Online Store Obsession: Ausmode

Lisa Smith

I have a new online store obsession and felt it only fair to share! Ladies, get clicking because Ausmode has it ALL!

This online store is one of the best I have come across. It is the brainchild of Lisa Smith, who was inspired by her duel city living in Sydney and New York.

It offers a unique edit of leading and cult Australian brands – the likes of Zimmermann, sass & bide, Ellery, Jordan Askill, Camilla & Marc and Lover, carefully combined with a sprinkling of American fashion and accessory houses. Are you drooling over your keyboards yet ladies? Well get clicking. This site and range is AMAZING!

Oh, and by the way….did I mention this smart, successful, inspiring woman is absolutely gorgeous! Yep. Read on to hear about Lisa’s journey and some of her favorite bloggers and key trends this Spring/Summer.

We hope you enjoy!

BWA. xx


Tell us a bit about yourself, your career before Ausmode?

A lot of the directions I’ve taken in my career have been due to chance moments or unexpected opportunities. I actually started my career in publishing – straight after uni I contributed to a few magazines and thought I would follow this route, then by chance I was at a magazine launch and met the owner of an eyewear distribution company. I took on a freelance project with them, constructing the company newsletter and doing some communications, which evolved into a PR & Marketing role for about 1 1/2 years. I was still writing and while interviewing my friend artist/designer Jeremy Ville for a story, I was offered by him to take on their PR as contra for an office space they had above their then retail store. Somehow I found myself – with the help of another friend Bec Vallance (now a designer herself) who kindly referred me to a few clients – with a PR business on my hands. I resigned my previous job and ended up taking the eyewear company on as an external client. I had this business for 9 years working with many fashion, beauty, luxury, alcohol and lifestyle clients which I sold in 2012 to The Trish Nicol Agency to be able to focus on Ausmode full-time.

Have you always had a love of fashion? Where did it all stem from?
I would say it’s always been there. I ended up very randomly doing modelling (another chance encounter/situation) at a young age, so this was my first exposure to the fashion world. Working in this industry I was always drawn to the creative process – I loved being part of shoots with creative people, but probably felt more at home being on the other side of the lens. I think this is what led me to doing my coffee table book Bondi Style with my friend Chris Morris – I loved all kinds of creativity and this was an amazing outlet.

It’s funny that I seem to have always stayed with fashion in my career despite not really describing myself as a committed fashion-head – I think once you are involved it’s hard to leave!

What advice do you give young women wanting to achieve similar successes to you?
Like most women, it feels innate for me not to think of myself as successful – it’s all definitely a work in progress! I would say to anyone wanting to establish or forge forward in their career that a lot of it comes down to attitude. Success almost always is a product of a lot of hard work, faith and tenacity, so go into any role with a positive and constructive attitude, ready to work hard and you’ll be a success. I also read recently about a study of elderly people who were asked what they wished they’d done in their lives and almost all of them said they wished they’d risked more and gone for it more. It’s great advice I think – if you see an amazing opportunity or feel in your gut that you want to make a bold move (move countries, start a business etc), then you should go for it especially when you’re young, as there’s not much to lose and you don’t want to have any regrets.

What do you look for when buying for the store?
I find it’s a real mix of special highlight pieces – like the major dress from a collection – or staple items which may be a simple tank top or black sunglasses for example. I’m looking for brands that have a strong following and something unique to offer the site.

Favourite Australian Brands?
They’re pretty much all the ones we have on the site! There are so many more that I love too and hope we will expand to encompass all of these one day soon.

Favourite Australian bloggers?
They all seem to be people I’ve met and liked on a personal level…Marg from Shine by Three, Claire from Yellow Button, Tanja from My Empirical Life, Anna from Style Inc, Sara from Harper & Harley and Steph Adams. There are so many great Aussie fashion blogs now – it’s hard to keep up. I’m also enjoying They All Hate Us and a home/lifestyle blog by Pippa Lord called Sous Style.

Key trends for 2013?
For skirts, it seems to be the skater skirt shape or more tailored mid-length just below the knee. Crop tops or dresses with a cut-out midriff are on-trend this Spring. Colour wise, I think white is going to be big and prints remain strong. Animal print is still going to feature – this one doesn’t seem to go away.

Key pieces from Ausmode for this season?
The new floral print story from Ellery is amazing; Illesteva eyewear – a new brand for us from New York and Sass & Bide’s Strength to Strength dress is stunning. We Are Handsome are also doing a collaboration with Soludos – keep an eye out from September.

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
At the moment it’s high summer in New York, so I’d say it’s my Goorin Bros Panama Hat, Ellery sunglasses and Ksubi denim shorts.

What can we expect from Ausmode and Lisa for the rest of 2013?
We’re excited for spring/summer new arrivals which have started now. We have a few new labels on offer this season – Alice McCall, We Are Handsome, Maurie & Eve, Alex Perry, Clare Vivier, Bec & Bridge as well as all the usual staples.
We also have some exciting competitions coming up for our subscribers. I love this part of the job – we just recently gave someone a trip to New York as part of our promotion!

What do you do to relax?

As I’m tapping away at my computer for so much of the day, I find exercise and getting outdoors is my preferred relaxation. I try to get to a yoga class once a week and I do long walks most days. It’s a challenge living in the city at times, so whenever I can I escape out to the beach or if in town, then rooftops or Central Park make a nice respite.

Finally if you could have breakfast with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Barack and Michelle Obama – they would have incredible stories and they seem like genuinely fun and down-to-earth people.

Find out more about Lisa and check out what Ausmode has to offer here!



  • Reply BellaB Wednesday 13th November, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Sounds great.

  • Reply yslyenom Wednesday 13th November, 2013 at 12:44 am


  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Wednesday 13th November, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Sounds great, must take a peep

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