After years of working as one of Australia’s leading stylists, with a clientele list that includes everyone from Megan Gale to Rebecca Judd and Whitney Port, Lana Wilkinson turned her sights to a new fashion venture.
Launching her eponymous shoe label in 2019, Wilkinson brought her expertise and industry experience to the design process, creating contemporary, statement-making shoes for all kinds of women and occasions.
Below, the stylist and entrepreneur shares a few learnings from her business journey so far, plus the one stiletto style she’s loving from the Lana Wilkinson range right now.
“I found the gap in the market while running my styling business. One year I spent $8,000 on shoes for my clients for the Spring Racing Carnival – I knew there had to be a cheaper alternative, but I couldn’t find one that would still give the coveted look. I knew that not everyone could afford designer pairs of shoes, so I wanted to bring people pieces that they would look and feel amazing in but that wouldn’t break their budget.”
“The launch of my shoe brand in 2019 was probably the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of my career. I was just so excited that people were loving the styles that I had worked on for two years to make a reality. We were selling two pairs of shoes a minute that night so I knew that my hard work had paid off.”
“Work hard. No one is going to do the work for you, so you have to be accountable to yourself. Build a good team around you and work to nurture a great culture within that team. Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel like the right move to you then it probably isn’t, however, don’t let fear leave you stuck.”
“Sometimes it’s exhausting juggling my work and home life, which is something that I think women have to deal with on a daily basis. Making space for women to feel empowered and enthusiastic about the mark that they can leave in the workplace is something I’ll always be passionate about.”
“For too many years I played it safe because I thought that it was the responsible thing to do, but when you’re following your passion it’s always going to be a good thing. You are your brand so I think the best advice I can give is to present yourself well and focus on building relationships with those around you. Especially within my industry, succeeding is about so much more than having a flair for fashion, it is about networking, researching and respecting people.”
“My aim in designing my footwear line is to create versatile, fun pieces that you will feel great wearing. I’m loving the ‘Jessica’ heel at the moment as it comes in three colours and is the perfect addition to any outfit.”