BY CLAIRE X LA TRIBE
Claire Stapleton is a self-taught, New Zealand born artist based in Sydney, Australia known for her abstract work.
Inspired by revolutionary artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Le Corbusier, Claire's work explores organic forms through the use of bold lines, a vibrant palette and abstracted human elements to create a striking body of abstract work through the one-line drawing method.
This season, we have teamed up with Claire to commission a single line drawing that embodies the La Tribe spirit. A female outline, inspiring hope and strength, intertwined with a rose, symbolising new beginnings and the courage to change.
An ethos that we as a female-lead brand, hold dear to our hearts. This design has been created into an exclusive tee in both a women's and children's size. The tee is made from organic cotton and is set to be a wardrobe staple to sit in harmony alongside your most loved La Tribe styles.
We caught up with Claire to find out more about her design process and where she draws her inspiration from.
La Tribe: Can you talk us through the image you designed for us?
Claire: The image is a simple sketch of a feminine face with a rose. I wanted to create a design that would echo the tee – clean lines and a fresh aesthetic.
I wanted it to feel both soft and bold – to represent hope and strength, with the rose symbolising the beginning of new things. The design is minimal, effortless and fresh, while still maintaining an edge, which i think perfectly sums up the La Tribe woman.
How do you dream up your beautiful designs? What is your process?
It’s hard to explain how I dream up each piece – I’m not sure I have a process as such. But usually i draw my inspiration from things in my everyday life, from a book, or a photograph or a person I meet.
I draw on paper so it can be a very long process to get to a drawing I like. Or I’ll make one single line and I’ll instantly fall in love. Like everyone, I have off days and nothing comes.
I mostly work at night after my girls have gone to bed with a big cup of hot chocolate or a wine (depending on what type of day I’ve had.) My studio is at the back of the house and the space is so calming I feel it helps the process.
For the La Tribe tee, my studio was a mess with drawings pinned all over the walls. And rose petals everywhere. I wanted to make a unique piece for La Tribe – something that evoked a feeling and was completely fresh.
Is this the first time you’ve collaborated with a fashion brand?
Yes it is. I’m a new artist (I think I’m supposed to call myself ‘emerging’) and work mostly on private commissions and gallery collections. So when I got the phone call to ask if I was interested, I tried to act super nonchalant, super cool – but inside I was like a school kid who got an A.
Why La Tribe?
La Tribe is the dream collaboration. I’ve pinched myself through the whole process and was so nervous sending the first round of drawing to the team. So nervous!
I’ve been a La Tribe girl (woman I guess now) since the brand's inception. I think I’m still wearing some of the first boots made – I guess that’s what I love about the brand – it’s timeless, effortless, it’s good quality and gorgeous – everything I want my art to hopefully be. I love the idea of working with a brand whose style I want to see in my own work. I absolutely love the La Tribe aesthetic.
Also as a New Zealander living in Sydney I’m so proud of NZ fashion – brands like La Tribe are producing amazing pieces that just hold their own against brands around the world. It’s pretty cool.
Is this the first time one of your drawings will be on a tee? If yes, how does that feel?
A fashion tee – yes. It feels all kinds of things. Exciting, amazing, proud, honoured, lucky and really nervous.
My 4 year old tells me she is taking her tee to ‘Show and Tell’ at preschool – which makes my heart explode. I guess it’s a bit of girl power isn’t it. Wearing La Tribe makes you feel good – and if I get to be part of making women feel amazing and confident and the positive effect of that in their day – then yeah it feels pretty amazing.
What do you love about a classic white tee?
Team it with black pants and a good pair of shoes, throw in some earrings and you can take on the world.
Can you describe your personal style?
Not really. I’d love it to be like my art. Effortless, natural, a little bit fun and clean. (Having 2 toddlers – ‘clean’ being the most important word.)
Have you got a La Tribe story you can tell us?
Did I tell you I’m still wearing the first boots I think La Tribe made? Living in Sydney I get so many compliments when I wear La Tribe – it makes me pretty proud to be kiwi.
The exclusive collaboration is now available online.
More of Claire's beautiful work can be found here.
xx La Tribe