Fashion.
While the fashion industry has improved its social and environmental performance. The industry remains far from sustainable.
I have a wide range of collections, with a lot of my inspiration and attention catering towards the Fashion Over 40s. How to dress at 40 and above? Often, it’s just a matter of finding the right balance of high fashion/on trend styling, knowing your body type and how to dress for it, and finding what makes YOU feel great. When you walk out the door feeling great, everything will always look good on you.
I hope to help you create your own personal style, by mixing and matching what suits you and your lifestyle and curate a wonderful working wardrobe that you love to wear.
My goal is to make women who wear my collection feel confident, independent, and current. If I can inspire and help even one person feel that way, then I’ll call that a success.
Finally, I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have the support of an amazing amount of beautiful, warm, wonderful, funny, inspiring women, I am lucky enough to call friends - some of whom date back to primary school!
Some of my favourites:
My Favourite kind of trivia - 'what year was...'
My Favourite kind of humour – unfortunately…people falling over. Especially a montage video - I can’t help it, it makes me wet my pants laughing, tears streaming, no oxygen kinda hysterics EVERY time. Apologies to all the empaths out there…
My Favourite movie of all time - Back to the Future
My Favourite TV shows - Mad Men, and now my new fav is New Girl
My Favourite colour – Pink (no surprises there!)
My vision is for Astor + Tyne is to become a leading Australian brand of quality, ethically-made fashion for women who value individuality, body confidence, and quality over quantity. By offering only quality, sustainably produced products, at fair and reasonable prices. With your help, this dream can become a reality! The first step towards making this happen is to spread the word about Astor + Tyne.
If you are on social media, share this link with your friends and family (and tell them to click through to my website to see more): astorandtyne.com.au