Our newly appointed Head of Design, Jane Wilkinson, began working at Country Road in 1999 and over the years has come to understand the distinct aesthetic of modern Australian life. Here, Jane invites us into her new Fitzroy home to discuss her role at Country Road and everything she loves about Melbourne.
Photography by Stephen Ward.
You’ve just been named Head of Design at Country Road, how your role has changed?
Being appointed Head of Design has been so exciting! I have been a part of the brand for many years but primarily across the womenswear ranges. My new role encompasses all aspects of the brand: womens, mens, accessories, home and kids. It requires me to ensure there is a consistent handwriting and message across the whole store. I am still directly and closely involved in bringing the very best product to our customers.
What is it you love about the industry and do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get started?
It’s an amazing industry; fast paced, challenging and ever changing. My advice to anyone starting out would be to be constantly looking forward. We are in a time of huge change and the fashion industry has to adapt really quickly. Be on top of every new idea, be brave and work hard! Stay true to your brand.
How would you describe Country Road’s style ethos?
Modern. Elevated. Simple.
What was the starting point for the new season?
We always start from a fabric concept. Luxe fabrics, yarns and textures were top of mind, we wanted to offer our customer something really special. Velvets, tweed, silks, satins, cashmere and soft buttery leathers all came together to create a collection that we really love.
Melbourne is known as quite a creative city – what do love most about the creative community here?
There are so many aspects of Melbourne that I adore. The city laneways, the art galleries, the amazing food and wine spaces and the best shopping. Much of my weekend is spent with the kids so we are often at local farmers markets or at the NGV.
Where do you find inspiration?
Obviously I spend a lot of time looking at fashion trends both globally and locally. Inspiration can come from the smallest thing. The colour and textures in the Australian landscape and coastline have inspired us this season.
What are some of your favourite Melbourne spots?
I adore St Crispin on Smith Street, it has the most amazing food and atmosphere. I love Embla on Russel St in the city, it specialises in organic wines from innovative winemakers. We often just pack up and head down the Great Ocean Road for the weekend.