In Conversation: Lauren Tapper and Sarah Harris Gould

In Conversation: Lauren Tapper and Sarah Harris Gould

Denton House is thrilled to introduce our debut collection, New Zealand brand Harris Tapper. To celebrate, we spoke with founders and designers Lauren Tapper and Sarah Harris Gould on the brands intention and building a collection designed to stand the test of time.


To take it back to the beginning, was there a specific person or experience that sparked your interest in design or fashion?

LT: I am from a rural area in New Zealand. I loved fashion from an early age. I studied Fashion Design at university and worked in various parts of the industry such as Public Relations and Merchandising, before meeting Sarah and starting Harris Tapper. I’ve always loved design, which I think has inspired me and driven my point of view/direction with our work.

SHG: I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and studied design in Wellington, then moved to London for several years working as a Buyer. I grew up in a family dynamic where the roles of both parents in the home and workplace were equal, this experience has shaped my perspective and informed what’s at the core of Harris Tapper, championing women in their careers.


If you could sum up Harris Tapper as a brand in one sentence, what would that look like?

LT: Our intention is to make beautiful, well proportioned, considered products that serve rather than dictate to women in their professional lives.


The two of you met whilst working for a global clothing company in New Zealand, can you tell us a bit about what drew you both to wanting to start your own brand?

LT: We both believed in the idea that clothes should last for more than one season and wanted to balance ideas of timeless style with lasting design and high quality. For us, it made sense to start small and build up, so we launched Harris Tapper focusing on only one item that we considered a foolproof staple for any woman’s wardrobe: the shirt.

SHG: Since then, Harris Tapper has organically grown to now offer full collections, that, while bigger, maintain the same philosophy we started with. 


With prior experience in the fashion industry, how much of this helped with launching Harris Tapper, what were the biggest challenges and learnings you faced?

SHG: The vulnerability that comes from publishing your own work is intimidating but freeing, we are lucky to have had great experience which helped guide us.

LT: The distance between retailers and customers further afield (we’re based in New Zealand) can be a challenge. Luckily post pandemic everyone is a lot more familiar with Zoom. It can be hard to gain traction and presence in international markets - especially when you don’t live there.


Bouncing off of that question, what piece of advice would you give to someone looking who’s thinking about starting their own brand?

SHG: Gaining experience in the industry is so important. It will allow you to understand your chosen industry better and expose you to areas you previously didn’t know existed.


With new trends constantly coming and going, how do you decipher whether or not to jump on it?

LT: We are less trend driven and more intuitive and reactive to what we ourselves want to wear.


What is the best style tip you have been given, and ignored?

LT: Best tip is to buy a steamer.

SHG: Best tip I ignored is “don’t wear black”.


Do you think your work has affected your personal style?

LT: Definitely. We’re busy and this job can be physical at times, fabric cutting, draping on mannequins, bending on the floor in fittings. I tend to dress functionally for the day, the black Abel Trousers in Satin are really robust, I wear those with a Gibson T-Shirt.


At Denton House, our focus is on providing the building blocks to a wardrobe filled with hardworking, timeless, and versatile pieces. Can you share with our community how Harris Tapper fits in with this philosophy?

LT: We’re focused on designing pieces that sustain a long life in women’s wardrobes. Every piece we make fights hard to be in the collection and if it doesn’t align with this agenda, it doesn’t make it in.


What’s next for Harris Tapper?

SHG: We’re excited for our pre-fall collection that will be launching in May. A beautiful range of jackets, knitwear and suiting.


And lastly, what would be your top recommendation for a Londoner travelling to Auckland?

SHG: Yoga at Sala Studios, coffee and a pastry at BeaBea’s Bakery, dinner at Roses on K Road – it’s become a residency restaurant, hosting the best up-and coming chefs and winemakers for a few weeks at a time. Lastly, the tomato, Manzanilla and Chilli martini at Alma.

Shop our curated edit of Harris Tapper on Denton House.


Harris Tapper
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