“We intend to build a business centered around women with a strong sense of self. Designing a considered wardrobe to serve their multifaceted lives.” When Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper met at their former employer, they didn’t consider starting their brand. Years later, their friendship grew, as did their need to do things differently. It resulted in Harris Tapper – a fashion label championing women in their careers.
Cover image: courtesy of Harris Tapper
Harris Tapper and its sense of quiet tailoring
Quiet tailoring and thoughtful sophistication are at the core of Harris Tapper. This young fashion label designs for a multigenerational group of women who are unwavering, forward-thinking, and ambitious in celebration of their femininity. According to co-founders Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper, the brand emerged from a gap in the fashion industry. Working as fashion professionals for years, they missed an approachable brand for the modern businesswoman on the go. Finding the fitting garments that would look great at dinner as effortlessly as at the office seemed impossible. That is until they started Harris Tapper. The former colleagues tell TT everything about starting the label and what makes them proud.
You met when both were working for a former employer. Have you always dreamed of starting your brand? And how did you decide to collaborate?
“Neither of us intended to start our brand at all! While working for a larger company, we started noticing a gap in the market for directional shirting at an accessible mid-level price point. We decided to start a brand dedicated to the perfect women’s shirt. What began as a conversation in the back of a taxi about the perfect shirt has expanded to a label and full collections four times a year with stockists in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.”
Harris Tapper started to fill the gap in affordable women’s shirting – since then, it’s grown into a full wardrobe brand. How do you ensure that the same sense of “modern sensibility” is still part of every collection?
“There’s an autobiographical sense to our collections. It’s natural when you’re designing to imagine yourself in the clothes, especially as we’re consumers of our brand. We’ll always retain the same sensibility as the beginning because it’s our body of work; it carries our point of view.”
You focus on women with a strong sense of self. How do you incorporate this in the collections? How does it influence the design process?
“Every season, we don’t aim to offer something drastically different but to build upon the last. We offer the women who wear our clothes a wardrobe to serve their busy, multifaceted lives rather than dictating current trends to them. Easy elegance, subversive femininity, and minimalistic sophistication are at the core of every design piece. Each garment must work with others in the collection and pair it back to the wearer’s wardrobe. It results in a collection of pieces that aren’t traditionally trend-driven, but part of a lasting wardrobe.”
Are there particular strong women who inspire you both?
“We’re both inspired by women around us and those who wear our clothes – colleagues, clients, friends, and family members who live busy lives with responsibilities, work commitments, and children. Their composure and attitude in everyday life are exciting to design for.”
The collections are based on wardrobe cornerstones. What are your favorite must-haves?
Lauren: “I wear black tailored trousers with a white button-down or black T-shirt daily. A great pair of trousers tailored to fit your body is worth investing in.” Sarah: “I love everything oversized, but I also value the art of tailoring and love the feeling you get when you put on a piece that fits you perfectly.”
What are you most proud of?
“How well we understand each other and value the other’s point of view. We’ve had fascinating times in the last three years alongside lots of challenges, and we continue to move forward and achieve our goals with each passing year. We’re proud to be available in Harrods and excited for what’s to come.”