An Interview With Azela

My guest this week has just teamed up with marketplace to be the only Western Australian fashion label with a range on the platform.  Launched in 2015 by Tanja Coyne, Azela is a Perth-based “after five” and evening wear label, whose dresses are very alluring and definitely desirable. I caught up with Tanja recently to find out more … hi Tanja and welcome …image

Hi! My name is Tanja Coyne and I am the creator of the ladies evening wear label ‘AZELA’.

What inspired you to launch Azela?

What inspired me to launch AZELA was the desire to make women feel confident, amazing and just simply glamorous. I absolutely love dressing up, so I thought it was a natural progression to start designing dresses that I too, would love to wear.

Have you always had a passion for fashion?

I sure have. I remember buying my first evening wear dress, which was for my year 12 graduation and entering this gorgeous boutique in Perth. Not only did I buy the dress, I actually asked the owners if I could have a job there. Sure enough – 6 years later and I was still there. I then moved out of retail and worked in the corporate world, but again always looking for ‘fashion related roles’. I was lucky enough to work my way into the National HR Manager role for one of Australia’s icon designers ‘MORRISON’. So fashion has always been a big part of my life.

Your dresses are absolutely beautiful. So, when deciding which style dresses to design and sell, do you go by popular styles, customer requests, your own preferences or bits of all those?

Having worked in retail initially, I think I developed a good feel for what confident women loved. Therefore, every single AZELA dress has to be 1)Sultry, 2)Classy and 3) Must have a wow factor. I literally will not create a dress unless it fits the ‘AZELA’ criteria.


The Yelenda dress is gorgeous, especially in the pink. What dresses are popular amongst your customers so far this season?

Our two most popular styles have been the Alyssa in champagne and also the Pennita in black. The Yelenda has also really done exceptionally well with a lot of clients wanting the mini Yelenda (Yelenda Mala) in the cocktail length.


Out of all the dresses in your collection, what is your favourite?

Oh that’s a hard one. For me personally, I think the Rita Votz in white. The front is so clean and elegant and then the back has such a wow factor with the completely sheer lace ensemble all the way down.

Apart from your own website, you have just teamed up with marketplace to be the only Western Australian fashion label with the range on the platform. Have you noticed any differences in buying preferences between your Australian clientele and your UK/European clientele?

We are the only evening wear label in Western Australia and I think one of only 20 designers in the whole of Australia currently stocking on the ASOS Marketplace. Not only is it a huge honour, we are so super excited to enter a whole new UK and European clientele. It’s still early days, but we can definitely see the differences in preference. One of the biggest differences I am seeing straight away is colour choices. UK ladies tend to prefer the darker shades with orders of Royal Blue dresses as an example.

AZELA Photo Shoot 2015
AZELA Photo Shoot 2015

Which famous lady do you feel epitomises the ideal Azela woman?

I would have to say someone that is confident, knows there self worth and is just simply glam. I’m leaning towards Jessica Alba – not only is she stunning and has an amazing body, but she is a also an exceptionally smart business woman.

Looking ahead to both the next Australian & European Spring/Summer 2015/2016 collections – what styles/ colours do you hope to introduce to your collections?

We are incorporating a lot of golds in our upcoming collections – its all about the Glamazon. We will also be doing a lot more of a cocktail range, as that is what the clients are really wanting as well.

Having expanded from Australia into the UK market via ASOS, where else are you hoping to make global inroads? Are you able to ship overseas via your current website/ASOS?

We would love to enter markets that are exotic and full of flare. I’m thinking Miami, St Tropez (and it’s not just a reason for me to go on holidays to those destinations). I think the AZELA woman is a globetrotter, so we really aim to spread our wings to some wonderful destinations.

AZELA Photo Shoot 2015 - Glamour
AZELA Photo Shoot 2015 – Glamour

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I love colours and whites. I think what you wear is a reflection of how you feel inside. On a casual Saturday I would probably be wearing a pair of ripped jeans and a tee, with some heels. Im only 5’6 – so I love my heels. If it is a ‘dressy event’, I will opt for a dress in colour (red, white etc). I actually don’t think I have ever worn a black dress to a ball/formal event. I’m definitely a colour gal.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?(apart from your own!).

I like online shopping in stores like Zimmerman, Sass and Bide.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe/bag wish list?

I want a nice Louis Vuitton suitcase that I can carry with me when I travel.

Boots or Shoes?

Shoes. I live in Perth, 80% of the year it is very hot. I don’t think I would get too much use out of my boots.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Azela.

our facebook and linkedin are #AZELAAUSTRALIA.

Thank you for chatting to us Tanja and showing us your dresses with that wow factor!  Blue is certainly a popular colour trend in the UK this season and it is interesting to hear about how the colour of choice differs in each nation. I tend to go for red/coral or shades of blue – teal and navy – when looking for evening dresses. What are your main colour choices when looking for evening wear, dear readers? Do tell, I’d love to know!

Linda x

All photos published with kind permission from Azela.

© 2015 – 2018, Linda. All rights reserved.

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