Interview: Designer Sam Wagner from Sambag

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About a month ago I had the opportunity to visit the Sambag store in Chadstone and meet the designer behind the label. Sam Wagner was incredibly nice and inviting and it was really great to learn more about her, her label and the new collection in stores. She was nice enough to answer a few questions for me so you can also learn more about her and her brand!



1. How did you get started in this industry, and why?

I have worked in the fashion industry since leaving school, and remain very passionate about it. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to have my own label. I started the Sambag with a small collection of handbags back in 1997 after a trip to New York. I love a good ballet flat, so it seemed a natural progression to expand into shoes. Ballet flats now represent 70% of our sales.

2. Could you describe to us what your brand encompasses? 

A casual, elegant lifestyle.

3. Who is a Sambag customer?

She varies from 12 years old to 70. She is relaxed, and loves casual elegant fashion.

4. What is your creative process?

I always start with the fabric. I love texture – snakeskins, leathers and exotic materials. From here I look at embellishments, and the shoes and bags start to come to life.

5. Can you walk us through a typical day in your life?

I’m an early riser so I try and start my day off with a long walk, which helps clear my mind for a new day. Then I head back to home to get the girls ready for school. I religiously pick up my morning latte, which I savour on my way to the office. At 10:30am I sit down with the team to discuss the week in progress. I then spend all day in meetings. I try to be home no later than 6pm to spend time with my girls and cook dinner. After dinner I’m back on my computer tending to daily emails.

6. What has been some of your favourite moments or milestones in your Sambag journey?

Opening my first store in Woollahra. This was a really proud moment and it made my Sambag dream tangible. Expanding internationally to Hong Kong is also an important milestone.

7. Where do you see you brand in 5 years and in 10 years?

I would love to see the brand grow deeper into the Asian market, with several boutiques around the continent and an online presence in the Northern Hemisphere.

8. What advice would you give for someone starting out in this industry or starting out with their own business?

Work hard and stay true to your brand and yourself.

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