Favourite Things: Designers Sarah Harris & Lauren Tapper

Designers Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper. Picture / Babiche Martens

Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper met while working in the local fashion industry, becoming fast friends before deciding to partner on a brand and business. The Auckland-based pair decided to focus on a simple product: shirts.

Launched last year, Harris Tapper puts the spotlight on the fashion staple that they describe as "the cornerstone of a modern woman's wardrobe", with a frequently updated and wide range of styles sheer, ruffled, laced-up, cropped, oversized, collarless, and more.

“We both wear shirts almost every day they’re more of a commodity and not at the mercy of seasons like other clothing such as knitwear, coats or swimwear,” they explain.

“We both recognised that, while there are other dedicated shirt brands, no one was really pushing the boundaries of the ‘shirt’ or offering a diverse range on a consistent basis.”

Available online and from Auckland boutiques Muse and Scotties, the brand brings together both their backgrounds in design, retail and public relations, and their complementary personal styles a balance of elegant and directional, and made to last.


Lauren's magazine archive and Sarah's favourite glasses. Picture / Babiche Martens
Lauren's magazine archive and Sarah's favourite glasses. Picture / Babiche Martens

1. Magazine archive
Lauren: I grew up rural (and before broadband), so the only way to really stay in touch with fashion was to buy magazines from a limited selection at the local supermarket.

My whole archive is at Mum and Dad’s up north, so every few months I’ll bring some back to Auckland and swap out the old ones.

They’re still such a great resource. One of my favourites is a US Harper’s Bazaar from September 2007 (the cover’s come off), with a shoot by Peter Lindbergh titled “They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab”.

It was at the height of that out-of-control celebrity culture in the early/mid-naughts. It’s shot paparazzi-style, but with Chloe Sevigny in clothes I was obsessed with head-to-toe Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, Versace, Chanel, and Dolce and Gabbana. It’s such a great snapshot of what was happening at that time.

2. Seletti and CTRLZAK Hybrid East meets West glasses
Sarah: I was given these as an engagement gift from some friends who obviously know me well! I love what they represent; the contrast between two cultures.

Their contemporary juxtaposition offers a beautifully designed collection. The porcelain pieces are also beautiful.

Sarah's DIY coffee table. Picture / Babiche Martens
Sarah's DIY coffee table. Picture / Babiche Martens

3. Marble coffee table
Sarah: I found the broken piece of marble in an Italian marble yard and instantly thought it would make the coffee table of my dreams. I sourced the base for $6 from Trade Me and it's now my favourite piece in our house.

4. Homage earrings
Lauren: Last year one of my best friends, Kayla Jurlina, launched a brand called Homage, which sells vintage jewellery.

I usually dress very plain and never wear any jewellery (least of all costume), but I really love these and wear them all the time. I think also because they were a gift from her, they’re so special to me.

Harris Tapper Shirt and Homage vintage earrings. Picture / Babiche Martens
Harris Tapper Shirt and Homage vintage earrings. Picture / Babiche Martens

5. Harris Tapper shirt
Both: This was one of the first shirts we designed; we knew it was perfect straight away. It's so easy to wear (and wash).

A white shirt is one of the easiest things to wear it goes with everything, it’s not at the mercy of seasons, and it easily shifts from something appropriate for work, to a formal dinner, or to something casual.

This ‘Kate’ shirt is made from a cotton satin, so has a luxe sheen in certain lights. It’s a pretty special piece to us.

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