Raw artistic talent is a phenomenon that cannot always be learnt by reading a book or completing a university degree. Some things flow naturally, and for Byron Bay fashion designer Rowie Moore, artistic skill runs deep in her bones. Having developed her expertise autonomously, the forty year-old Australian designer has been cultivating her craft for twenty five years. “I grew up in a community surrounded by creative people. I left school when I was fourteen but I had already started making clothes and selling them to friends. I have never had a ‘real job’ I made at least one piece every day and I have never studied!"
Moore is the Creative Director and sole Designer for Byron Bay-based fashion label Rowie. Her devotion to fashion and her natural eye for creating pieces that compliment the female form is illustrated in the designer's stunning collections. Rowie comprises contemporary classics with a free-spirited bohemian aesthetic. Soft, feminine and chic- the North Coast label brings a collection of delicate dresses, relaxed basics, tailored separates, earthy colour-palettes and signature prints.
The Byron Bay native’s laid-back approach to balancing work with lifestyle is evident in her creations. “I really just want women to feel good in their skin and in the clothes they wear. I love comfortable clothing but I also love the feminine, so I try to create based around these two things.”
From its pandanas-lined beaches to its rich sub-tropical rainforest, the Byron Bay landscape is a consistent point of inspiration for Moore’s creations. Rowie’s latest collection for Aus winter ’16- Solstice- is influenced by the changing seasons and the wild grass that lines the roads between Bangalow and Byron Bay. The intrinsic wonder of her surroundings has gifted Moore with a love for natural beauty. “Growing up in a community full of people passionate about the natural land has had a life long influence and created a deeper understanding of respecting the earth, our environment and people in general.” Moore applies this philosophy to her creative process and her approach to business- “The choices I make with design and production, by being a creative problem solver to reduce waste when things go wrong and even just sharing my smile with people I work with.”
Living by the philosophy of non-mass production, Rowie ensures only a limited number of pieces are made per collection. “Sustainability is a big word in our wider community and something I think about often. Our production is small-scale which allows greater control over waste.” Moore aims to produce garments that will last for more than one season and is always sourcing sustainable fabrics and dying processes. Her appreciation for the natural world around her is consistent with her approach to sustainable fashion practices and low-volume productions.
The fashion industry can be a platform for the collaboration of artistic talent- and the North Coast of NSW is no exception. The creative cluster of local designers in Byron Bay support each other through their artistic processes and professional ventures. “I feel hugely grateful to be surrounded by not only like-minded creatives but smart, strong and passionate women in business. I often workshop business issues with my designer friends at the beach with our little ones!" Moore multi-tasks building her brand and raising her three year-old son, Bodhi Sunshine and twenty one year-old daughter, Maya.
Byron Bay designers are carving their way onto the international fashion arena bringing colour, vibrancy and a unique blend of beauty and authenticity. After recently spending six weeks in Europe, Moore came home with an admiration for the Australian fashion scene. “I think Byron is killing it in the fashion world! I love that there are so many amazing designers in this town and it’s a constant source of inspiration to know that people around you are creating magic.”
Moore brings earthly beauty with timeless pieces that compliment the feminine and embrace the wonder of life. As her business continues to expand, Moore stands by her ideals of a balanced lifestyle that is harmonious with her passion for design and her love for the environment. “I would love to see the business grow but not too big, I still need time to stop and smell the flowers.”