Three stylish friends who are also entrepreneurs, social media influencers and personal brands.
NATALIE CANTELL, BECK WADWORTH AND CARMEN HAMILTON
Look up the word ‘squad’ on Urban Dictionary and you’ll find descriptions guaranteed to induce a laugh – but if you take out the hip-hop references and focus on “an informal group of individuals with a common identity and a sense of solidarity”, a squad is exactly what Carmen Hamilton, Natalie Cantell and Beck Wadworth represent.
The three women are part of a new set of entrepreneurs whose popularity on social media has built them into brands. Model, writer and stylist Natalie, 29, was born and raised in Auckland and calls herself a serial collaborator, producing content for publications including Refinery29, ElleGirl Japan and Fashion Wire Press and presenting for TV channels such as Fashion One. Having appeared on street-style galleries for Vogue, Style.com and WWD, Natalie attributes much of her social media following to being snapped by the likes of Tommy Ton and Phil Oh. “Street style has been a huge, industry-altering phenomenon,” says Natalie. “I probably wouldn’t have a career if that hadn’t happened.”
Natalie (above), along with Carmen and Beck, lives in the Sydney suburb of Bondi and was introduced to Blenheim-born Beck by a mutual friend a few years ago. “She’s so engaged with what’s happening digitally in the fashion industry and gets more done on a Saturday by noon than most people do all week,” says Natalie of Beck who, along with working full time as the online and social media manager for Australian label Bec & Bridge, has her stationery company, An Organised Life. Launched in 2013 with a 2014 diary, Beck’s knack for organising and a love of all things monochrome prompted her to create a range of notebooks, prints, travel diaries and greeting cards.
It was through her business venture that Beck, 26, met Carmen (above), who has amassed more than 188,000 Instagram followers, thanks to the success of her style blog, The Chronicles of Her, which she launched in 2011. “Natalie and I kept crossing paths with Carmen around Bondi and the Sydney fashion scene and then we were regularly catching up for a glass of red and chats about our lives, careers and everything in between,” says Beck.
You’d think there might be an element of competition among women in a similar field but the relationship between these three is one of unwavering support. “We’ve all got our own things going on, so we’re not really competing,” says Carmen, 26, who regularly works with brands including Gucci and Hermès on digital projects. “We’re always giving each other advice, bouncing ideas off each other and encouraging each other to take risks. That sounds lame and cliché, but that’s exactly how it is.”
This month, Beck and Carmen are releasing their first collaboration – a letter-press print that reflects the clean aesthetic common to both of their brands, while Natalie is launching an innovative new website which will make her covetable street style shop-able by facilitating exclusive pre-orders of the in-demand pieces she wears to international fashion weeks.