Behind the Scenes with Nakedvice: How Two Visionaries Are Redefining Fashion

Sarah Miller and Jessie Gargan launched Nakedvice in 2014 with a clear vision: to create high-quality, affordable leather bags. Their journey has seen them expand from handbags into a brand known for timeless wardrobe essentials.

They’ve struck a careful balance between embracing trends and maintaining classic designs, all while keeping their products accessible and luxurious. Managing production carefully, they prioritise sustainability alongside style and quality.

The design process is a collaborative effort that ensures each piece reflects the brand’s ethos. At Nakedvice, the well-being of their team is as crucial as their product line, promoting a flexible work environment.

Sarah and Jessie, starting Nakedvice back in 2014 must have been a leap of faith. Could you share what inspired you both to embark on this journey together and how you envisioned your brand standing out in the competitive fashion industry?

We both wanted to start a fashion label from the moment we met, however, it wasn’t until a few years later that Nakedvice truly took shape. In our early 20s, we noticed a significant gap in the market for high-quality leather bags that were both affordable and timeless.

Although our initial vision was to establish an apparel brand, we soon realised the potential in focusing on handbags. We had a strong sense of the aesthetic we wanted to cultivate from the outset, and we believed that handbags would serve as the perfect entry point into the market. We always envisioned that Nakedvice would be more than just a bag brand; we wanted to be a one stop destination for timeless wardrobe staples. 10 years on and this is exactly where we have landed!

Your approach to fashion is both timeless and trend conscious. How do you strike that delicate balance in your designs, ensuring that Nakedvice remains relevant yet classic?

Maintaining the balance between timelessness and trends can be extremely challenging. As a business we need to be aware of the evolving tastes and preferences of our customer, however, we can’t forget the core values and aesthetic that define our brand.

For us it is about constantly researching and observing emerging trends, not to blindly follow them, but to selectively incorporate elements that resonate with our brand identity. This might mean interpreting a popular colour palette in a way that complements our existing collection or integrating a new silhouette into a timeless design.

The philosophy of crafting accessible luxury is fascinating. Can you delve into what accessible luxury means to Nakedvice, and how do you maintain this ethos in your pricing, design, and production processes?

For us, accessible luxury means providing individuals with the opportunity to invest in well-crafted pieces that will remain staples in their wardrobes for years to come. While profitability is essential, we always keep in mind the importance of ensuring our products are within reach for our customers. This entails striking a balance between maintaining quality and affordability in our pricing strategies.

In terms of design, we take inspiration from trends but prioritise versatility and timelessness. We ask ourselves questions like, “How will our customer wear this product? Can it be styled with denim or a black blazer?” Our aim is to create items that seamlessly integrate into the foundational pieces of our customers’ wardrobes.

Central to our approach is a relentless focus on quality. We place a heavy emphasis on producing items of the highest standard. This ensures that our products not only withstand the test of time but also maintain their value over the years.

With a commitment to limited production runs, how do you align your collections with consumer demand without succumbing to overproduction? What challenges does this approach bring?

We prioritise reorders on our core items with longstanding appeal to ensure our customers can consistently access them. These are styles that have proven their staying power over multiple years and are the foundations of our brand.

However, for trend-focused designs, we take a different approach. We acknowledge the transient nature of trends and limit production runs to avoid overstocking items that are seasonal. It can sometimes be a challenge as even if a product becomes a bestseller, we exercise caution in reordering it if it’s tied to a passing trend.

This can lead to disappointed customers who may miss out. However, our goal is to avoid contributing to overproduction and minimise the risk of creating excess inventory that won’t be worn or appreciated in the long term.

Designing a piece involves many months of development. Could you take us behind the scenes of this process, from initial inspiration to the final product?

We are forever saving images and ideas throughout the year. When it comes to designing a collection, it is often about bringing those images together and finding an overarching theme or story.

Once we have a final mood board and vision, we collaborate with our design team to refine concepts and sketch initial designs, from there the sample process begins. As samples arrive, we begin expanding the collection.

We incorporate existing core items to style new pieces and identify areas where additional designs are needed. This process ensures a cohesive line-up that seamlessly integrates new designs with our established  essentials.

The fashion industry is known for its fast pace and high pressure. How do you ensure that your team at Nakedvice also maintains a healthy balance between work demands and their personal lives?

We pride ourselves on being a flexible workplace. For us it is about the output not the hours. We have great working hours and run a hybrid model of working from home and the office. Each individual works differently so we want to ensure we are creating an environment for each person to reach their full potential.

As entrepreneurs in a creative field, how do you recharge your creative energies and ensure you’re continuously inspired without burning out?

This is something that is extremely hard to manage when you run your own business. Often when it comes to doing a “Creative Task”, you can feel a sense of guilt. Scrolling on Pinterest might not seem as important as replying to an email, so you put it on the back burner.

We are slowly learning to set boundaries to allow ourselves the headspace to be creative. Blocking out time in our calendar that is specifically for doing things that inspire us is essential to not just the wellbeing of ourselves but also the business.

Looking forward, how do you envision the growth of Nakedvice, and are there any new directions or collaborations you’re excited about and can share with us?

Looking ahead, we’re excited about the continued growth of Nakedvice, particularly in expanding our retail presence across Australia. With our product offering evolving each season, we’re committed to providing accessible luxury for our customers, not just through our product but through every touch point. Opening more retail spaces will allow us to create beautiful physical environments where customers can explore and build their wardrobes.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.