ST.AGNI is a new online luxury boutique operating out of Byron Bay on the NSW North Coast, specialising in distinctive, minimalistic products with a mission to creating easy to wear pieces that can work with a structured wardrobe and/or every day basics.
ST.AGNI founder, designer and Managing Director Lara Bluett, originally from Tasmania, had a vision to produce a range of pieces using classic, simple lines that people could return to time and time again.
A: I have always worked in retail mainly in management rolls within the store, but at my last job I worked for a local label and got to see and work a lot more the behind the scenes. I really enjoyed sourcing materials, seeing products develop and searching for pieces for the store.
Q: Have you been formally trained in shoe and or bag design and making or how did you learn the craft?
A: I’m not trained in design; I really just design things that I really like myself. I have always been creative and working in retail really helped me see what customers look for in a bag, mostly I would hear….I wish this didn’t have a zip or a detail ect . Our designs have a really simple raw aesthetic.
Q: Do you come up with all the designs and make the products or do you have a team of helpers?
A: My partner Matt and I work together creating designs, sourcing fabrics and we have the most amazing family run factory in Bali that hand makes every bag.
Q: What is the story behind the name of the shop?
A: My Nona’s name is Agni; she is the most lovely, caring, beautiful woman so it just felt natural to name our business after her.
Q: I like how you describe the St. Agni philosophy as being “all about creating simple easy to wear pieces that can work with a structured wardrobe or your every day basics. We Believe Style, Simplicity and quality are key.” The designs are very clean lined and modern, has this always been your design aesthetic or how have the designs evolved?
A: This has always been our design aesthetic right from the start, In our last range we tried some different more detailed designs and we found our customers actually preferred the simple classic styles, this was a huge learning step for us to just be really true to ourselves.
Q: Where do you source your materials?
A: We source our leather from Indonesia.
Q: What is currently your most popular product?
A: Definitely the slides and the tote. The slides are from our summer range and even we were surprised how well people reacted to them (I know I’m bias but they are my favourite shoes.) The Tote is from our first collection and is a classic; people just seem to love it.
Q: What is your own personal favorite and why?
A: The Theo backpack – It’s so versatile and easy, I always take it when I travel. I love that backpacks have had a come back and you can dress up and still wear a backpack.
Q: What new design/s are you currently working on that you might be able to let us in on?
A: I’m so excited for our new collection; we have some new bags and were working on a little home wares line … most of our stockists are lifestyle stores so it seemed like a natural progression.
Q: Where does your design aesthetic and inspiration come from?
A: I couldn’t pin point where inspiration comes. It really does come from everywhere. Ideas just build and build in my mind and then I can see a vision and I put it on paper. I love people watching and seeing how they use their bags.
Q: Have you had childhood or personal favorite designers or artists that have influenced your design or philosophy?
A: My Aunty Pat has always influenced my design she was very nonchalant. I remember thinking everything she wore looked so easy and stylish. She oozed style, simplicity and quality.
St. AGNI is currently available to domestic Australian shoppers online and in-stores in NSW and Tasmania, see there stockist page by following the links provided. Lara is hoping to launch the brand to an international market in 2015.