Nadia Bartel is a woman in the know within the frenetic world of fashion. The Melbourne based mum-of-one is a regular on best dressed lists and street style pages off the back of her blogging success with her website the Chronicles of Nadia.
The style maven has recently re-launched her online boutique The Con-nection alongside sister Michelle Coppolino (above left).
I’ve shopped on the site before and was initially drawn into the notion of a well-thought out and specially curated edit of key wardrobe staples and basic items to choose from.
I’m not particularly a fan of purchasing products from massive online retailers where I find myself having to sift through 300+ selections, just in one category of clothing, to find the perfect piece for me.
Not only is this process hugely time consuming but it also takes the enjoyment away from the shopping experience, rather turning it into something of a stressful and frustrating exercise.
I caught up with Nadia to dissect The Con-nection and discuss her fashion philosophies behind her stylish success.
How did THE CON-NECTION come about?
My sister and I always wanted to do something together. We are incredibly close but also so different in many ways. But there is one thing that bonds us, and that is our love for fashion. So it was only natural that The Con-nection was founded out of this.
What’s it like working with your sister?
It’s a lot of fun. It’s so rewarding but can also be challenging. The great thing is we can be honest and have really robust discussions on all matters of the business and not get offended with each other. We are sisters, friends and business partners in that order.
How do your roles vary?
We have had to learn to separate our roles as we both love so many aspects of what we do, early days we were both trying to do everything, but that isn’t very efficient. Michelle is more creative and is a whiz on Photoshop and Illustrator so she works her magic on our website design, packaging collateral and our EDM’s. I tend to look after the marketing side of the business, and then we both come together for the buy of our ranges and styling our photoshoots.
How are you finding juggling your business with a new bub?
To be honest, it’s tiring but extremely rewarding. I love spending every spare second with him, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t want to chase your business goals. The best thing is we can bring Aston to our office where he adores Aunty Mich.
Tell us about the selection process behind your carefully curated products.
We never pick anything that we wouldn’t wear ourselves. So what you see on our site is a true reflection of ourselves and we are very selective to make sure we have chosen the very best piece without double ups across designers. That is I guess our business motto or deciding rule. It has to be genuine and authentic to us.
THE CON-NECTION centres around wardrobe staples, what’s one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Without a doubt, Michelle and I are together on this one. It is definitely our leather jacket. It elevates every outfit and now that I am living in my activewear more than ever (that’s Mum life for you) I even throw my leather over my activewear, and I feel more ‘together’.
What’s one piece of clothing every woman should invest in and why?
It sounds cliché but I think it should really be a designer handbag. You are either a bag or shoe girl and I definitely love my bags. When you invest in a good quality piece you will wear it for season after season and it honestly never dates.
How do you recommend fashion lovers incorporate trends into their outfits?
We don’t believe you have to follow the trends religiously and wear head-to-toe in the latest looks. It’s all about making it work for you and working in with your own personal style so it feels authentic. I like introducing one key piece, like faux fur, we are loving it at the moment, but pairing it with other pieces that aren’t so trend focused like my favourite black ankle boots and high-waited skinnies because I know they suit my body shape.
What are your top tips for anyone looking to revitalise their wardrobe?
I think it’s all about investing in those classics, like an incredible pair of boots, tailored blazer and some great coats. Once you have the essentials sorted, then you can mix and match and have fun with it. Layer up your favourite shirt under your leather with a coat. If you have key quality pieces you can continually mix them up and get lots of wear out of the same piece. Most importantly make sure you are comfortable, if you are then you will wear it with confidence.
Name your perfect outfit for a cold winter’s day in Melbourne.
It’s all about layers and textures and those gorgeous head-to-toe tonal looks. A great pair of ankle boots, my favourite pair of LXE leather pants with a striped shirt, leather jacket and khaki coat thrown on top would have to be one of our favourites.
Register or update your account details on THE CON-NECTION here to receive 15% your first purchase.