LUXE WITH CONFIDENCE, INTERVIEW WITH PENNY ANNE
Danielle Symes a current Westfield stylist, Inspired by friends and vintage, developed a divinely beautiful label called Penny Anne. Danielle’s signature piece, a backless leotard with frill sleeves, caused commotion at the Gilles St Markets where she first started selling her distinctive one off pieces. Danielle now runs her own website pennyanne.com.au. Penny Anne garments can be found all over Australia in boutiques and retailers like One Little Piece, Sooki, Wild Child, and Market HQ. Penny Anne is also making its mark on the rich and famous, celebrities like Teresa Palmer, The Nervo Twins and Kesha have been spotted wearing the label. Danielle Symes grew up in in the Barossa in South Australia but currently resides in Adelaide Australia. Walls covered in pictures and inspirations help Danielle hand sew and design in the comfort of her own home alongside new hubby, Australian rules football player, Brad Symes.
“I also love having fresh flowers and lots of sunlight in my workspaces.”
Magazines and newspaper articles like Adelaide Confidential, SA Style Magazine, Rip It Up, & City Messenger feature Danielle Symes as a brilliant and reputable designer. In 2010 SA Style Magazine featured Danielle Symes as the new WAG (Woman with AMBITION & GOALS).“She’s down to earth, creative and ambitious” said SA Style.
Do have any other jobs besides your clothing line?
Yes I am also a Westfield Stylist... we take people shopping based on their lifestyle, bodyshape and budget and choose appropriate clothes for them. I recently worked alongside Gok when he was touring in Australia.
Is there a story behind the label’s name Penny Anne?
Penny Anne is actually my mums name. When I first decided to pursue my own clothing label my mum was extremely supportive. She helped me to sew the hundreds of leotards girls were demanding each week for the markets, sometimes sewing with me to 2am in the morning! She still helps me in so many ways and without her I don’t think Penny Anne would be doing nearly as well as it is.
What can you offer that other designers can’t?
Fashion that doesn't date. I draw a lot of inspiration from vintage and I pride myself on my pieces withstanding fad trends.
What attracts you about fashion?
The final product! I love seeing an entire collection flow down the runway way all accessorized and styled. That moment determines how the rest of the world is going to see you so it’s a very nerve wrecking moment but certainly one of the most rewarding.
What are some of your inspirations?
I am inspired by so many things... other designers, vintage, fabric, street style, blogs, art... When I am searching for inspiration for a range it generally comes to me. The range I am about to release is very vintage inspired. It has a very strong 60/s/70's feel about it. My celebrity style icon is Kate Bosworth... she is so effortless and experiments with trends without letting the trends define her. In terms of designers I LOVE Chloe, Erin Wasson, Isabel Marant and Stella McCartney.
So far what projects have you done that have helped Penny Anne gain publicity?
The thing that put me on the map in the very beginning was a piece I made called the 'more of you' backless leotard. It is a very low back leotard that has frill detail on the shoulders. I was selling this at the local Fashion Markets here in Adelaide and girls went crazy for them! I started building up this amazing customer base just from one garment. From there I was approached to participate in a Fashion Parade that a lot of other big name designers were to be a part of. Obviously I couldn't do a parade with one garment so I had to design an entire collection. After that parade there was a lot of hype around Penny Anne and it has blossomed from there!
can you tell me a little about some upcoming projects for your clothing line?
I am about to release my next range to stores so I am very excited to get all that hard work out there. Once that has launched I can start planning on expanding Penny Anne. I want to really push my label into more stores across Australia then I will start looking overseas as well. I would love to see Penny Anne on more celebrities too. Recently Teresa Palmer was seen wearing one of my leotards and quoted saying she thinks 'Penny Anne is divinely talented!' That was certainly a surreal moment for me!
The new Penny Anne collection ‘Gimme Shelter’ is set to be an iconic range for the label. The collection is going to consist of all things vintage inspired from Danielle Symes’ personal findings. “The 60s and 70s feel of this range is reflected through a combination of crochet and florals, with flowing silks and chiffons. A colour palette of creams and browns teamed with soft yellows and pinks gives the range that trademark Penny Anne femininity. The signature Penny Anne backless leotard features again in the 'Gimme Shelter' range but in a more simplistic and classic way, employing a cream knit fabric.”
The fashion industry is based a lot on reputation and the kind of buzz Penny Anne is creating it should be no surprise that the label will get the acclaim it deserves not only in Australia but around the world.
“A Penny Anne girl loves the confidence her clothes give her, taking her from day to night with a walk, skip and jump in the puddles on the way!”
For more Penny Anne merch checkout these boutiques & online retailers
South Australia: Azalia Boutique, Wild Child
Perth: Meg and Wally QLD:Princess Polly
Label: Penny Anne
Elisa J Mercurio