Jasmine Smith is one lady you cant help but want to know. Lingerie designer, mum of two and all around fierce City Slicker. She answered our questions on how she started her own brand, Raven + Rose, and what some of her favourite city haunts are.
Name: Jasmine Smith
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Current residence: Hong Kong
Name one thing you miss about home: The New Zealand accent
What brought you to HK?
A one-way ticket to London with a stopover in Hong Kong… I never did end up making it over to London.
What’s something about the city you’ve learnt that you didn’t expect when you moved?
High Heels (unlike New Zealand) can be worn at any height and at any time of the day. The only restriction however is the horrific state of the pavements (you need to have the details of an amazing cobbler!) and you have to be cautious of, so not to be accidently tripped by, the zig-zag walkers (YES it is a thing - people literally zig-zag as they walk as it is seen to be a form of efficiency).
(Jasmine Smith taken from her Instagram @dressmeblogme)
Favourite Hong Kong hangouts?
Stocktons: It is a whisky joint that is situated so appropriately up an alleyway with a hidden door. Completely masculine in decor, its deep leather lounges, dark smokey lighting and speakeasy vibe gets me every time.
Happy Paradise: A bar with an incredible modern spin on the Cantonese culture, it is pop-happy in a disco-kitsch sort of way. Ace service with a cool cocktail list to match the ‘it’ crowd it pulls - ohhhh and the music is so good there!
I’m talking brunch, a late night dinner or somewhere in between - and at any stage, Potato Head is one of my the best places to relax at. We often take our kids and enjoy the lounge area as a family. The kids love the bali beach vibes and we adore the music and sophisticatedly cool ambiance.
Can you tell us about the start of Raven + Rose? What lead you to opening your own brand? Did you study lingerie design or was it something else that lead you to pursue the brand?
RAVEN + ROSE was simply me going full circle in the Fashion Industry and arriving back at the design table with thread in hand and creativity at large.
I was designing outfits for Barbie at 7 years old, sewing my own wardrobe of clothes at 14 years old and studying Fashion at University in my early 20’s - never straying from the industry but also, never being in a rush to start my own label (knowing there was so much more to master before I ventured out as a designer).
The readiness for RAVEN + ROSE came about quite suddenly but also very organically. After hitting some incredible personal goals as a (former) Stylist, I felt with a certainty that it was simply time to get back to what I trained to do - create.
(Raven + Rose collection from @ravenandrose)
As a woman, it’s empowering to see your models of varying shapes and sizes, ethnicity, with and without tattoos etc and they all look damn sexy. They are just being themselves. If you could work with any model or woman in the world for Raven + Rose who would it be?
Without a doubt Patti Smith for all her androgynous and rebellious rock-charm. I would love to shoot her back in her 20’s as much as I would now, in her 70’s.
What do you hope Raven + Rose can be to women?
The confidence to just be their most intimately sexual selves, in whichever way that is to them as an individual (void of all exterior expectations, personal insecurities, media pressures and mainstream notions of what it means to be sexy)
(Raven + Rose collection from @ravenandrose)
You have two little ones now, have just opened a new shop on Gough street and running the full time business, can you share a few tips on balancing your own brand and children?
Hire help at home and always keep to a strict schedule.
(On time): I use every minute of each day as wisely as I can and devote myself entirely to the project at hand - whether that is updating my website, shooting RAVEN + ROSE in the studio, reading my kids their favourite story books or having our daily family breakfast/dinners at the table. I schedule, I live by what is in my calendar, I focus and I arrive on time. All that combined makes for seriously kick ass days where I can not only power through my endless to-do-lists but give the time and love my children deserve to them.
(On Hired Help): I would not be able to do what I do without employing extra hands to look after the running of my household. Our family is a busy one externally, but we maintain a beautifully relaxed home environment with the help of our Maid who makes sure we are well fed, that our clothing is washed, our house immaculate and the many, many tasks that are involved in the operations of a family of four are under control.
She is the ultimate in freedom for a working-Mum.
What are some of your favourite trends at the moment and how can we wear our Raven + Rose in the winter?
The RAVEN + ROSE ‘Taylor’ Long Sleeved Tee (pictured below) works like magic under a spaghetti strap cami with an oversized coat to finish. The mesh of the TAYLOR Long Sleeved Top is just the right thickness and neckline high enough to give off a WInter vibe while still being see-through.
Off The Shoulder Robe (you have to check out our CoCo Long Robe pictured below) is seriously Kim Kardashian in styles when worn just off your shoulders and tied tight around your waist - with all eyes on your bare collarbone.
Silk Slips over top a turtleneck or white tee with a leather jacket is a go-to fav of mine. I have the RAVEN + ROSE Cameron short slip on constant rotation.
RAVEN + ROSE is for women who flirt with what it is to be predictable, who embrace minimalism through simplistic lines and androgynous fashion. RAVEN + ROSE is both a perfect compliment and a beautiful contradiction. You can find Jasmine at @dressmeblogme and the gorgeous Raven +Rose collection here or @ravenandrose