Fashion taste maker and consultant Tash Sefton’s professional career has centred around the fashion industry for over 20 years. The Sydney-based mother of two has a unique perspective on style, influenced by years of assessing global trends and a combined knowledge of women’s consumer habits. Co-creator behind They All Hate Us with Elle Ferguson, the blog was a revolutionary benchmark in the social media space and subsequently, Tash has become known as one of Australia’s most stylish women. This experience, combined an innate love of fashion, has cemented her fashion education and ensures that her outlook on style and fashion is well researched and considered.
Tell us about your background and formal training.
I studied fashion design at college, but hated pattern making and sewing clothes – so really wasn’t sure what I was going to do because I wasn’t interested in being a designer. I started out working for a large manufacturer of mass market women’s fashion, learning a lot about off shore production and importing…. very unglamorous but learnt the ‘business’ side of the industry. It was the business side that I fell in love with. I then worked for an incredible youth retailer General Pants for 13 years and was the head of womenswear. I spent a lot of time travelling in this role and this is where my love of denim became cemented into my day to day dressing. Denim became my second skin!
Was it always your objective to create your own business, ‘Where Did Your Style Go’ which is aimed at empowering women and men feel their best?
I guess as I have worked in the industry for so long I have gained so much knowledge about what to wear and what not to wear! With social media, it allows us all to communicate without time zones or having to have personally met someone before. I would be inundated with questions about fashion advice and calls for help! I found it difficult to answer people in detail through this platform due to the volume of questions. This led to the idea of creating a place anyone can read my ‘real’ advice and implement it into their lives. To me, simple advice is the best advice, especially in the fashion world with so much information out there. Having witness all facets of the industry and experienced insecurities personally, I have found that small changes that can make a big impact on people’s perception of themselves, both internally and externally.
Why do you feel this is such an important venture, and why now?
I really think its time to reflect amongst all the noise …mainly the social media noise and how commercialized it has become. When I began working in this space it was about inspiration and an unedited look behind the scenes of people’s lives. I have always loved fashion for the clothes and how they make you feel when wearing them. This love and passion have been lost along the way, so I hope to teach women how to feel good in clothes again. Rather than the clothes being a commodity.
How do you divide your time with consulting clients, industry endeavors, and also have an opportunity to be creative with your art project; Sefton-Segedin?
Let’s just say it’s a mad house! There is a lot of juggling and family helping me with my children. But because I love all aspects of my business I don’t mind working…. all the time. I have made a few key changes lately to ensure my work makes me feel enriched and fulfilled, and I focus on my physical and mental health which is key to working productively.
How do you stay inspired but also focused?
I am very, very close to my family (being Croatian we have a big family!) and have a few creative, special people in my life that nurture me…and keep it very real! My children really enrich me, as their innocent outlook on life is so special. I try not to follow fads or trends to inspire me but look to the past for ‘soul’ and to the future to forecast change.
With so many key projects’ in your repertoire, what have been the most rewarding?
Being a mum and watching my boys grow into little men really wins over any business success I have had. I also work with the Taronga Conservation Society, and so blown away with the impact the work is having on a global scale to protect animals and habitats…. I don’t really talk about this much, but we are doing amazing things I can’t wait to share soon. We all need to be working to make changes on our individual impact in the world.
What advice would you give someone influenced by your career path or keen to start?
Always have an honest voice, forget the noise, numbers don’t mean success or value and…. just start!
How do you measure success?
How I feel on the inside and the love that surrounds me. All I ideally want in life is family, good friends, great experiences while being conscious of the word around me – whilst wearing great shoes! [laughs].
What words do you live by?
What is your favourite style tip?
Less is more
What’s next for you Tash?
I am currently working on something I am not allowed to talk about (sorry!) – and continue to expand the work I am doing in the conservation space.