Lara Bluett and Matt Fells, a couple from Byron Bay, created ST. AGNI in 2014. The label specialises in luxury leather goods. Its bags, jackets, shoes and homewares are simple and versatile. And importantly, the leather is by-product leather from the meat industry. Bluett wanted to make sure she was using materials that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Coming from a retail background, Bluett recognised that there was a place in the market for pieces that were simple and clean without the “daggy bits” one often sees with bigger brands. And it’s a project that makes her very happy. For one thing, she’s working with her partner. But she’s also making something that’s new to her hometown.
“I think Byron has definitely helped in the way that it is so creative here,” Bluett says. “Job-wise, you are kind of encouraged to do your own thing [here], unless you want to stay working retail or hospitality. Design-wise, we’re so different to the typical Byron brand, [which is] very boho. But I think it works to our advantage.”