It takes a certain self-assurance to commit to a favourite style and embrace it like you can’t get enough.
With a confidence and maturity that belies their years, Auckland’s Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper are doing just that, perfecting and reimagining a perennial garment as much to fill their own closets as anyone else’s.
Their new label, Harris Tapper, delivers what every stylish woman worth her salt needs: beautifully cut shirts. Catering to our insatiable desire for novelty while crafting a high-end product, the pair are forgoing the traditional model of large seasonal collections in favour of releasing concise edits in the first week of every month. Their approach delivers all the benefits of fast fashion, yet each shirt is ethically produced and built to last.
Sarah and Lauren may be focused on just one item, but they each come armed with multiple skill sets. Sarah (32) brings graphic design qualifications and experience working as a brand manager for Stephen Marr, a buyer for Urban Outfitters in London and, more recently, a brand manager for Topshop NZ. That’s where she met Lauren (26), who was doing PR for Topshop, having studied fashion design before working at fashion and lifestyle PR agency Showroom 22 and in store at Karen Walker, with some visual merchandising thrown in for good measure.
With the world as their oyster, what was it about shirts? “First of all,” says Sarah, “you can wear them throughout the entire year. They’re not a trend item, they’re not a fad, they’re a staple piece.”
“The shirt is the cornerstone of every woman’s wardrobe,” confirms Lauren. “I wear one almost every day. No matter who you are, when you get dressed in the morning you want to look good, and we’re trying to make that easy. You don’t have to put on 10 layers to feel stylish. You can just put on a shirt with a classic pair of pants and feel amazing.”
Harris Tapper launched last December with 12 looks. “We just wanted to say: ‘This is what we’re about,’” says Lauren. “We’re not making a massive brand statement at the start of the season; we’re offering what the consumer loves right now and what’s relevant at this point in time.”