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Meet the Designer: Silent Arrow

Name: Kelly Barrett
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Three words that describe Silent Arrow: Self - love, feminist, brave

 

'My youngest child was three, and it felt like the right time to do my own ting. I had been designing for others for 17 years and really wanted to express myself without editing. I wanted to see something radically different in lingerie. I was tired of seeing images of women looking demure with their eyes averted. My goal for our first ever shoot was for the model to be in charge, not the viewer, with a direct gaze and ownership of her body. Since then, the brand has quickly developed into lots of shared imagery as a celebration of our diversity.'

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When you are designing the pieces where do you look for inspiriaton?   

I always start with the body and what I am trying to achieve and work around that. I know what I want from lingerie so am always looking for solutions, for example the wings on my bras are always on the higher side so they don’t dig in and the centre separation reasonably wide because I hate uncomfortable wires or creating an unnatural shape. From there I like working with negative space and architecturally influenced shapes, a lot of my designs look simple, but are very difficult from an engineering perspective.

Where are you hoping to take the brand in the future?

I have been working on recycled materials since the start but am finally making ground. I have a new range in development that I am so excited to release next year. I love donating undies to women in need and am looking at more ways to raise money for shelters and improve housing.

What does a typical day hold for you at Silent Arrow?

Right now, my days are full with product development of sustainable ranges, the research side is really time consuming and I've been working on it for years, but I am finally making significant ground. I work with really amazing women every day, so I'm very lucky.

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Do you have a particular career highlight since launching?

Yes, I advertised our Warrior Mama bra on social media on a woman who had recently given birth, a woman commented that she cried when the photo came up on her feed. It was the first time she had ever seen someone else that looked like her and of course she looked completely beautiful. I wanted to show diversity, but reading that comment was a real turning point for me and the power of representing women and how we really look.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started?

I'm still learning the business side and that has been a hurdle! I would start by being a bit more financially informed.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Trusting, innovative and enthusiastic 

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

My partner of 13 years is quite conservative and had a very stable childhood, he said something to me that had a big effect on my life, which was that I was ‘normal’, I think I always felt like a bit of a freak. So maybe the advice to my younger self would be that we are all freaks in our own way.

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