Every now and then a designer comes along with something completely unique and makes us wonder "why has this not been done before"?! This question struck me instantly upon discovering label Revel Knitwear - an Australian brand which focuses on "a slow fashion movement and the creation of sustainable, ethical fashion". Revel Knitwear is designed by Sydney based talent, Shannyn Lorkin, who has mastered the art of combining quality, functionality, wearability and a cohesive brand aesthetic into a unique range of hand knitted pieces. The simplicity, beauty and craftsmanship of Revel Knitwear is undeniable and the ethical ethos behind the label is nothing short of inspiring.
I grabbed a few minutes with the talented Shannyn to find out what Revel is all about, what defines her style and where she draws inspiration....
Describe Your Label, Revel Knitwear...
Revel Knitwear has been established to support the slow fashion movement, with the creation of hand-made knitwear using Australian wool and cotton. Designed by myself in Sydney, available exclusively online and made-to-order, all pieces are hand-knitted by our small team of makers for the purpose of creating ethical and sustainable fashion. I hope each knit makes our customer feel endlessly comforted when they wear them. All the pieces are designed to fit into any wardrobe - they are quality investment pieces that focus on timeless style as opposed to current trends.
What lead to the birth of Revel Knitwear?
My grandmother Beverley taught me to hand-knit from the age of 15, we shared such an incredible bond. I would knit with her constantly, and it was a skill she always hoped to pass on to someone. After her passing in 2015, I felt inspired to continue knitting as it felt like such a special gift that she had given me, and while studying a diploma of Fashion Business, the idea came to me to create a label after her, a legacy.
What is your background in the fashion industry and what skills have you gained along the way which have been vital to starting your own label?
I have always loved fashion, but previously endeavored down a different career path. I studied a diploma of fashion business in 2015 and worked for stylist throughout that time. After I graduated, I landed a job working as an in-house PR Manager/marketing/visual merchandiser/photoshoot producer etc etc.
Coming out of the diploma and into such a complex role, I learned so many things in such a short period of time, the list is endless! I learned how self-sufficient I can be, but within that how important it is to be organised and manage your time in your own way. I also learned that there is no "right" way to do anything, and that the best creation is achieved when you feel clear minded, well supported and just take it all one day at a time. And above all, nurture your team- they will always be the most important driving force of your business.
What inspires your designs?
I'm inspired by the classic style of knitting that my grandmother taught me, and the use of different stitches to create layers and textures. Fashion, in all of its forms, always gets my heart pumping and mind buzzing. I'm inspired by the ocean, music, new people and new places. I have thousands of lightning bolt ideas daily- there is inspiration everywhere!
Most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
It is not about the situation you are in, but your attitude toward it. My mother is so wise haha!
Favourite labels/style icons?
There are so many! My top style icons would be: Mary-kate and Ashley Olsen, Twiggy, Sophia Amoruso, Rachel Zoe, Sarah Jessica Parker.
My first and forever fashion obsession is Sass & Bide, and my current obsessions- Bandsome apparel, The row, Abrand Jeans, By Johnny, Daniel Avakian, Windsor Smith- always a mix of high-end and ready to wear. I've always loved vintage and up cycled fashion as well as discovering other ethical/sustainable brands.
Where do you spend your down time when your not designing?
In my downtime, I love working out- going for a run, swim or at the gym. It's so important for me to be able to release energy and have a moment to myself. I'm otherwise socialising with friends, family and my boyfriend- heading to the beach, out at local bars and cafes - most likely for a burger and a good chat. I love being surrounded by people and even when I'm not designing, I usually have 2 needles and some wool at my fingertips- I am renowned for knitting in some pretty obscure places.
What is your go-to outfit?
Comfort is non-negotiable! My fav outfit is always a white tee tucked into some denim shorts/jeans, with leather boots or heels. You can go anywhere in that.
You would never catch me in…
Low rise jeans. Always, always high waisted or high rise.
My drink of choice….
Vodka with freshly squeezed apple juice. But a cheeky Pina Colada also goes down well!
5 things I can’t live without…
The people I love
What does success mean to you?
Success to me doesn't have a dollar value or social media following. Success is achieving your goals, knowing your purpose and living to your highest potential in an authentic life.
Finally, where do you hope to take Revel in the future?
I hope to continue hand-knitting all orders and build my team of makers. I'd love to expand the reach and following of the brand and build a strong network with other like-minded creatives. It would be great to have boutique stockists of the brand potentially and my biggest pipe dream is taking Australian knitwear internationally. But we'll see...
Model: Sara Pull
Featuring: Beachcomber Singlet, The Traveler Singlet, Sundaze Dress & Everly Cable Sweater
To shop Revel Knitwear click here.
Keep your eyes out for more of this incredible local designer, this girl is going places!