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St. Agni Studio: Conscious Consumerism Series 006

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Founded in the coastal town of Byron Bay, Australia in 2014 by Lara & Matt Fells, St. Agni is a luxury lifestyle brand built from humble beginnings. The Label was created with a vision to create functional, refined, quality pieces that Lara couldn’t seem to find elsewhere. I chatted with the pair about the importance of brand sustainability in the current fashion climate and how the brand is telling their story through conceptual design and thought provoking capsule series...

Talk us through the origin story of St Agni and what the brand was born out of...

The name St. Agni – i.e. ‘Saint Agni’ is a tribute to my Nona Agni. She is a saint in my eyes and has always inspired me. St. Agni started as a side hustle in 2014. My husband Matt and I were both working full time jobs, but we had always wanted to start something of our own. We began very small, first storing stock in our linen cupboard, then expanding into our spare bedroom until we outgrew our home. The brand was born out of a pure desire to create pieces that I couldn’t find in the market. I like refined simplicity and I wanted to create something that reflected my vison of a capsule wardrobe.

What would you say are the brands utmost values and mission as a sustainable business?

I think it’ so important to be conscious in all areas of business, from the product, the packaging and the space we work in. We always try to ask the right questions and to implement strategies to improve and build sustainable practices. I wouldn’t be comfortable saying we are a sustainable business entirely but we are excited to work towards this and our goals for the future.

From the conception of design ideas through to artisan makers, right up until the visual merchandising and digital communication of the brand, how important is it to ensure that each of St Agni’s products tells a story?

It’s incredibly important to stay true to the brand aesthetic and our story has ultimately shaped this. Each piece created has its own story behind it too. They are a representation of our current vision and the vision is always expanding.

What forms of inspiration resonate most with when creating a collection and how would you describe your creative process?

We feel inspired by so many different things, I’m a very visual person and I find most of the time I will be inspired by architecture or a beautiful piece of furniture. I am constantly taking photos and screen shots of all the things that catch my eye and when it comes to the conception of a collection often the last few months of images tell their own story that comes to life in our work.

‘Slow’ living and production have placed value on form and functionality rather than mass production and readily available commodities. Why do you think it is important to adapt your thinking towards a more considerate approach towards what we buy and why we buy it?

It’s critical in today's society to be incredibly conscious about what we invest in. In a time of mass consumption we acknowledge that as a business we play a part – Since the inception of the brand it has been a part of our ethos to consider this and I feel we have applied these values in the pieces we create. St. Agni pieces are created to be timeless, to be worn time and time again and to fit as part of a capsule wardrobe.

To end, what would you say is the key ingredient in creating a business that breaks the mold and stands proudly against the masses?

I don’t think there is a key ingredient, however, what I feel is most important is honesty and integrity. You need to put your soul into it and go for it!

To immerse yourself further into St. Agni: @stagnistudio https://www.st-agni.com/

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