December 13th, 2012

The Accessory Queen.

I had a very memorable brunch with Samantha Wills at Pastis in NYC a couple of years ago and walked away so impressed by her determination, passion and intelligence.

With that amazing mane of hair, Jerry Hall smile – she looks like a Texan supermodel but she is actually an incredibly down to earth Aussie who’s working hard to take her jewellery to the world.

Here, she lets us into her Sydney home (she spends half the year in New York), her wardrobe and shares her styling tips and new baby Samantha Wills stationery collection.

You are going to be jealous.

The Bohemian Brunette.

CLICK TO BUY: Samantha Wills Manhattan Moments Necklace, $450.

Describe your personality in three words.
Optimistic. Ambitious. Compassionate.

Where did your love for fashion begin?
I wouldn’t say I have had a long time love with fashion, more so for creation. I have loved to create from as young as I can remember, whether that be moving my room around every other day as a child to what I am doing now. I have an appreciation of fashion, but I feel like I only ‘found’ my true style when I was about 28 years old.

Is there anyone that inspired you to join the fashion industry?
I was a huge fan of what Jodhi Meares did with Tigerlily. I loved the aesthetic and the brand communications. I wanted to replicate her success in some way.

How would you describe your own style?
Bohemian meets luxury meets rock chic.

Who’s your celebrity style crush?
Kate Moss. Forever!

What would we never see you wearing?
Talon nails.

Blu Moon Summer Lovin’ Maxi Dress in Burgundy from Planet Blue; (left hand) Samatha Wills Safari Nights Ring in Peach, $159Samantha Wills Bohemian Bardot Bangle in Aqua, $79; (right hand) Samantha Wills Concordia of the Sun Ring in Leopard, $120.

What are the three pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
My leather jacket is a staple. I love beautiful dresses that you can wear with sandals for a bohemian luxe look or with heels for black tie. And any singlet/t-shirt with a skull on it.

What is the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet?
My Chanel handbag. It was my first big designer purchase and I treat it still with the care of a new born!

What’s in your closet that you’ve never worn before?
SO much that I am ashamed!

Where do you love to shop?
I shop online a lot. Shopbop and Nasty Gal see my credit card swiped a lot!

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you be?
Something creative – I truly don’t know. I wanted to be a dolphin trainer growing up but was so bad at science! Even if I didn’t get paid to do what I do, I would still do it anyway and I feel very blessed to be able to say that.

The Art of Accessorising.

CLICK TO BUY: (left hand) Samatha Wills Safari Nights Ring in Peach, $159; (right hand) Samantha Wills Concordia Ring in Jade, $125.

What are your top five accessorising tips?
1. Cocktail rings can be worn at any time of the day.
2. A pair of cool ankle booties is an investment and can be worn to glam up a pair of skinny leg jeans or tone down a cocktail dress.
3. Mix your metals in jewellery for a more modern look.
4. A good bag is an investment if it is a timeless style.
5. A smile is the best accessory you will ever possess.

What are five pieces of jewellery every woman should own?
1. A boyfriend style watch just makes any outfit cooler.
2. A turquoise cocktail ring can revolutionise an outfit.
3. Always wear a pair of earrings, even if only studs – they frame your face.
4. A plain gold bangle – looks great on sunkissed skin.
5. At the moment rose gold is hero. Add anything rose gold to your collection to take advantage of this trend.

Nasty Gal Lace Maxi Dress; Samantha Wills Concordia Ring in Jade, $125.

Should our jewellery and accessories change with the seasons? If so, what should we be buying this summer?
There will always be high trends but I think it is more based around palette. This season I would recommend:

1. A gold bangle or wrist wear layered around a gold watch.
2. Anything rose gold. If it’s a ring, a black stone surrounded in rose gold is safe, a turquoise stone surrounded in rose gold is a show stopper!
3. Layers of fine gold and rose gold around your neck.

What is one piece of clothing every woman should splurge on?
For winter I would say good knee high boots as they will last for years and a good lightweight blazer is definitely an investment and will stay timeless.

The Jetsetting Jewellery Designer.

Nasty Gal Black Maxi; (left hand) Samatha Wills Safari Nights Ring in Peach, $159; (right hand) Samantha Wills Concordia Ring in Jade, $125.

How did your jewellery line come about?
As a hobby that gained so much demand it organically turned into my career.

Describe a typical week for you.
I almost lead two different lives. When I am in New York (usually six weeks in NYC, then two weeks in Sydney throughout the entire year) I am designing. It could be jewellery or any of our new upcoming categories: stationery, homewares, leather, etc. NYC for me is a very creative existence. When I am in Australia, I’m very focused around our team, publicity and customer events; the more business side of the company.

Sportsgirl Crochet Dress; (left hand) Samantha Wills Gypsy Road Ring in Peach, $115Samantha Wills Bohemian Bardot Bangle in Aqua, $79; (right hand) Samantha Wills Concordia of the Sun Ring in Leopard, $120.

