August 2024

Full Nelson

Skinny NelsonSkinny NelsonSkinny NelsonSkinny NelsonText: Louise McClean Images: Skinny Nelson

The year you turn 18 is often accompanied by a lot of post high-school mooching or devising ways to get through uni with minimal work and maximum fun. This is the case for many, but not everybody. Particularly not for Jacqui Alexander, who has been in cahoots with success since launching her internationally applauded self named fashion label at the age of 18. She has since moved on to launch Skinny Nelson, a label in which simplicity speaks volumes for style. The soft, organic fabrics, delicate detailing and simple shapes which embody Skinny Nelson design come together to make classic, easy to wear pieces which will undoubtedly become enduring wardrobe staples, impervious to the fickle whims of fashion.

Louise McClean: Skinny Nelson is a gracefully good looking basics brand created with beautiful organic materials. Can you tell me a bit about the creative and ethical philosophies behind Skinny Nelson design? And what direction has this label has taken from your first self named label?

Jacqui Alexander: The style philosophy at the core of Skinny Nelson is to keep it simple. The creatives, musos and urban fashionistas that wear the label dig it for the minimalist design aesthetic. Skinny Nelson basics are made from 100% organic cotton it’s about doing something as simple as this through every range that brings the brand a global consciousness, something Skinny Nelson fans appreciate and something that’s important to the Skinny Nelson team. The label is quite a departure from the high fashion styles of the ‘Jacqui Alexander’ brand. As a designer, Skinny Nelson is more me. The understated but fashion oriented styling (that is a creative’s day to day gear) is what I live in, so designing this way seemed only natural.

LM: From the age of 18 you have had standout international success. Can you tell me what you attribute to this incredible achievement at such an early stage in your career as an independent designer?

JA: Growing up in the fashion industry I guess I had a lot of time to watch and learn and cultivate my own creative direction. By 18, I had years of experience by way of mentorship from my designer father and artist mother. So when it came time to stand independently I had the foundations for a successful label.

LM: You come from a very creative family, so has your parents work become something which is present in your own work in any part of the production of your label?

JA: There is definitely a strong connection between my love of simple and dynamic silhouettes with my father’s edgy, silhouette-driven style of design. Mostly though, what I share with them both, is a real balance between creative passion and work ethic. They are constantly trying to teach me how to control the emotional connection with my creative work and not let it hinder the process or outcome.

LM: With your next Skinny Nelson season in-store soon how do you feel your upcoming collections have evolved from your first? Does your focus on simplicity give you room to move in terms of creativity?

JA: Our fourth season drops into stores in just a few weeks which is really exciting. The range epitomises the Skinny Nelson understated – designer basic aesthetic. The collection is constantly evolving and future ranges will show injections of more fashion oriented minimal Skinny Nelson style. Simplicity is timeless and will always be at the core of Skinny Nelson. With that philosophy, it makes it easier to design, because you’ve always got that guideline.

LM: Is Skinny Nelson something you want to move onto the international stage at some point, or is it a brand you would like to keep local?

JA: Skinny Nelson is already making moves internationally but Australia is the brand’s home and priority at this stage.

LM: Given your background, is there some other arm of design or fashion design you may like to pursue in the future?

JA: Definitely! I’m working on a series of canvasses in my spare time. Art, for me, is more of a meditation thing at the moment, something I do that balances me especially as the fashion industry can be quite a roller-coaster. It’s very possible, however, that I will work towards exhibiting one day. I’ve had a lot of encouragement from the few people I let into that private space.

Skinny Nelson

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