Harris Tapper Launches Its First Ever Resort Collection

Known for their luxurious shirting, Auckland-based designers Sarah Harris-Gould and Lauren Tapper share the inspiration behind their new resort offering


Harris Tapper resort 2020. Photo / Hannah Roche.

Why is the time right to expand on your shirt offerings?
When we started Harris Tapper, our aim was to provide beautifully cut, high-quality shirting that women could wear year-round.

Very quickly after we launched the brand, we were asked by our retailers, customers and friends if we could design something to pair with the shirts — our collections are now merely an extension of that.

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Because our focus was on designing simple, elegant wardrobes that weren't overly trend-driven, this translated well into other categories and, now, full collections.

Deciding to change tack from our original business concept wasn't an easy decision, but it felt like we were holding back from growing the brand if we were to stick within our self-drawn parameters when our buyers were asking for more.

Harris Tapper muse, artist Natasha Wright. Photo / Bella Griffiths.

What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
SHG: The Sand Suit. It's the perfect beige, and I always find myself gravitating toward a wide-leg trouser. The eyelet and chain detailing on the blazer is an update from our previous season and allows the outfit to go from day to evening.

LT: I love our trousers — the Soft Slacks are a great cut, they suit every body shape. The Eyelet Trousers are my new favourite — they're a loose fit and super structured, I'll wear mine with a white or grey knit.

How would you describe the Harris Tapper woman?
We design for the modern, professional woman. Our focus is on creating a wardrobe for their lifestyles in a new, fresh, considered way. We see a shift in the way many women are integrating their personal and professional lives a lot more, so our design approach is 360-degree.

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These women are inspiring, hard-working, independent and recognise quality. They're successful in their chosen field and know what they want, their style is understated but they don't shy away from pushing boundaries when dressing for an occasion. Our collections are inspired by women whom we admire for their career drive, creativity and ability to carve their own path.

Natasha Wright is an ultimate muse — Natasha is an emerging New Zealand artist based in New York whos work we love and who we admire for her drive, passion and strong sense of being. Natasha's work explores the representation of females and the significance of the female body as an icon. Natasha was recently back for a solo exhibition at Parlour Projects (Sophie Wallace is also a muse of ours) so, we took the opportunity to photograph her in the new resort collection.

"Our focus was on designing simple, elegant wardrobes that weren't overly trend-driven". Photo / Bella Griffiths.

What from the collection would you wear to a summer party / event?
SHG: I recently wore the green and gold silk Raglan Top paired back with the sand Soft Slacks to a wedding. It's an unexpected combination but perfect for a wedding because you don't end up looking too daytime or to evening — it transitions nicely.

LT: I love the shape of the black Holiday Dress. We made it with a super crisp, quality denim. I'd wear that to work then carry on to an event. The fabric has enough body to it so it doesn't feel too casual.

Who are your summer style icons and why?
LT: I wear a similar look every day and it's either black, white, denim, or beige. This definitely does not change in summer! I've always loved the way Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy put herself together, especially in the evening. She wore virtually no makeup, even to black-tie events.

SHG: I think I've developed a stronger sense of self and don't look to other people for influence so much anymore. I've realised the importance of dressing for myself and what feels good.

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