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Verner: “I’m interested in authenticity”

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Verner: “I’m interested in authenticity”

Australian brand Verner has been on our radar for a couple of seasons already. We don’t don’t know if it’s the super clean aesthetics, diverse inspirations – ever heard of a designer basing a collection on cultural appropriation? Neither had we! – or personality of its namesake founder, Ingrid Verner, but there’s something about the brand’s visual identity that caught our eye. Maybe it’s just the super cute accessories: quaint Vichy headbands and a yummy Croissant pouch really stand out in the SS15 collection… From Melbourne to London: we sit down for a quick cyber-chat with the lovely Ingrid.

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Can you tell us more about yourself?

I was born in Singapore, but am now Melbourne-based. I studied Visual Arts before completing a Bachelor of Design in Fashion at RMIT University, then quickly established my previous label TV after university in 2006 with a friend. I took a break from this in 2010 and worked for Brisbane label Easton Pearson before establishing Verner in 2012. I sometimes work sessionally at RMIT mentoring student’s through their design process.

The Verner woman in three words?

Adaptable, flippant and thoughtful.


Verner SS15, “Eat Cake”

How do you put a collection together?

I start with concept and move quickly to the textiles and prints before working these into groups. Print have often been a focal starting point and something I enjoy working on… I then tend to over-compensate before editing back! I never design in bodies or put looks together until the day of the shoot.

It’s quite rare to come across designers with such radical starting points – cultural appropriation, racism, the relationship to one’s country… Do you see yourself as a political designer?

No definitely not, I’m just interested in authenticity.

Your collections focus on the silhouette, with different plays on volume. Why such an interest?

I think this came about as reaction to feeling too print-focused.

What’s your view on the Australian fashion scene?

It’s difficult to survive here as a young or small brand.  You get a lot of small pond mentality.