Sydney fashion designer Lee Mathews is still in demand after close to 25 years. Here’s why

By avi maxwel / in , , , , , , , , /

As online shopping became nascent, Mathews knew she had to “develop a language to tell people who we were, what we stood for”. She spent “so much money” on consultants, trying to articulate the Lee Mathews brand, she says.

“These were questions I’d never really asked myself. For a very long time it was just, you go to work, you make some clothes, you sell them. I never set out to start a business.”

Before she launched her eponymous label, Mathews was an art director at Vogue Australia and worked at luxury boutique Belinda Seper and at Country Road. She discovered a love of printmaking and, with the sewing skills she had learnt from her grandmother as a child, she began making clothes for friends and family – who urged her to take them to market.

An early Mathews dress, sold at Belinda Seper, from the early 2000s. Steve Baccon

She ran her own race then, and runs it still. Growth has been organic, but is often still scary, she says. “As opportunities presented themselves, they begat more and more of them,” she says. “And there was very little planning until we got to about the sixth store, I think.

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Meet Ed Lee, the Former Bottega Designer Who Helped Harry Styles Transform His Look

By avi maxwel / in , , , , , , , /


Everything Harry Styles wears becomes news fodder. Whether he’s rocking a dress or a Halloween costume, his fearless sartorial statements only make him more lovable in the eyes of his ever-growing fan base. You could argue his style is what he’s become known for in recent years—pre-Don’t Worry Darling press tour, at least—but OG followers are aware that Styles’ penchant for fashion began much earlier than that.

"the class of 92" world premiere red carpet arrivals

Harry Styles in 2013.

Stuart C. Wilson//Getty Images

In the early days of One Direction, where Styles got his start, Tumblr was the social platform where so-called “Directioners” found a community and were collectively obsessed over the British boy band. Even I had a Tumblr dedicated to the junction of 1D and fashion. (Look at me now!) This particular crossroad of interest was not uncommon. Every article of clothing worn by the boys would be singled out, documented, critiqued, and restyled by countless lovestruck teenagers on blogs and fan accounts alike.

To put it plainly, fashion wasn’t always Styles’ thing. His initial uniform of khakis, plain white tees, and blazers morphed into ultra-skinny jeans, graphic T-shirts, and hats as the band and its fans aged. From its inception in

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