Founded by artist and designer Lisa Murphy, Dean & Nadine is a unique collection inspired by geometric shapes coupled with beautiful pattern and colour combinations from fashion trends both past and present. The collection is both unique and modern with no one piece being the same allowing people to express their individuality through the Jewellery of Dean & Nadine.
Lisa’s journey into the fashion world began on the completion of her Graphic Design degree from The Surrey Institute of Art & Design in 2003. Her first step was joining the world-renowned fashion leader Diesel at its head office in Italy, where she designed premium fashion invitations in addition to developing concepts for their online market. Lisa was then extended the offer to join the Arcadia Group in London, the brand house of well known labels such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge. Lisa continued to grow her creative ability in designing graphics and window installations as well as point of sale, press packs, and exclusive look-books. After spending 5 years in the fashion industry she then launched herself into the world of advertising working her way-up to Art Director for several leading Global Agencies.
With a desire to explore her naturally creative side in an entrepreneurial way, Lisa moved to Australia in 2011 where she studied at the Sydney School of Jewellery. After discovering Polymer Clay and falling in love with it’s ability to make unique pieces, Lisa’s dream of combining her two passions for fashion and jewellery became a reality with the launch of her jewellery line Dean & Nadine in 2014
Tell us your story
My journey into the fashion world began with the completion of my Graphic Design degree from & Design in 2003. My first step was joining world renowned fashion leader Diesel at its head office in Italy, where I designed premium fashion invitations. In addition i also developed concepts for their online market. I was then extended the offer to join the Arcadia Group in London, the brand house of well known labels such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge. I continued to grow my creative ability in designing graphics and window installations as well as point of sale, press packs, and exclusive look-books. After spending 5 years in the fashion industry I then launched myself into the world of advertising working my way-up to Art Director for several leading Global Agencies.
With a desire to explore my naturally creative side in an entrepreneurial way, I moved to Australia in 2011 where I studied at the Sydney School of Jewellery. After discovering Polymer Clay and falling in love with it’s ability to make unique pieces, I combed my two passions for fashion and jewellery and it became a reality with the launch of jewellery line Dean & Nadine in 2014.
What is your label about?
Dean & Nadine is a unique collection inspired by geometric shapes coupled with beautiful pattern and colour combinations from fashion trends both past and present. The collection is both unique and modern with no one piece being the same allowing people to express their individuality through the Jewellery of Dean & Nadine. I carefully make all the pieces by hand, each piece is individually cut out and transformed into stylish and fashionable Jewellery.
How did you get started in all this?
It was about 8 years ago when I first started making Jewellery when I was living in London. Walking home though Covent Garden I stumbled across across a few bead shops and was instantly hooked. Like a magpie I am drawn to anything that sparkles!!! I was soon making Jewellery using precious stones and wire wrapping them. I started to sell at local fetes and craft shows.
Every spare moment I had in the evenings I would be making new bits of Jewellery. It wasn’t until I moved to Sydney that I discovered polymer clay. Being a freelance Art Director / Designer, I used my quitter times to make Jewellery. I really wanted to have my own brand and start it from scratch so I decided to create Dean & Nadine. I came up with the brand name and it just stated from there.
What’s a usual day in the office?
Each day is always very different for me, which is great! I love the variety and also being able to have full creative freedom in what I do. Every week I usually sit down and draw up a weekly plan, this helps me stay organised and focused on what needs to be done for the week!
When you are your own boss you have to be very strict with yourself and set goals that are realistic and having to make sure you stick to them. It can be very easy to get distracted or loose track so this is a great way to make sure things are getting done. It is important to achieve something every day, no matter how big or small it is.
A typical day could be anything from sketching some new designs, coming-up with new product ideas, liaising with stylists, hand crafting pieces, marketing, selling, shipping out products, sourcing materials, ordering in supplies, working on the website or preparing for the markets or speaking to retailers – lots of variety and it does keep me super busy.
I like to take a break during the day even if it is for half an hour. Walks are great to clear your head and get a fresh perspective on things. Most of my ideas usually come from stepping away for a bit.
Did you study fashion? If not what did you study?
