If you’ve spent any time in the last few months scrolling through Instagram, you’ve probably seen Poppy Lissiman’s bold sunglasses on the faces of some of your favorite celebrities and influencers. The unique frame designs and bright colors have set a new trend in the world of accessories, and Poppy’s influence is only expanding. We chatted with the designer about her once Australian-based accessories brand that has now turned into a worldwide phenomenon, and learned about the highlights and inspirations that come from running an exponentially growing passion project. Get to know Poppy below!
As a little girl what was your first accessory? Did that spark your love for creating accessories?
When I was about 12 years old I saved up all of my pocket money and bought a pair of Louis Vuitton hair bobbles (it was the only thing in the whole store that I could afford), then I think the next thing that I bought was a Gucci monogram pochette a year later. I actually didn’t think I could end up in accessories when I was that young, I was obsessed with fashion but way more passionate about sewing my own clothing. The idea of making bags and sunglasses would have seemed utterly impossible to me then so I don’t remember the idea ever crossing my mind. I truly thought I would always be working in clothing.
What types of cultures or settings inspire you to create?
I love traveling so much and it’s become a huge part of my working life; I get a lot of inspiration from different cultures and cities that I visit but consistently I get the most amount of inspiration from when I visit Asia, which feels like a second home to me. Specifically Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul. The fashion and great sense of style by the women and men in those cities inspire me more than anywhere else in the world.
If you could tell young Poppy one piece of advice, what would you tell her?
Learn accounting–you’re going to need it!
In what ways has living in Perth influenced your style of design?
Maybe the isolation a bit, but I can’t really think of anything else that would have influenced my style from living in Perth. I also have been based outside of Perth for the last 2 years (I’ve been in Sydney, Australia) and as of last week, I am now working out of Mexico City for the next few months and commuting to LA and NY in-between.
What is your ultimate dream for your brand?
To continue to grow at the rate we have been lately, to collaborate with artists and stores I admire, and to just continue having the opportunity to wake up every day and create.
“I love traveling so much and it’s become a huge part of my working life; I get a lot of inspiration from different cultures and cities that I visit…”
What is your advice for anyone who is too scared to wear bold pieces?
I actually think that going for bolder accessories is an easier option for someone who is tentative about wearing bolder clothing items. That way you can still wear the clothing you’re most comfortable in and makes you feel like you, and then you can amp it up with a bold handbag, jewelry, or sunglasses.
What can we expect for the future of Poppy Lissiman?
Way more sunglasses designs continuing to drop more frequently. We are expanding a lot more into the USA at the moment and working with some strategic partnerships with some really top tier retailers (as we previously didn’t wholesale since starting accessories).
What have been some of your highlights in creating your brand?
I started my label 10 years ago; when I switched from women’s ready to wear exclusively to accessories in 2014, there was a massive shift in the trajectory of the company and I knew I had made the right decision in that moment.
The last year has also been a huge highlight for the brand as well; we have been getting the label organically onto some major celebrities who have been wearing our pieces pretty much weekly which has given us a huge amount of growth in turnover (while we still operate with a small team) which has opened up doors to being able to do more with the business moving forward.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
That’s a hard one… The first thing that comes to mind would be to design a range of sunglasses with Elton John. He’s always been a reference point for me when its come to designing eyewear.
What are your top 5 everyday essentials?
1. My Louis Vuitton diary/daily planner. I have to write everything down or I don’t remember it.
2. Sketchbook; I carry it with me every day and draw every idea that comes into my head so when I actually set aside time to design (on the computer), I have loads of references and notes to work with.
3. My laptop; emails and photoshop….
4. Sunglasses; never leave the house without them and usually change pairs 2 or 3 times a day depending on my outfit or mood.
5. Kind of sounds predictable but my iPhone… Like everyone, I’m addicted. I take notes constantly, screenshot ideas I see, and spend way too much time on instagram.
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