Interview // Anna Jordan
Talk us through the moment that you fell in love with Mexico.
Ahh… it was my first trip to Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico over 10 years ago. We stayed in a convent in a high-altitude colonial town, a major trading hub for the surrounding indigenous groups. We really immersed ourselves in it, visiting the villages and learning about weaving and natural dyes and how to make the perfect tortilla.
You’ve scoured the planet for design inspiration - what makes Mexico unique?
I believe it’s because they have such strong traditions in Mexico with craft, food and culture. There are still indigenous minorities in Mexico that are completely cut off from society such as the Lacandon people whom still live deep in the jungle as they have for thousands of years. Groups like this have been able to preserve the crafts and traditions without western influence. This is really a minority though, sadly not all of the younger generation want to learn how to use a traditional back-strap loom as part of everyday life like their parents did. Instead, they now go to school (which is great!) and learn about geography and maths but with little interest in preserving traditional crafts.
There’s a definite Aztec Goddess feel to the campaign. Did you have any muses in mind during in the design process?
We always have the tigerlily woman in mind and she is unique in many ways. We try to make sure we offer her something distinctively tigerlily yet not overpowering to her own natural aesthetic. It’s a really important balance with our designs as we want them to have longevity and be able to be pulled out in years to come. A certain timeless nature with loads of personality.
Your deep love of textiles is so evident in all of Tigerlily’s pieces. Do you mostly look for design inspiration in the locally produced textiles of an area or can your ideas come from anywhere?
It’s no secret, I’m a textiles hoarder, a passion I share with our Art Director Sarah… We would travel to the end of the earth to discover a unique piece that could inspire a whole collection and we have several times… from the north of Gujarat for embroideries to Uruguay for natural dyes, Oaxaca for weaves and even a tin shed full of textiles about an hour out of Budapest one year to source the most eclectic range of influences you won’t see everywhere.
Tigerlily is an iconic brand for us ocean-loving Aussies. Does the design aesthetic translate overseas? Are there any new markets that you are focusing on?
I hope so! haha… I must admit the best test of this is when we travel and are wearing our designs, we get stopped in our paths in Europe more than anywhere. European women are extremely confident and are not afraid to stand out with colour and embellishment. We feel very comfortable in Europe, like we can be ourselves and fit right in. I feel the same about California and Miami as we share lifestyle and cultural sensibilities. We’re not so popular with the conservative types but as I often say, we need to be proud of who we are and stay completely true to that…
Why do you think women continue to love and support the brand?
I think it’s because they can see how much love and work goes into our designs, we have such an incredible team of women at Tigerlily HQ and in our cherished retail habitats. We all love what we do and it shows. I believe we have earned good juju, something that comes from years of working together with tremendous support and respect for each other.
If you were lying on a tropical Mexican beach right now, what bikini would you be wearing and what cocktail would be in handEasy! It would be our classic leopard print Escondido tara and paranga pant with a salty cold margarita...