I studied Graphic Design at a fashion college. I worked for a few fashion companies after I graduated including Diesel and Arcadia Group (owner of the Topshop brand).
What is your favorite part about being a Jewellery designer?
I love coming up with new designs, that is my favorite part of the job. As well as exploring, sketching and researching but making sure I am having fun doing it! It’s really nice having the freedom of creativity and not working to a restrictive brief. It is also great seeing people enjoy wearing my creations and when the pieces appear in a fashion shoots that is very rewarding.
How did you select the materials you used?
I studied at Sydney Jewellery school and completed a course specializing in polymer clay. I fell in love with the medium as it is very versatile and allows me to express creativity though shape, patterns and colour combinations. It is also a very unique material, there are not a huge amount of modern fashionable polymer clay artist around but it is becoming increasingly popular with Jewellery designers.
How many in your team?
It is just me at the moment, but my boyfriend helps me out with the markets. He is the Dean in ‘Dean and Nadine’ which came from both our middle names! Ha ha
How did you get to where you are now with your label?
My label is still very new it has been going for less than 6 months now. I just try and sticking to my goals every day and make sure I achieve something new every day. It is important to build up a network of contacts. I find social media a great way to meet new people. It opens up a lot of new opportunities and is a great networking and business tool.
When you are doing something you enjoy it really doesn’t feel like work. I think this makes you work harder without even realizing it! You can achieve anything when you love what you do.
It is also important to make mistakes and not to worry about them. This has been my hardest challenge and it can hold you back. Every mistake I make I learn something new and improve on the design or the product.
How and what gives your inspiration for each collection?
I usually keep up to date with the latest fashion trends though magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs and research. I enjoy going to art galleries and exhibitions also design and fashion events.
Photography is my second passion so I usually take pictures of whatever I see and keep a gallery of inspiration images. Inspiration can come from anywhere or anything so it is always good to get out and about and experience new things.
Who is your target market?
Dean & Nadine is for anyone who wants Jewellery that is unique and get noticed. Being one of a kind pieces you know when you wear Dean & Nadine Jewellery you won’t find anyone else with exactly the same piece.
There are various styles within the collection that would appeal to different people and can be worn on different occasions. My customers so far have ranged from young trendy girls to older sophisticated ladies. I have just started making cufflinks too, so am now attracting the guys! Really anyone can wear Dean & Nadine.
The styles range from eye-catching statement party pieces to bespoke wedding creations. I have also been mindful to design Jewellery that is more subtle for day-to-day wearing. There are lots of black & white staple pieces that are perfect to wear to the office to add a bit of glam to your day. I am also launching lots of new colour combinations – so keep a look out for these new pieces on my instagram http://instagram.com/deanandnadine and http://www.deanandnadine.com ! I aim to have something that suites everyone and that matches any outfit!
Where is the final product made?
I handmake everything in my small studio (my flat) in Bondi Juction. I look forward to having my own shop and studio one day!
What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?
I am proud that it has featured in various fashion shoots, It’s such a great feeling seeing your product on a model as well on print. Also receiving beautiful and amazing compliments and comments from people. It’s great to get encouragement as being a creative person you usually doubt yourself from time to time.
Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?
It is always an inspiration to see the vintage cool looks by singers Lana del Rey and Paloma Faith and get inspiration for styling, funky outfits and accessories.
Tatty Devine – Jewellery designers are inspiring, they have a great brand story from growing it from scratch then being discovered at the markets to now having their own studio and retail outlets.
Mister Zimi, Mimco and Gorman are great brands they inspiring me with colour combinations and their gorgeous fabric patterns.Cara Delevingne is also a great fashion icon at the moment she is in so many fashion campains – there is no escaping her!
And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!
Be brave and do what you love to do! Being an emerging designer is like being in a band, you have to put in hours of work and gigs before you get noticed. Try to do as much networking as possible, use all social media channels to promote your work in a professional way. Don’t give up, trust that you are doing a great job and follow your dream!
Special thanks to Lisa Murphy xx
Direction, make-up & styling: Mercer_
Photography: Elle Archer
Model: Sandra Nielsen