She’s the local lass about to take the fashion world by storm and we are pretty thrilled about it.
We sat down for a chat with Caitlin Verrall about her label tahoefoundation and the release of her stunning second collection, Outliers.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
It would be close to 12 years now. I moved to the Gold Coast to study design in my early 20s and now it’s home. I worked in London for a couple of years in between but you can’t beat our lifestyle.
What do you love most about living here?
I love the laid-back and friendly nature of Gold Coasters, and the enterprising nature behind many of us who choose to live here for the lifestyle balance. I also love the access we have to endless beaches and camping spots as you head south, and that Brisbane is only up the road.
Tell us about your fashion label tahoefoundation?
tahoefoundation was born out of a need for beautiful, unassuming clothing. I love subtle, enduring and well-crafted pieces, so everything is designed with this in mind. I work mainly with a monotone palette and use all natural fabrics. The designs are clean and minimal, so pieces can be worn on their own or as a compliment. We just released our second collection, Outliers, which offers everything from the classic Smith ‘90s Dress to the statement Ithica Wrap Dress. It’s a beautiful range of timeless, laid-back silhouettes, with matching separates emerging for the first time.
How did it come about?
I spent more than 10 years working for global brands which produced large ranges of clothing several times throughout the year. While it was great exposure, my heart was in creating pieces that transcend seasonal cycles and become personal favourites.
I had designs bouncing around in my head and sketchpad and was excited (and also a little nervous) to finally release my first range, Essential Eccentric. A small collection of carefully curated designs, it really set the tone for tahoefoundation with a great response from across Australia and even some orders from overseas.
What does the brand name mean?
In weaving, the weft is passed over and under the warp to turn thread or yarn into woven fabric. I once heard San Francisco described as a place with an ‘eccentric weft’ – a destination for dreamers and misfits and for those who like to sit at the edge of the continent and look even further west. This phrasing really resonated with me with something special woven into each piece from tahoefoundation.
From where do you draw inspiration?
All around me. It changes daily. I’m a visual person – beautiful photographs inspire me. Ceramics are really inspiring me at the moment (and you can probably tell if you follow tahoefoundation on Instagram). Generally, people doing something unique or new is always inspiring. It pushes you to do the same, to do better.
What’s your favourite piece in the current collection?
The Smith Cigarette Pant would have to be my favourite from Outliers. I’m very much a comfort dresser, so these pants are perfect. They’re tailored and cut from a soft, fluid linen blend. They can be worn with some slides and a tank and also dressed up with a pair of heels. Versatility in a garment is key for me. The Smith Pant and Shirt have been popular in this collection.
Any advice for someone wanting to start their own fashion label?
It feels strange offering advice, but I can say the market is busy and you have to establish trust. I think it is important to have authenticity and a clear purpose. And quality pieces that are thoughtfully designed.
What’s in the works for 2020 for you?
Outliers is our focus at the moment, but we are also planning a new collection for release later this year.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Paddock Bakery is still my favourite breakfast jaunt.
Coffee spot: BSKT is within walking distance from home, but I’ll happily grab a coffee from anywhere – especially if I tag along for a morning surf check with my partner.
Restaurant for dinner: I love restaurants with share plates or tapas – Light Years is a new favourite.
How does your weekend usually look? It’s a little different these days with a 5-month-old. We’re up early to make a coffee and head over the road for an ocean swim and some sun. We often drive south to Kingscliff for lunch or a picnic at Talle Creek with friends. We love a weekend away too – we just got back from camping near Brooms Head.