FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN: HANNAH

Here at Sussan, we have been celebrating the spirit of Australian women for more than 80 years.

Through our designs and brand partnerships, we are committed to supporting, empowering and championing women and are always looking for new ways to help our community thrive.

Now, we want to recognise the influential women of our Sussan family by sharing their unique and uplifting stories.

From female cotton farmers and garment technicians to motivating members of our wider community, including Breast Cancer Network Australia.

With that, we give you: For Women By Women, a new column featuring valuable and diverse insights from women who create, design, and inspire.

HANNAH POTTER, PRINT DESIGNER

How does your role contribute to the world of Sussan?

I’m lucky enough to be collaboratively involved throughout the entire design process. At the beginning of each season, my trend research informs the direction we will take and together with Nat (our General Manager) and the buying team, we build the stories for each month.

My role means always keeping our customer front of mind; thinking about what is she doing at that time in her life and what she loves or needs from us. To come up with the mood boards each month, I take inspiration from international catwalks, streetstyle and beautiful imagery that can spark an entire colour palette.

The buyers then use those as a guide to develop their amazing product. Whilst the buying teams are deep in ranging, I am drawing up garment cads and developing original prints to complete the collection. Finding the perfect print or image to encapsulate the feeling of a collection is one of my favourite parts of the job, like fitting in that last puzzle piece to make it all work!

How do you approach your role’s process?

Each day looks different in my role and I love the versatility that brings. I can work on one aspect such as developing mood boards, researching or troubleshooting a print with the buying team whilst an idea for another concept is formulating in the background. This works really well when I have particularly open briefs for a design and need to come up with something creative and new. I am always on the lookout for what’s coming through trend wise, so thinking about what our customer loves when designing a print keeps me focussed.

What excites you most about your role?

I love designing clothes that will empower women to do what they want in their life. Taking the trends and making it accessible for them, so they feel fabulous in everyday life. Designing for such an iconic Australian brand means what we create is far reaching and even after many years in the fashion industry, it’s always a thrill when you see one of your designs out in the world.

What does ‘For Women By Women’ mean to you?

For me, it means we are designing from the heart, with a broad understanding of what women need in their day-to-day life. The women I work with are strong, intelligent, caring and creative yet we all have such diverse lives. I think that adds to the conversation in who we are designing for ultimately. Getting dressed, and how we choose to present ourselves to the world, can be powerful and important. We all know those mornings where your outfit just works and it makes you feel like you can face the day.

What have been your biggest learnings in your role?

I am constantly learning in my role. What began as just a print designing role has evolved to encompass trend forecasting, presentations and helping to implement visual tools to support the buying team in their process. It’s meant working in programs I previously hadn’t used which has actually been a great asset to my skills. In my career, I always tend to say yes to a new challenge then work it out as I go, giving me opportunities to grow and learn along the way.

How do you balance work and home life?

I work three days a week and since the pandemic, most of the time that’s from home. Some weeks are busier than others but being part-time as a base level means there is flexibility in how I manage my time. Knowing how demanding the fashion industry can be, I made the conscious decision after having kids to be part-time and I have been lucky enough to be doing that at Sussan for five years. I enjoy my job immensely and I honestly attribute that to the fact there is balance in my life. I can be present for my family and then approach work with the passion and dedication it deserves because I’m not burnt out.  I like to think that I am helping to show that part-time is possible in fashion and that other women coming up will be able to have similar experiences to mine.

Who are the women you are inspired by?

My mum is one of my biggest inspirations in life. She is so caring, creative and passionate. Throughout her teaching career she has inspired thousands of children to learn and to love their planet by incorporating sustainability in all aspects of her role. She made opportunities for herself when there weren’t any, enhanced her community and when caring for the environment wasn’t yet cool, she made it a focus. My sister is also a huge inspiration, we talk most days and support one and other to pursue our dreams in life, be it big or small. Beyond the amazing women in my family, I am inspired by strong, creative women in art, fashion, music and politics. Women who pursued a life of creating when it wasn’t the done thing; who fought for their place at the table and a voice for change; the women who paved the way and are still working to this day to achieve equality.

What led you to becoming a print designer?

Born into a creative family, I have always had a love of art, music and fashion and began designing clothes from the age of eight and sewing soon after. I spent my teen years making clothes for myself and friends  — often only a couple hours before we went out!

When it came to study, there was only fashion in my sights. I went on to study fashion at Box Hill TAFE, an amazing diverse and practical course. Through the industry connections made there, I started work as a graphic designer while studying. I followed some of my colleagues to a big box retailer, doing trend forecasting and later took on a buying role in womenswear. I loved the travel, the pressure and creating the ranges each month. After I had my two beautiful girls and taking three years out of the industry, I rediscovered my love of painting, drawing and designing prints again and I was lucky enough to land a job at Sportsgirl doing just that! From there, I came upstairs to Sussan as the print designer — my favourite job yet — due to the wonderful team I work with and the dynamic nature of the role.

What do you love about this layered leaf print?

This season, there is a feeling of getting back to nature, to focus on the world around us and protect that. I am constantly inspired by nature, be it in my garden or walks around the very leafy area where I live. There are always colours and textures to be found and this layered leaf print encompasses that in a beautiful, feminine way.

#WOMENFORWOMEN

We are thrilled to launch a new initiative, inviting women to nominate and celebrate the women in their lives. We want to put you, our Sussan community, centre stage. We call it ‘women for women’.

As part of #womenforwomen campaign, we’re asking you to nominate a women who inspires you. This could be a woman who has lifted her community or someone you’d like to thank for all they do for you.

To win a $20 online voucher for yourself and the woman you nominate, simply:

  1. Make sure you’re following @sussanfashion and like this post.
  2. Tag your nominated woman
  3. Comment below in 25 words or less who you’d like to nominate and why?

We’ll pick two winning entries from this post. Competition closes 11.59pm AEDT Thursday 31st March, 2022. For T&C’s head to our website.

Read more about the #sussanwomen who inspire us, including our Quality Assurance Manager, Claire Mellios.

Sussan Fashion | The latest articles for women, by women bag
Sussan Fashion | The latest articles for women, by women
bag
Explore