Interview: Isabella & Elizabeth from Spell Designs

Wer mich kennt, der weiß: Ich bin Schmuckfan. Durch und durch. Zu meiner Zeit in Australien lernte ich Isabella und Elizabeth vom Label Spell Designs kennen. Beide verzauberten mich nicht nur mit ihrer strahlenden Aura, sondern auch mit ihren Designkünsten. Ich hätte sofort alles aus ihrem Studio mitgehen lassen können. Nun bat ich sie zum Interview und sie antworteten fleißig.
1.) Elizabeth and Isabella, you originally started designing jewellery but now expanded your work to fashion, shoes and more accessories. Sienna Miller is wearing your t-shirts, more and more people all over the globe are fans of your work and you opened your own flagship store Spell – The Gypsy Collective. When you were younger, did you ever imagine your life to be like it is now or did you have other future plans when you were kids?
I never truly believed that you could make a living from your passion. I kind of thought you had to work hard and make time for your passion as a hobby. So for me this is a complete surprise! But my sister Isabella, or Spell as we all call her, always just created – she didn’t really have a choice, it just exploded out of her. So it was always on the cards for her.
2.) You both look so much alike that you might be considered twins. In fact, your are not only sisters but also design partners for your label Spell. Would you say being related to each other differentiates you from other designer teams? Does it help you in your daily process as designers or is this sometimes a reason for tension as well?
Oh no, Spelly and I aren’t twins! We look very similar but I’m the bossy older sister. It does get confusing though because Spell has a twin sister, Luciana, who is a make-up artist, and we all look alike. Being sisters and business partners is magical! We have a very unspoken understanding, and a love of similar aesthetics – of course like a lot of sisters we’re very different too, but our different skills compliment each other.
3.) How would you describe your own label and your daily life as designers?
Life has gotten very hectic lately. Between designing, running the business side of things, blogging, photo shoot, overseeing production and of course motherhood (for Spell who has a 1 year old) we’re simply run off our feet! But we try to allow spontaneity too – sometimes we put our tools down and sit in a pile of fashion mags, drink chai and listening to jazz
– or shut the computer off and run into a field and take photos for our blog – It’s how we stay inspired!
4.) On your homepage you offer a huge range of extraordinary fashion items: jewellery, clothes, shoes and other accessories. Which items are the most challenging items to create and why?
The thing we find most challenging is designing fabric prints for our fashion pieces. It’s very new to us so we’re finding our way. It’s been wonderful to collaborate with awesome designers like Julia Keddel (Little Navajo Blog) who’s illustrated some wonderful images for our latest Totem Tees
5.) Your headquarter is based in Byron Bay, Australia, and when one knows you or sees pictures of you the impression arises that you are living the lifestyle of a modern hippie or gypsy. Many fashionistas around the world dress in a hippie way but are not living the lifestyle. Do you think modern hippies exist at all, would you say you are living the lifestyle of one and what is it that makes the place where you are living and your life itself special to you?
I don’t think dressing ‘hippy or boho’ is about ‘being a hippy’ or has much to do with living in the country or the city – it’s about a woman wanting to get in touch with her ‘wilder self’ or perhaps her ‘wild feminine’… When I lived in Sydney I craved the feeling of wearing feathers in my hair and a long flowy dress. When you’re in the city, surrounded by concrete and tall buildings and men in grey suits, wearing a long flowy skirt and a draping turquoise necklace can make you feel light and free and wild and strong.
6.) With your label you offer boho and hippie inspired items that manage the balancing act between very individual unique styles  but that are still adaptable to the most diverse characters wearing those items. Who do you think is the typical Spell buyer?
You know, because we do the markets and also have a boutique attached to our workshop we meet our customers every single day – and they’re all sooo different! But I do think they have one thing in common and that is a love for that ‘feeling’ that you get when you wear a long flowy kimono or a tshirt covered with animal bone… this feeling of ‘wild feminine’. Our customers are young and old and from all over the world – but I think they all have that in common.
7.) You started out with designing jewellery and then later added other fashion items to your label. What do you think is so special about jewellery in general and yours in particular?
We definitely have an affinity with jewellery or more specifically adornment. The almost ritualistic process of adorning yourself when you get dressed intrigues us. Much of our fashion range are an extension of that adornment too – like our kimonos or bags with bone chest plates attached to them, or tshirts with bone embellishment. They’re all about decorating and adorning yourself.
8.) When you look back at what you achieved with your label so far, what thought comes into your mind, what do you wish for the future and what aims to you have for your label?
We just want to keep being inspired and inspiring people, through our label, our blog and the way we do things here in Byron Bay.