Ask any mother how they shop for themselves, and the answer will most likely be, "Online. Quickly."
With little time for browsing the shops (oh, those delightful bygone days) and sifting for a perfect find – we now need to rely on expertly curated collections that can be purchased with the click of a button.
As the founder of online fashion boutique – Order of Style – Lana Coppel is helping us to do just that, and with impressive experience to back it up.
Before launching Order of Style, Lana worked as a designer for womenswear brand, Alannah Hill, after going on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York while assisting the international sales team at Marc Jacobs. After returning to Australia, Lana set her sights to Order of Style – a beautifully curated online store offering a range of local and international designers.
Always on trend and seasonally relevant, the site has grown since its inception – and so has Lana’s family. Now as a mother to two sons, she is managing the juggle first-hand. We spoke to Lana about her style predictions, how she makes it all work, and how to look expertly pulled together when we feel anything but.
Tell us a little bit about Order of Style.
Order Of Style is an online retail destination offering a curated selection of styles from the world’s leading denim and fashion brands. We hand select products that are trend based, showcase great style and excellent craftsmanship. As we want every piece we select to find a happy home in your already established wardrobe we focus on choosing items that are versatile and enduring.
What did your career entail before launching Order of Style?
After graduating with a BA in Textile Design from RMIT I started working for Alannah Hill in the production department. This led to becoming her Design Assistant; I worked with her for 2 years before moving to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. There I studied Fashion Merchandising Management and interned with Marc Jacobs. Unfortunately, the GFC hit when I graduated and there was a hiring freeze in place – so I returned to Australia and started working as a designer again. I spent 3 years designing for a sleepwear brand Jethro & Jackson before launching Order Of Style.
How did your time at some leading fashion houses - including Marc Jacobs - influence your career and the way you approach selecting the pieces for your store?
I had the honour of being part of the Marc Jacobs business during a fantastic growth period for the brand. It had been acquired by LVMH in 1997 and by the time I started interning with them, it was one of the world’s biggest brands. The most interesting thing about working at Marc Jacobs during this time was discovering how intimate the team there was. It was really similar to what I had experienced at Alannah Hill with local production taking place for almost all the mainline garments and tight group of staff that had been there for a long time. I saw how important the staff was to a business and how they can either make or break you.
As I assisted the sales team with their market presentations and merchandising the showrooms, I was also responsible for recording what styles the buyers of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks 5th Avenue and Harrod’s and the like were picking up each season. It was interesting to learn that each of their eCommerce site’s had their own dedicated buyers and that products selected by the store buyers and the digital buyers were often different – what worked in real life on the department store floor – wouldn’t necessarily translate into the digital sales space. At this time eCommerce was a fledgeling market – Myer and David Jones didn’t even have an eCommerce department! Most people were too scared to shop online – it was foreign and risky, the biggest market place was eBay and Facebook had just burst onto the scene! I was introduced to it by a friend when I moved to New York and had only 7 friends! How far we’ve come since then.
How do you approach your own personal style and dressing each day?
I’m a very no-nonsense dresser and often choose outfits that suit my activities for the day ahead. I’m a mum of 2 young boys so at the moment that comes into account a lot – my style needs to be practical and durable while still being me and obviously all about fashion too! I think it can be hard for women to reconnect with fashion after having children – and I know that I struggled with this after having my 1st. There are a lot of limitations that affect us – changing bodies, clothes suitable for breastfeeding and tending to a little one day and night – feeling comfortable becomes so much more important! That’s why I like to keep it simple – and to me, that means a lot of denim, shirting and t-shirts paired with some fantastic jackets and the easiest way to make an outfit complete is a great pair of shoes!
What are your favourite simple, easy-to-wear yet high-impact style tips for mothers?
I think nothing is more stylish than a pair of well-fitting jeans, a silk top and structured blazer. It’s an easy outfit that works for so many occasions. School drop off? Wear a pair of sneakers. Dinner Date? Switch for a heel. So easy and versatile!
What trends or styles are you most excited about at the moment?
Statement Sneakers are still trending strongly for 2019 and as a Mum I couldn’t be happier about this! Comfort and cool all rolled into one easy to wear trend is amazing. The other trend I’m loving at the moment is Snake Print – it’s the obvious evolution from Leopard which was huge in late 2018 but offers a more subtle texture and is more accessible. The last one I’m pumped for this year is the comeback of the statement sequin piece; I’m a sucker for a bit of bling. Pair a sparkly cami with a pair of black jeans for a sexy date night.
What are some of your favourite brands?
I love Zoe Karssens’ youthful cheeky styles, Mother Denims’ amazing jeans and IRO’s beautiful dresses and lust-worthy leather jackets.
How do you go about discovering new brands to stock at Order of Style?
I love to chat to my friends about where they are shopping and what they have seen on their travels. As a Mum to a little bub, I spend a lot of time deep scrolling on Instagram and it’s a great way to see what new brands people are connecting with.
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
Instagram! I love discovering new accounts that can offer different ways to approach personal style – it is a great way to get inspiration on how to re-style your existing pieces in new ways. At the moment I am viewing a lot of Nordic bloggers (I love Pernille Teisbaek’s grunge rock take on Danish Street Style, some dutch bloggers (check out Charlotte Groeneveld for some great hi-lo street inspired looks) and a few US-based girls (I love Jacey Duprie’s old world meets new world style and Olivia Lopez’s exquisite eye for colour and on point tailoring).
What’s your approach to social media?
I think there are a lot of great things that come from Social Media; although we need to be aware of the negative aspects as well. As with most things in life it’s all about enjoying it in moderation – too much exposure to accounts that you react negatively to is not a good thing – so unfollow if you don’t get a good feeling while engaging in these pages. I am personally a part of a lot of fantastic online communities and I really enjoy engaging with other mums and fashion devotees through them. It plays a large part in my life as I have lots of friends and family in the US. In terms of Order Of Style, it’s an essential tool for communication and sharing knowledge. It’s paramount that we are engaging daily with our community and we make it priority to respond to customers ASAP when they contact us via our social media channels.
You not only manage Order of Style, but are the mother of two young sons. How do you make the juggle work in your family?
I’m a big believer in routine and my parenting style is pretty structured- bedtime is strictly 7pm! It’s not for everyone but it works for us. I need that time at night so that my husband and I can spend quality time together whether it be cooking dinner and unpacking our days over a glass of wine. It also allows me to get a few hours work in before bed if I need. I’m lucky that I have a great team in the office that take care of the day to day running of the site while I’m on “maternity hiatus” (you can’t really take leave when you’re a business owner). My working schedule is very flexible as a lot of what I do is online meaning I can pick up my phone and get work done from anywhere and at anytime. It’s amazing that I am able to do this and I feel so lucky that I have the support and the opportunity to still engage in my business and be at home with my boys while they are still little.
What does a typical day look like for you?
7am we get up and it’s breakfast time for the boys and coffee time for me! I assign 2 days a week for work meetings when my eldest is at daycare and the rest of the time we spend time together as a family at home or the park and with my sister and nephew who live around the corner.
What are your favourite business/mum hacks/time management tips?
I honestly believe that parenting is easier when there are other Mum’s around. My sister lives 1/2 km away and the boys spend a lot of the week and weekend together. It’s so nice to have that shared time together and the kids just love it. I have the same approach with work – I believe in working in a collective and I rely on my staff to be a sounding board for any new ideas.
Tell us about what’s next for Order of Style - including your retail space?
We re-launched our website last year and we’ve had such a fantastic response from our customers. I’ve always been passionate about eCommerce but I would love to open a retail space in the future; probably once the boys are both at school!