My MUSE | Harris Tapper
Olivia here, to introduce you to two local fashion legends: Sarah Harris Gould and Lauren Tapper from the iconic and highly coveted Harris Tapper.
With their impeccable taste and innovative concepts, Lauren and Sarah are a match made in well-cut, beautifully crafted heaven. Having formed personal relationships with both of these incredible women –Sarah’s mother-in-law founded MUSE with my own mother-in-law, and Lauren and I worked together in fashion PR and also here in-store – it is a real joy to showcase their collections.
With their unshakeable focus on exquisite craftsmanship and the cultivation of a cornerstone style, these two fashion powerhouses are a force to be reckoned with. Warm, engaging and completely gorgeous, Sarah and Lauren epitomise what it means to be a muse.
I sat down with the girls to talk about trends, travel and tailoring to the modern woman.
How did you two meet?
Sarah: After working in London as a buyer for a number of years, I returned to Auckland in 2014 to head up the brand and product side of a global fashion brand when it launched into New Zealand. This is where I first met and worked with Lauren.
Lauren: I studied Fashion Design at university in Auckland. Following that, I cut my teeth in visual merchandising and public relations – which is where I first worked with Sarah. At the time, we both noticed a gap in the market for quality, directional women’s shirting that wasn’t available on the high street or at an exuberant price point. In its three and a half years running, Harris Tapper has grown to include full collections. From the outset, the modern working woman was always at the core of our design. We saw a shift in the way women’s personal and professional lives became increasingly integrated, and wanted to offer pieces that would be at the cornerstone of the working wardrobe, quietly serving needs rather than dictating trends.
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There is a long-standing connection between both of you and MUSE – we’d love to hear more about it.
Sarah: My lovely mother-in-law, Jo Gould, co-founded MUSE over twenty years ago with her close friend Madeleine – who, coincidentally, is Olivia’s mother-in-law. I love that Olivia has been able to continue the legacy, and we’re thrilled that Harris Tapper has been part of the MUSE story. I know it was such a big part of Jo’s life, so it means a lot.
Lauren: Olivia and I met when we both worked for a local fashion PR agency. Then, when we first started Harris Tapper, I actually worked part time at MUSE. We’re all inter-connected in many ways and have been friends for nearly ten years now.
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What is your must-have piece from the latest collection?
Sarah: I love the black Organza Theo Shirt and Agnes Skirt co-ord. When worn together the skirt isn’t sheer, so it’s easy to style for an event or dinner without a slip underneath. Organza is one of our favourite fabrics to work with and is found in most of our collections.
Lauren: I wear the Christo Coat almost every day, it’s an easy layer that instantly makes any outfit feel more sophisticated.
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Any exciting news in the Pipeline for Harris Tapper?
Sarah: We’ve experienced a lot of growth over the past couple of years, and are really looking forward to seeing where this takes us.
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Favourite restaurant in Auckland?
Lauren: I probably go to Beau once a week. It has the best wine list which is constantly rotating.
Next place you'd like to travel to?
Lauren: Japan. Lost in Translation is one of my favourite films and I’d love to visit some of the places featured – in particular, I want to visit Kyoto while listening to Air (a band featured on the soundtrack from the film).
Sarah: I’m going to New York in a few weeks. I love the energy and inspiration you feel after being in a place like New York. Other than that, I always love London and haven’t been for what feels like an eternity!
On your wishlist?
Lauren: A Marni woven bucket bag for summer.
Sarah: One of Ayesha Green's latest works.
Favourite beauty product?
Lauren: I love all Emma Lewisham, particularly the new Sleeping Mask. I adore the fragrance I wear every day, Byredo’s 1996 – which is a collaboration with photographers Inez and Vinoodh.
Sarah: My Circumference Evening Face Oil from Ines. I also love the Sleeping Mask by Emma Lewisham.
What are you listening to?
Lauren: Podcasts - The Modern House. Music - Ratatat, Massive Attack & Megan Thee Stallion.
Sarah: The sound of my four-month-old mostly.
My Muse is a series which celebrates our diverse community of creative, intelligent, like minded women. If you know of someone who you think should be featured, send us a DM to nominate them.