Carly Stirling is the senior Designer at Silent Arrow, lingerie for women who are unafraid to be seen and is made for women by women. Created by Melbourne based 90’s street wear turned lingerie designer Kelly Barrett, Silent Arrow is made for women, by women. Like you, we’re done with the trade off between feeling hot and feeling comfortable. A provocative play on the b-girl style of our early beginnings, we design using flexible, high quality microfiber and soft, flirty mesh. Our form is bold, our vibe is fierce and our design team has sketched literally millions of your faithful smalls so we know how to make you feel fucking amazing. We caught up with Carly about her work with the brand.
Burgundy Fox: Tell us about your work with Silent Arrow. What is it like to be a Senior Designer at Silent Arrow?
Carly Stirling: Designing for Silent Arrow allows me to use so many of my skills. I have a background in retail, product development, garment technology and graphic design, and I get to learn more every day! I know that sounds insane; I’m only 29 and started working in the fashion industry when I was 15, then full time at 19 after graduating from a Fashion School in Melbourne, Australia.
There is so much involved in the day-to-day. I go from trend analysis to design & development, choosing fabrics, fitting bras and knickers, working on production schedules and then on to creating and launching products on the website. I get to be involved with social media and marketing as well as photoshoots and the more visually creative side of the brand. Every day is full of problem solving and brainstorming which is challenging but can be pretty fun. It’s a place of ideas, innovation and showing creativity.
We recently did a trade show in New York where we got to network with hundreds of amazing women who are also working in lingerie. This is where I met Leslie from Burgundy Fox.
Silent Arrow, still being a new label, has allowed me to have an amazing creative outlet, more so than any other brand I’ve worked on. Our Founder and Creative Director, Kelly Barrett, has taught me a lot about the industry since we first met more than 10 years ago.
The majority of my work is on private labelling for other brands which can be pretty restrictive, so when Silent Arrow was born it was an amazing opportunity to do something daring, break rules and push limits. There is no idea that’s too extreme, we want to push boundaries.
BF: Tell us about Silent Arrow + You, underwear donation, how has it affected and empowered Silent Arrow and your communities?
CS: It’s a pretty great initiative that we’re able to bring our customers in on and one that makes a real difference to so many women.
For every item that our amazing customers buy, we’re able to donate 1 pair of cotton undies to a woman in need. Being a women, you know how important it is to have clean cotton underwear; I don’t think we need to explain that in detail. Currently, in Australia alone, there are over 105,000 homeless women who often have nothing, and most of these women are homeless due to domestic abuse. Since we have launched we have been able to donate thousands of undies.
It really touches our heart when we pack them up in the office and post them to various charities, knowing that we could be the last people to touch them before they go to a woman who desperately needs them. It’s an amazing feeling.
Although we are working in the fashion industry, there are still so many ways to ensure that our passion can help others and have a positive impact on someone’s life. This is something that’s extremely important to me.
BF: How do you take time to celebrate yourself?
CS: Oooooh this is a tough question. The past couple of years I have experienced what it’s like to have gratitude. I do stress a lot about perfection, and was finding myself in a bit of a spin with my life thinking that I needed more. “ I need more money, I need a bigger house, I need to be more healthy, I need to work harder, I need to spend more time with family”. The list goes on and on. What I came to realise though, is that even if I improved all of these things by 40%, that that “WANTING MORE” feeling wasn’t going away.
Now, I have found that having gratitude and being grateful for what I have is a celebration in itself. So really, every day I celebrate. I spend my days working with amazing people, and living a wonderful life. I have found I actually have everything I need, and at this point, it is when you can finally realise you can use all the “WANT MORE” energy into giving more.
BF: If you could share some wisdom with your younger self, what would it be?
CS: Be nice to all people, and spend time exploring different cultures. I grew up in a small town outside of Melbourne which is what you could call Outback Australia. We literally did have Kangaroos hopping around the paddocks. I first travelled when I was 21, and had no real grasp of how different the world was. Culture opens up so many amazing life opportunities, and has an strong influence on fashion.
BF: Tell us about something exciting you’re working on now.
CS: Our new Fuller Cup (“Busted”) and Swimwear lines are just about to launch, so we are planning a POOL P.A.R.T.Y! This is one of the best things about working with Silent Arrow; every day is different. One day you’re a designer, the next day you’re scouting Melbourne’s hottest DJ’s and planning an event.
BF: Name one woman you admire and why?
CS: Honestly, I’m not one to admire anyone on a singular level. If I had to choose, I’d say I love Margot Robbie, Blake Lively and Anna Wintour; those girls are kicking ass!
But on a wider scale, what I’m really loving at the moment is seeing so many amazing women sharing photos of themselves wearing Silent Arrow. It takes a lot of guts to post a pic (online, no less!) in lingerie and it blows me away seeing how a product can give so much confidence and strength to people. Every single photo we see is so equally beautiful and we’re so lucky to have a community of rad women to admire.
As a woman, I feel like all women share a connection and sense of understanding with one another that transcends age, culture or race. It’s bigger than that, this connection is another thing I admire; it’s amazing.