The Founders - Leina & Fleur
Creative Director and Managing Director, Leina & Fleur are the equal co-owners and the powerhouse behind the brand Leina & Fleur.
Introduced back in 2013, the pair had an immediate connection and it was evident that both Leina & Fleur had an incredibly complimentary skill set and work ethic. Within six months they were walking into an equal business partnership and getting ready to move the business to the next level.
Leina, started the label in 2010 after working with Country Road in the start-up team for their sister brand Trenery. Fleur's background was based within high profile fashion brands such as Don Bagnato and Sacha Drake, growing business models from start ups through to multi million dollar entities within a logistical, financial and tactical capacity.
To kick start their partnership, Fleur and Leina decided to build their own software cloud platform to run their entire business operations. In 2014 they were awarded a federal grant to build the software and in 2016 went on to become finalists in the Telstra business awards.
Since this time their business has gone from strength to strength, moving into their current premises in 2020. This has allowed for an increase within their capacity, including the growth of their own range of Australian made garments with a grant to increase their manufacturing in-house with an automatic cutting machine to minimise waste and maximise outputs.
The business has grown beyond a brand and become a way of life for these two ladies, continuing to grow and evolve into a beautiful success story with a commitment to creating high quality garments developed and manufactured in Australia, making every garment an investment.
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to Wellington to study Fashion in 1995. My mum taught me to sew when I was 11 years old and very quickly once I had learnt the basics I started wanting to put my own signature on my creations. Right from the beginning Mum showed me how to work with jersey and I loved the fact that I could create fitted garments without zips!
At college I was very much into languages and maths with a vision to become the first lady PM, how things changed… and it literally did feel like a bolt of lightning hit me and I pivoted in year 11 to want to follow a design path. Wellington Polytechnic was where many famous kiwi designers studied, such as Collette Dinnigan & Karen Walker. Getting accepted into this course felt like a huge leap. I still remember so clearly when I started pattern making it felt like my hands already knew the craft, like it was destined.
After I finished studying in Wellington I made the leap across the ditch to Sydney, where I knew I wanted to make my mark and very much fell in love with the absolutely stunning city of Sydney. My first job was at Lincraft selling fabric, I had this bizarre knowing and feeling that a designer would come in and offer me a job, and sure enough that is exactly what happened. Peter Cooper (Bridal Designer) after coming in weekly for odds and bods as his studio was down the road offered me a job. Within 3 months of starting I was running the workroom. I stayed in bridal for 5 years before the universe altered my path and lined everything up so I could run my own pattern and technical studio.
I love pattern making, creating the lines of a garment which flatter the body and creating the ideal fit so that a piece of clothing can feel like a second skin. My client list included many of the prominent designers in Sydney; Lisa Ho, Josh Goot, Tim O’Connor, Nicola Finetti. This was such an incredible time but the pull to be part of a team found me joining Country Road as Senior Garment Tech for their startup team that launched Trenery in Melbourne.
Exactly one year after joining the team the pull to have my own brand and also follow the sunshine led me to the Gold Coast to launch Leina Broughton. 4 years after that I met Fleur and the journey completely changed again! (you can see that here)
It’s funny for me to separate work from home as our business is such a huge part of who I am! My gorgeous son Ari (6yo) and my old boy Scratch (14yo 3-legged pooch) are very much my home and merging home life with my partner Jeff and his 3 kids and lovely dog Ivy is such a wonderful journey, one I really didn’t expect… feeling very much loved up!
Outside of fashion, I love yoga and woo-woo… there’s really no other way to describe it! Tarot, oracle cards, crystals, astrology, numerology, spiritual study… you name it and it’s probably on my learning list ️forever learning, forever evolving!
I’m a kiwi too. Born and raised in the central north island. Dairy farming, horse breeding and racing were the towns main industry...we were townies though so sat on the peripheral of these activities...hence why I think I love being in the country (for a bit) but never too far away from urban action! Australia, and more so Gold Coast is now my home.
When I returned from my big OE to Europe when I was 21, I landed a job at Expozay, a New Zealand swimwear company. This was my first exposure to mass production. It was thrilling to see the 150 machinists in their production lines sewing their specialist technique to complete a bikini! There is SO much going on behind the seams...trust me. I developed a newfound appreciation for the artisans of construction. I knew I couldn’t just keep paying bills and doing reconciliations ...I got to a career crossroad, Accounting study or Fashion…?
So, the call of creativity drew me to fashion design in Wellington...It’s uncanny to think that LB and I were there at the same time, but we still hadn’t officially “met”.
I’ve been so lucky to work across many categories within the industry, swimwear, lingerie, menswear suiting and womenswear before landing on my feet here at L&F...It all adds to the knowledge base for running our own business…. And suits my know it all attitude (tongue very much in my cheek here!)
I’m happily cohabitating with a lovely man and get to play stepmum every fortnight to two gorgeous young women, Sia and Mani. The support act of step-parenting has been an interesting learning curve, but we have settled into a lovely routine, just in time for the girls to hit their teens! Yikes!!
We are the very proud fur parents to Archie, our 17 year old “bitsa” Lahsa Apso, Tibetan Terrior, Corgi dog...we can’t (ok I can’t) imagine life without this little ball of love...he completes us :) (yes when I say us I mean me).