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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | September 23, 2020

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Lokoa Leather: For ‘Vagabonds at Heart’

Lokoa Leather: For ‘Vagabonds at Heart’
Yasmin Bonnell

Lokoa Leather is a boutique fashion label bringing a unique style of clothing, leather accessories and footwear to the Gold Coast fashion scene. An idea born from a single one-off leather handbag nine years ago has grown to include an entire clothing collection, a large range of leather bags and a distinctive style.

Inspired by adventure, bold colours and her travels, designer Brie Shinn has generated a substantial following of free spirited bohemian vagabonds seeking to express themselves through fashion.

We spoke to the woman who started it all, Brie Shinn, and found out where she intends to take the label.

TCI: What was the motivation behind starting Lokoa Leather and how do you stay inspired?

Brie: Lokoa began to express my own style and a gorgeous leather bag that was meant to be a one-off! At the time, I had been thinking about what I thought would be the perfect bag for a while. There was just nothing around that really jumped out to me as different, or inspiring at all. I wanted something unique and bold, with a bit of an exotic bohemian soul.

I’d decided to take these daydreams further while on holiday in Indonesia and designed my very own first leather handbag that I made up for my own personal collection (the original Lotus bag). I combined the inspiration I’d taken from my travels; the cultures of Brazil, Argentina, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. I loved the fun, free spirited energy of these places I visited and I wanted to take a piece of that home with me.

I was so surprised when everyone went wild for it wanting to know where they could get one, so I arranged to have some more samples made up in bright bold leather colours and upon return they sold out within a week! This prompted me to continue with my designs and start expanding the range.

Not every woman has the luxury of an exotic escape, but I love inspiring a sense of mystery and adventure through my designs. Lokoa is a collection of unique, handcrafted bags, wallets, clothing, and footwear made with various leathers (all genuine), suedes, and exclusive fabrics and prints.

I’m still inspired by my travels, but now also by my beautiful customers and the way they wear their Lokoa. More importantly, with each new collection I feel more grateful to be able to explore this soulful journey of turning my visions into reality and spread the Lokoa love.

TCI: Who is the Lokoa women? What does she embody?

Brie: A vagabond at heart she’s explored the hidden corners of this world to bring a special piece of it back for you. Wanderlust from Brazil and Argentina, the South Pacific to Southeast Asia, and the boundless Australian coast – Lokoa women embody is where daydreams of adventure come to life. Exotic getaways, words of wisdom, vivid colours, lively music, and new friends are always on the menu.

TCI: You have a new collection coming soon, can you tell me when it will be dropping and what we can expect?

Brie: For this Autumn collection, Las Palmas, I really returned to Lokoa’s roots – Inspired by beauty. Born to love. Embracing adventure.

I recently had the pleasure of taking an extended break overseas last year (instead of just travelling for business like I would normally do) and was so touched and inspired by my travels to Mexico, Belize and sailing through the Caribbean. I wanted to offer Lokoa lovers the experience of my experiences received along the way through my designs. I was so lucky and fortunate to have my incredible creative team travel with me to Mexico to shoot this beautiful campaign

TCI: What is your personal style? What are your favourite items to wear in your wardrobe?

Brie: If I’m being completely honest my personal style every day is a comfy pair of cut off denims and plain T’s with super comfy slides! I love fashion, I love styling and designing for Lokoa, but there’s a lot of politics in the fashion industry that gets in the way of creating an amazing, inspiring collection for my customers, so I just enjoy bringing pieces to life as they come along in my mind.

TCI: What does your typical day entail as designer of Lokoa Leather?

Brie: Luckily, being your own boss means your free to schedule out the day as you please. For me, usually, I’m up early for a long beach walk, grab a coffee from my local and then get started on clearing emails, orders and then allocate design time. My design time usually comes more when I am away on little getaways when my mind is clear and fresh.

TCI: What were you doing before Lokoa Leather was born?

Brie: Before I started my label Lokoa, I was working in the medical industry. Prior to that I always as a young girl had a creative flair and all I ever wanted to do was own my business – whether it was painting, arts, jewellery making, the list goes on!

TCI: What’s your favourite part about the creative process?

Brie: Beautiful colours, exotic locations, love, fun with friends, and beautiful art!

TCI: Where do you source your materials?

Brie: Predominately Indonesia, but also different parts of the globe on my travels.

TCI: Where do You see Lokoa Leather two years from now?

Brie: I love to increase our presence online to reach more customers worldwide. My collective of Australian stockists is really strong and we have a number of stockists overseas now too which is amazing, it would be wonderful to see more women with their own piece of Lokoa.


Instagram: @lokoa_leather

Photographs: Supplied