We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Barrett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
BROOKE BARRETT was created to provide eternal belongings for your forever wardrobe, celebrating the simplicity of daily rituals, light and movement.
Over the last two years, we have been extensively trialling and testing the longevity of our fibre selection, wearing and washing each style and adapting where needed to guarantee eternal wear, not just for special occasions but within everyday environments. Our seasonless range offers ultimate elegance, simplicity and comfort.
We believe no mass production means less waste. Each garment is made-to-order with an approximate order completion of 1-2 weeks including postage and can be made in standard sizing or sized to your own measurements. This means we also get to be in charge of quality control from start to finish and ensure we only ever make what is needed. Each piece from BROOKE BARRETT is designed to be customisable, with every garment intended to be worn with love to last a lifetime.
Eternal belongings, for your forever wardrobe.
What should our readers know about your business?
At BROOKE BARRETT, we love to work with natural fibres, and our latest collection of everyday wear is made from certified Lenzing Tencel and manufactured from the wood and cellulose of sustainably harvested Eucalyptus trees. This adaptable fibre is known for its exceptional softness and high breathability while remaining skin-friendly. We’ve also jlaunching our new range of woollen felt hats, each style a modern take on the most beloved hat of past times, the woollen felt fedora. But these haven’t been created to be just a hat, they’re a feeling – with durability to last the days most wandered. Our hats are unisex and each style has an internal adjustable band to fit even the smallest of sizes, adaptable for each wearer and its environment.
My design career began at a young age, always scribbling and dreaming up outfit ideas which lead me to study fashion and design in New Zealand before moving to Los Angeles to work in the rag trade (textiles). On my return to New Zealand, the time felt right to get started on my design career again and I opened up a bespoke service where I made everything under the sun to understand what was needed in the market – and after 3 years of deep investigating while experiencing and developing the fashion market as a whole first-hand, it was very clear to me that there was a place to create my own collection, one that doesn’t date, made with fabrics and construction methods that stand the test of time just like the fashion industry once used to provide.
You could say BROOKE BARRETT has been in development for the last 5 years to get it to where it is now. There have been so many challenges along the way – like most, I’ve had to navigate and re-route many times over the last couple of years. BROOKE BARRETT’s customizable collections launched right at the beginning of covid. We encountered supply chain issues from companies not being able to open or produce, at the time I was only offering in-person fittings and on top of that, just as I was about to launch IVORY EDIT (The ceremonial side of our brand) the wedding industry as a whole I had been servicing ultimately came to a halt for nearly 2 full years, just as I was about to show in Fashion Week.
Through anything, what always keeps me going is trying to understand what lesson might be at hand and that no matter what situation we’re thrown there is always something to be grateful for. It’s because of all of these changes, BROOKE BARRETT has developed and really come to life along with my passion for developing a customisable, adaptable brand, and we now offer virtual consultations and fittings to the worldwide market for any of our BROOKE BARRETT (or IVORY EDIT) collections, so our services can be attained from anywhere in the world the internet can be reached. I truly believe that what we wear and how we feel when we wear these pieces becomes a part of us and the way we express or present ourselves says so much about our own values, interests, passions and also desires. BROOKE BARRETT epitomises simplicity, but in a sense of one knowing themselves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
On my first visit to Tucson, I had the most incredible tour guide Hanah (we first met when she moved from AZ to New Zealand), show me around – and Tanque Verde Falls was at the top of my list. The walk through the open fields of cacti, the fresh waterfalls, the adventure through the wild – it was a western dream.
It was through Hanah that I came across the well-known Arizona name and photographer, Jackie Sterna of UUPFRONT. Jackie project managed and shot one of our new campaigns at the San Xavier Mission which has the most incredibly beautiful architecture. I can’t wait to visit the Mission in person as Jackie organised everything from Tucson while I was here in New Zealand.
Next on my list when I return is definitely The JTH Tucson AZ, and their sister homestead, The Joshua Tree House, CA. We love collaboration at BROOKE BARRETT, so if anyone wants to join us for a collaborative shoot, we would love to hear from you!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I couldn’t recommend Jackie Sterna enough! I love Jackie because she is by no means your average photographer. Based out of Nashville (but travels everywhere), she has a reputation for taking her clients to unforeseen places, challenging the status quo with provocative yet timeless results. Jackie is a commercial + brand photographer but focuses on capturing the true essence of your personality and brand. She totally MAKES your brand on a visual element. She will take your brand to an ultimate level with unique individuality and absolute professionalism. If you’re in need of new brand imagery – she’s your girl. Jackie introduced us to Kaylee of By KB Studio who BROOKE BARRETT has just created a bespoke wardrobe with for her branding shoot photographed by Jackie in Tucson. Together, we designed and created a completely bespoke capsule collection for Kaylee’s branding shoot to provide visual representation from her website and social media content to real life. We tailored each garment to Kaylee’s measurements, all through our online portal meaning no in-person fittings were required. This bespoke collection allows for a symbolic representation of By KB Studio, allowing for all of her online or in-client meetings and social media content to remain on-brand, aligning seamlessly with her branding shoot.
And, of course, Jamie-Lee Dimes, the powerhouse and musician behind the soundtrack ‘Sierra’ to our new campaign (she’s often in AZ for photoshoots and tours so keep an eye out for when she’s next in town). Jamie and I were introduced by a mutual friend around 8 years ago. After years of talking, we finally met in New York face-to-face about 3 years later, and ever since, as a creative entrepreneur herself, Jamie has become an integral part of our growth through the continual chats and collaborations of our expertise. She’s also just shot an incredible campaign in Tucson wearing our BROOKE BARRETT Silk Dimes Set in the lead up to her American tour. She’s incredible.
Instagram: @brookebarrettforyou + @ivoryedit___ + @brooke__barrett
Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/brookebarrett
Featured: Self-timer photoshoot wearing the BROOKE BARRETT Eucalyptus fibre Savannah Blouse, Shiloh Trousers, and Sienna Dress in Black. Featured: Preview for the new BROOKE BARRETT campaign at San Xavier Mission, Tucson. Captured by Jackie Sterna. Featured: The BROOKE BARRETT Woollen Felt Wanderer in Ivory, The Sienna Eucalyptus Dress in White, The Woollen Felt Romantic in Clay, and The Sienna Eucalyptus Dress in Black. Captured by Ben D’ath + HMUA Amber Makeup. Featured: The BROOKE BARRETT Woollen Felt Wanderer in Sand and the Eucalyptus fibre Savannah Blouse in White. Captured by Ben D’ath + MUA Amber Makeup. Featured: Self-timer photoshoot wearing the BROOKE BARRETT Woollen Felt Wanderer in Black, and the Eucalyptus fibre Savannah Blouse, Shiloh Trousers, and Sienna Dress in Black. Featured: The BROOKE BARRETT Eucalyptus fibre Savannah Blouse in White, and silk gathered shorts. Captured by Jackie Sterna. Featured: The BROOKE BARRETT Wanderer Woollen Felt Hat in Desert Bloom and The Sienna Eucalyptus Dress in White. Captured by Ben D’ath + HMUA Amber Makeup.