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Tara Cooper (@tara cooper_) is the Director of ÉLEVER, a fashion agency she started in 2017 after years in the industry as a brand manager, and in sales and marketing. Keeping Tara busy is the constant work of trend watching and the shaping of strategy and communications for Australian clothing labels. She opened up to Elvis et Moi, covering topics from her favourite airport hacks to the role coffee plays in keeping things lively.

How did you make your break in fashion?

I worked hard —really hard— to position myself where I am today. I didn’t do the big holidays or have a gap year. I studied, and interned (religiously), worked long hours, and always gave 110% to the task at hand. At this stage now, I am proud of the incredible people I have worked with and the grit I gave the daily grind. I am proud of trusting my journey and the opportunities that are presenting themselves today as a result.

Tell us about your creative process at work.

I work with the conceptualiser to bring a vision together and present the final product to its intended audience. I believe that every artist and designer has their own individual flare and creativity is not about conforming; rather, it is elevating and celebrating their talent.

What is your advice to someone who is just getting their start in fashion?

Work hard. Ask for help. Find a mentor. I also feel it is important to raise the obvious; people use social media as a means of showcasing ’their best life' (this is especially evident within fashion). Don’t let yourself get caught up in someone else’s successes. Trust in your vision and have your own point of difference.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am broadening my scope internationally, talking to some very exciting prospective accounts who are  looking to introduce their labels to Australian women and expand their exposure within the market. I can’t name names, but exciting announcements are in the works…
Stepping outside of the office, what do you do when you aren’t working?
Much of my year is spent abroad, however no matter where I am stationed my absolute favourite past time is finishing my day with a glass of vino and good company. I have also turned into a very obnoxious foodie of late.   
With all of this ‘good company’ about, who is your biggest inspiration?
So many people are doing cool s**t. The millennial society is breaking away from the traditional in-house structures and are working collaboratively; effectively freeing themselves of constraints and living creativity within the 9-5. Everyday I am surrounded by intelligent creatives who are owning their space—it’s magic!

Life sounds very full. What reenergises you?
Ideally: Yoga. Realistically: Coffee.

That is very funny! Since your work is taking an international focus, it feels like you’d have some great travel advice. What can you tell us?

My life is all about airport hacks. You name it; I’ve trialled and tested all the tricks. This particular secret is for anyone who has to travel in and out of Bali and understands the horror that is the night flight. ALWAYS be the very last person to board the aircraft; I am talking announcement of your name over the microphone—FINAL boarding. Forget your seat number and head straight for the back of the aircraft, here you will find an abundance of free rows just vying for your attention. Sit down, buckle up and I promise you no one is coming to check on your assigned seat. Now all you have to do is watch the disappointed faces of those around you who missed out! Lean back, relax and 'enjoy the flight.’

Note: This will work on all aircrafts, just check how full the plane is prior to flying. 

And on these flights with the extra seats and heaps of leg room, what is on your playlist?
Neil Young…. and Dr. Dre (The Chronic)

We have to ask, it sounds like you’ve been really disciplined in your work and life planning, what remains on your bucket list?
Neil Young…. and Dr. Dre (The Chronic)


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