From a 90s style icon to a grounded poet and mother of two, meet our muse, Emma Balfour. It was the early 90s, the era of the supermodel and grunge chic. Kate Moss rose to stardom, and right by her side was her close friend, the shy Aussie model, Emma Balfour. Rocking a bleach blonde crop like David Bowie, Emma quickly became a reluctant icon. However, at the end of the decade, Emma traded in her heels for horse riding boots, and her supermodel title for her new title, mum. She settled in Bondi and took on her most meaningful role yet. Emma is a passionate advocate for sustainability, a published poet, and an absolute horse lover. Although, fashion still beckoned and we were lucky enough to work with Emma, who these days carefully selects the projects she works on, ensuring they are aligned with her values of sustainability and fashion that can stand the test of time.
How did you find the change from the fast-paced runway scene to that of motherhood and a more sustainably conscious lifestyle?
Slowing down was something I’d looked forward to my whole career! Having kids makes everything different, even when you plan on everything staying the same. It also makes you very conscious of the wider world and our place in it. It was really important for me to live a life that showed my kids how everything is connected and how we should try to look after it all.
More recently in your career, you have been very selective with who you work with, what drew you to Auguste?
Auguste’s ethos really resonated with me. I love clothes that stand on their own, are sustainably produced and make you feel good.
Do you have any top sustainability tips? How do you minimise your impact on the planet?
Buy less, buy clever, re-use, be creative, recycle, compost…
What has turning 50 meant to you? Did it shift your perspective at all?
I’m just older and that’s ok. Bits haven’t started falling off too much yet! I’ve always been pretty grown up and juvenile at the same time, I plan on trying to keep that balance.
What is your wardrobe staple, a ‘must-have’ you find yourself wearing all too often?
Jeans and a tee shirt! I’m barely ever out of them.
Your poetry has been likened to the late US writer Raymond Carver, have you always aspired to be a poet and where do you find your inspiration for your poems?
I have always written thoughts down and kept a messy diary. A poem appeared one day from nowhere and then they kept coming. I think my obsession with song lyrics might have prompted it. Most of my favourite poems have been triggered by something I’ve seen or heard that encapsulates a bigger idea or just made me laugh.
Where did your love for horses stem from and what do you love most about them?
My mum had horses when she was young, so I I think I must have inherited the horse gene from her. Horses are very rewarding creatures, especially when you are lucky enough to spend every day with them, like I do. My big mare has taught me to slow down, be brave, have fun… and she smells so good.
What’s your daily beauty routine? Do you have a specific skincare products you swear by?
I keep it really simple. I wash my face in the morning, then moisturise and put on sunblock (lots!). In the evening I always use my favourite Dream Repair Serum from The Beauty Chef. It fixes everything!
Other favourite products: Ren Evercalm global protection day cream, Natio daily defence spf 50