Brooke Testoni has that effortless cool girl style down pat. Her personal style and home are enlaced with vintage finds and go-to basics, effortlessly balancing no fuss androgyny with femininity and elegant detailing.
As the designer of her luxury accessories brand Rylan, its no surprise her bags reflect her less is more yet elevated aesthetic. Stripped of over the top branding, Rylan offers clean lines, structured shapes and elegant details that don't date.
We chat to Rylan owner and designer Brooke Testoni on how she found her personal style, her take it slow approach to design and why patience has been her biggest learning for 2020.
Describe the essence of Rylan
Defined by clean lines, structured shapes, and elegant details, Rylan draws inspiration from the past to create timeless pieces made for the women of today. Rylan is for a woman who loves fashion yet isn’t one to label herself with obvious branding.
We love that your designs have a ‘take it slow’ approach and you don’t come out with lot of new styles each season, but rather keep the focus on the classics and update with new but restrained colours and materials. How do you decide what new colours to bring out and what influences these choices?
Yes. I think it is important to build a brand around what you believe in and to not be driven by trends. The Rylan customer loves simplistic classic designs and is very drawn to organic and natural shades. When adding in new colours/tones, depending on the season, I will always hero a colour that can be easily worn back with your everyday wardrobe. This season we launched the Khaki-Brown, which is such a divine shade of Khaki. I was instantly drawn to this colour when I first sampled it as it can be worn back with both Fall and Spring/Summer pieces beautifully.
What were your must have features when designing your bags?
I started Rylan because I found it difficult to find a bag with a classic shape without obvious branding or heavily embellished hardware. When designing my first collection I wanted the collection to feature refined, classic shapes, inspired by the past, luxurious Italian leather, brass hardware, plus be functional and androgynous.
Which bag do you find yourself reaching for the most?
At the moment I am wearing the Black with Ivory Stitch Baguette Bag. It is such a beautiful classic bag.
Who are your Rylan muses? Do you have any specific women in mind when you’re designing your bags?
Katherine Hepburn, the American Actress is the ultimate Rylan muse. She famously dressed androgynously in a time that it was not widely popularised. The way she wore tailored and wide leg pants, loose white shirts, blazers and suiting, was inspirational and pioneering.
We love your stripped back style with elements of designer and vintage pieces, we would love to hear the story of how you found your personal style.
To be honest, I have really found my style with age. I grew up in the 90’s when social media was non existent, and I lived in Queensland with a small Summer wardrobe on rotation. I have been fortunate enough to move to Sydney, travel the world, meet some interesting and inspiring friends and now have a family. My wardrobe is now about investing in quality pieces that are classic and comfortable, but also injecting vintage pieces that I source online or on my travels. Even though I do wear feminine dresses when it is right, I feel most comfortable in suiting, denim and oversized tee & shirts.
You have a strong passion for interior styling, how does your interiors and personal style compare?
Absolutely. It is a hobby I have always loved. I find both my interior and fashion taste relate in many ways. My wardrobe and home furniture both consist of luxury investment pieces, affordable vintage finds and good quality basics!
What’s your everyday uniform?
Denim, an oversized tee (tucked in), a boyfriend blazer, boots and a bag.
You’re a mum to a beautiful little boy, have you found being a mum has changed your style and if so how?
Has it ever! About 80% of my wardrobe now needs to be easily washed and comfortable. I run after a toddler and quite often have food smeared on my shoulder! Good quality washable t-shirts and denim are a must!
This year hasn’t played out how anyone planned, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned and put into practice?
No it hasn’t, but I feel we are very fortunate to live here in Australia through this pandemic!
Learning to have patience would have to be a key lesson I have learnt in both my work and home life. Building a business in general has many hurdles but trying to build one through this time has had its challenges. I have learnt to slow down and take my time. I am also juggling being a Mum and working full time so it has been important for me to be patient.
Images supplied by Brooke Testoni