How long have you been a designer?
From an early age, I’ve been drawing clothes. I learned how to cut patterns from my aunt at eight years old. She is a skilled tailor.
Did you receive any formal training?
What inspired you to start a label in your early 20’s?
I wanted to work for myself, to create my own aesthetic.
I am most proud that since I started, the label is still here, on its own path and growing.
Where do you draw influence for each new collection?
For me, my ideas begin in almost a disjointed way, but the concept has to be pure. The creative process will begin with selecting new specialist textiles and experimenting with garment construction. We then discuss it internally in the studio, posing questions like "Where are you wearing this?" "Are you dying to have it?" I’m always thinking about what my woman is thinking, how she feels when she is wearing a specific design.
What season has been your favourite to design and why?
My first season was the collection that set the brand codes of the label. Even looking back at it now, it still feels relevant and we still work with the fundamentals from that very first collection; leather, shirting, embellishment and tailoring.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since starting your label?
To listen and to master time management.
What does it take to be a successful designer?
I feel you need to have a community of people around you who have gone through the same experiences. Ultimately, you learn what is right for you and your brand by trusting your instincts.
What advice would you give to a young emerging designer?
Do one thing well.
How important is it to have “good business sense”?
It is absolutely vital. In the early days it was purely creation and identifying what the brand was about. Today, I have a much better handle of the business and how it runs. It’s so much more than just design.
Is marketing and social media a key to your brand’s success?
It’s part of the larger picture, but I personally don’t feel it’s the one key.
How important is showing at fashion week?
It is important when you are starting your label in order to garner brand awareness and to develop a connection with the consumer, as well as media and buyers. This year I debuted my first international collection at New York fashion week in an intimate salon-style presentation. It’s an opportunity to present your ideas creatively.
Are there any women you love to dress?
Women with their own sense of style and identity, women who will incorporate a Christopher Esber piece with other garments and brands. I’m not into ‘head-to-toe’ looks.
How important is your wholesale business to your brand’s success?
Extremely. In working with Australian and international boutiques, I have learned so much about the different customers who wear the brand and what their needs and wants are.
As our industry is constantly changing, how do you feel about the future of fashion?
I feel the individual desires extremely well made and considered garments; luxury that is attainable.
Describe your own personal style?
My personal style is relaxed tailoring/sporty knits
Do you have a favourite designer(s)?
I respect Miuccia Prada for her fearlessness. Each collection is different to the last but there is a really strong message. It’s very Prada every time, something that is really difficult to do, and do well.
Where do you see your brand in 10 years time?
Showing internationally is a big one for me. I’d love to be showing on the runway during Paris fashion week on schedule. I’d love to see the brand develop into new categories such as accessories or beauty.
The Christopher Esber woman in a few words is...
Sleek, refined, effortless. You can find Christopher Esber on Instagram @christopher_esber