If you’ve coveted a look on the local red carpet or runway, chances are Lana Wilkinson was behind it. The celebrity stylist has worked with the likes of Megan Gale, Ruby Rose and Zoe Foster-Blake. This deep love of fashion and wealth of experience led her to launch her namesake footwear label in 2019. With accessible luxury front of mind, Lana Wilkinson Shoes presents curated collections crafted in high quality leather and on-trend trimmings such as perspex and diamantes. Here, we chat with the fashion icon about career, lockdown beauty rituals and the transformative power of a good blazer.
What drew you to a career in fashion and then ultimately to start your own brand?
I’ve always had an eye for fashion, which led me to start my styling career in 2011 and, later, launch my shoe brand. I wanted to design shoes that I knew my clients would love to wear and feel their best in. My aim was to create contemporary, statement-making shoes that were accessible to everyone. Styling celebrities, working for brands and doing countless red carpets, I knew there had to be a more affordable alternative, but I couldn’t find one that would still give the coveted look. My entrepreneurial side kicked in and I saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market.
What is exciting you at the moment about the Australian creative landscape?
I think social media has made the creative landscape in Australia more accessible, whether it be creating or sharing content on platforms like Tiktok and Instagram. It has changed the way consumers shop; they now have a lot more control and choice over what they’re purchasing. It’s definitely easier for smaller designers and creatives to build their brands or identity. What I love the most is that the Australian creative landscape has become more inclusive, which has been a positive and much needed change. There’s no ‘regular’ look and the term ‘normal’ has been turned on its head. The broader industry is working with people of all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, and/or genders, which is extremely empowering to all people involved in the creative space.
What is your daily beauty ritual and how has it changed during lockdown?
I have always been quite low-maintenance in terms of my skin, however over the last few months I have been investing more time and effort into my daily skincare routine. I have introduced treatments such as laser rejuvenation and love taking collagen supplements like By Beth; I have seen amazing results. I’ve prioritised this type of self-care as non-negotiable since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, discovering some amazing products along the way.
How else do you cater to your wellbeing?
I see a personal trainer three times a week. Our training sessions are incredibly varied and include strength training, boxing, endurance work and sprints. I love that the sessions are short, intense and effective, which is perfect for someone like myself who is time-poor. Fortnightly massages when I’m able to (and when we’re not in lockdown) are also a must. They’re so helpful with my recovery and also just an indulgent way to treat myself after achieving my goals for the week.
By Beth offers a very Australian take on beauty. What do you love most about the place we call home?
Our home an eclectic mix of art, culture and sport. There is always something inspiring around the corner to captivate your attention and I know that every Australian has come to appreciate and love it even more over the last 12 months. We are the lucky country indeed.
You are always dressing other people, but how would you describe your personal approach to dressing?
I stay true to my own sense of style: wardrobe staples plus mixing colour and statement accessories. No one in my life was really that surprised I founded my own shoe label, shoes were always on high rotation. I love trying new looks, I love colour and I’ll always try to choose the more fashion-forward option when heading out for dinner or drinks. That said, there’s no point wearing a trend that’s ‘in’ if it doesn’t make you feel comfortable or confident.
Is there an item of clothing in your wardrobe that you can't live without?
It would have to be a blazer. It will always make you look like you had more time in the morning! Pairing it with jeans or leather pants and LW heels is my go-to look.
Who are some of your favourite designers (from near and far)?
My absolute go-to’s are Dion Lee, Toni Maticevski, The Attico, Jacquemus, Camilla and Marc, and Aje.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m usually woken up quite early by my two daughters Ava and Elle. I get them breakfast, have a coffee, check social media and emails, get my kids ready for school, and then train with my personal trainer. I’ll head to the Lana Wilkinson Shoe office and check in with my team for a morning update. We chat about sales over the past day, our best sellers, marketing strategies and content creation. If I have a quieter workday, I like to head home in the afternoon and spend time with my little girls and husband Liam. Then relax and binge on some TV shows