Style File: Jodie Calder from Common People

Style File Common People

Jodie Calder from Common People. Image supplied.

Jodie Calder founded contemporary bag and accessories label Common People in Wanaka in 2017. The brand has a fresh, modern aesthetic that is designed to appeal to the urbanite who wants something a bit different while still being sophisticated. Jodie launched Common People’s first pop-up store at Queenstown Airport before opening the brand’s first permanent store in Wanaka in 2019, which offer’s Common People’s full range as well as carefully curated pieces from other directional brands. After years spent living in cities overseas Jodie loves the laidback vibe of Wanaka and it’s the perfect place to design Common People’s creative collections.

We caught up with Jodie to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
Our latest collection is called BRAKES OFF.

After losing my dad suddenly and now being one of many businesses (and humans) that have found themselves thrust into a global pandemic, I had that real ‘sink or swim’ feeling when Covid hit. I decided to swim, to take a breath and take the ‘BRAKES OFF’ – propelling forward with confidence and trusting the brand’s direction.

The collection consisting of structured totes, briefcases, saddle bags, belt bags, cross-body bags and silk scarves uses bold and solid colours with a running theme of cobalt blue contrasting against ice whites, solid blacks and greys. The use of contrasting materials such as leather, acrylic chains and thick nylon straps is more apparent than ever.

Using a female model in a masculine style challenges the notion that fashion is gender defined; it embraces gender equality and encourages individuality.

The campaign is our now and is a little 1920s meets the future with the use of clean silhouettes, unconventional makeup and images shot on film.

What made you become a designer?
There’s no one defining moment, I was born creative and curious, so art and design is all I’ve ever known. I find the ability to be able to communicate visually very satisfying and empowering.

Style File Common People

Bags from Common People’s new BRAKES OFF collection.

What inspires you?
I’m drawn to anything that is different or pushes creative boundaries, but it can be anything. My brain never switches off inspo-mode, I could be walking down the street and just see something random or out of context and the creative juices start flowing.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I’m quite eclectic so it can vary greatly – as can my designs. Generally, it’ll be more street than sequins.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My dog Arlo – a Friday night trigger-happy purchase on Trademe.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A handbag obviously! Ha-ha. Jokes and bias aside, it really does have the ability to transform and polish any outfit and can provide a real sense of confidence. When I first hit London, I couldn’t afford high-end clothing, but I did invest in the latest handbag and it really gave me a great sense of confidence walking into interviews or simply walking down the street.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Not really, I wear whatever makes me feel good and confident to take on the day ahead. If anything, it would be don’t be afraid to take risks and push societal norms, if you think you look good, that’s all that matters.

Style File Common People

Bags from Common People’s new BRAKES OFF collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think this collection. It’s raw, real and one I’m very proud of.

What can’t you live without?
The love of my family. And Arlo.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…

Images supplied.