What inspires you?
I am inspired daily by the Samantha Wills woman – our consumers that are gracious enough to communicate with me on Facebook and Instagram. They show me how they wear their SW, how they style their wooden boxes. They are who inspire my designs. In life I am inspired by beautiful moments, creating them with your loved ones; late night dinners, meeting to see the sunset, staying up to see the sunrise.

What’s your favourite piece in your current collection?
The Bohemian Bardot, as it is available in so many colours. It truly has become an identity of its own – it should have its own Facebook page!

CLICK TO BUY: (left to right) Samantha Wills Hudson Necklace in Blue, $220Samantha Wills Bohemian Bardot Ring in Blue, $69Samantha Wills Concordia Ring in Jade, $125Samantha Wills Paris in Summer Ring in Aqua, $89Samantha Wills Bohemian Bardot Ring in Yellow, $69Samantha Wills Birds of the Moon Ring in Blush, $175.

At Home With Samantha.

How would you describe your home’s style?
Bohemian Luxe. I like to mix masculine elements (skull print, raw wooden furniture) with luxury elements (fresh flowers, velvet couchers, faux furs & soft detailing).

What is your most treasured piece in your home?
Crystal jewellery boxes that my mum received for her 21st birthday.

What’s the last item you bought for your home?
I haven’t bought anything recently for my Sydney home, but I did receive a beautiful gift recently for my birthday that was a piece of raw Celestie that is now on my coffee table. It is the mineral they use in fireworks. I thought that concept was so beautiful.

What are your top tips for creating a modern bohemian atmosphere at home?
Don’t be afraid to mix up the style. Mix masculine and feminine elements.

Why did you decide to branch into homewares and stationery?
They are two of my greatest loves! I was posting on Instagram a lot about my homes and interiors and also personal stationery projects I was doing. We got such an overwhelming response to it that it made sense to introduce these categories to the SW brand.

CLICK TO BUY: Samantha Wills SW Stationery.

What has inspired your first collection?
The first homewares and stationery collections have similar inspirations. The stationery (with illustrator Kelly Smith) is very bohemian luxe with Kelly’s signature femme girls with even more bohemian elements such as feathers and antlers added. The homewares range includes smoky mirrors mixed with our signature carved wood. I love the juxtaposition of it all.

What’s your favourite piece in your new range?
I love the museum boxes as it allows you to make everyday things in your home feature items and it is easily changeable.

Tigerlily Kenza Nights Dress in Black; (left hand) Samantha Wills Bardot Ring in Ivory, $69; (right hand) Samantha Wills Birds of the Moon Ring in Blush, $175.

Why should every woman invest in beautiful stationery?
I think in a digital age receiving something beautiful in the post is a real luxury. There is a real beauty to taking pride in written correspondence, whether it be to thank a girlfriend for hosting a dinner party or simply to tell someone you are thinking of them. It’s a very heartfelt way to communicate.

What are three occasions where a handwritten card is a must?
The best handwritten correspondence is when there is no occasion at all. But I would say you should send handwritten notes:

1. To the host of a dinner party.
2. To thank someone if they have done you a favour that was most appreciated.
3. Birthdays. Facebook messaging/writing on someone’s wall for their birthday is not a greeting. Send them a handwritten note, it will go much further then ‘Happy Bday’ on Facebook!

Shop Samantha Will’s wide range of jewellery, stationery and homewares at www.samanthawills.com.

The Lifestyle List.

Tea or Coffee? Coffee – but its got to be good!
Favourite Flower? Peonies.
Heels or Flats? Jewelled sandals.
Favourite Cocktail? Rose Rouge at 5th Ninth in NYC.
Style Icon? Kate Moss.
Signature Scent? Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.
Favourite City? New York.
Reading… A book on how to read Tarot Cards.
Listening… Taylor Swift’s Red – I am kind of obsessed with it.
Biggest fashion weakness… Anything lace at the moment.
Guilty pleasure… Louis Vuitton travel goods – they are just the best.
Every woman should own… at least one cocktail ring.
I will never wear… organza.
I need… every colour available of the Rag & Bone panel jeans.
I want… a closet full of lace Givenchy gowns.

Photographer: Erin O’Sullivan.

Inside Her Sydney Home.


  • http://www.anaustralianwintour.com/ Megan @ An Australian Wintour

    Such a soft beautiful face. Love her designs even more now.

  • roome

    inspirational bohemian lady

  • http://www.facebook.com/monika.clarke.35 Monika Clarke

    Grat story great woman GREAT x 100 jewellery! THANKYOU Samantha for inspiring us all :) xxx

  • http://www.stylistamama.com/ Rose @ Stylista Mama

    Hope SW publishes a book – such an inspirational business woman with a great eye for style and beauty.

  • Lisa

    SW is such a beautiful person inside and out!! I remember as a child playing netball against Samantha – she was always so nice.. SW is an inspiration to all women around the world!! Keep being amazing SW xxx

  • Ainsley

    I put together a time capsule on my 18th birthday (lame but it felt like a defining thing to do). It’s inside a Samantha Wills box!

  • Jackie

    I absolutely adore Samantha Wills designs and her bohemian glam aesthetic! Thank you Paula for for putting together such a beautiful article and giving us a glimpse into the world of SW!

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