If you’d ask me to name someone that epitomises the essence of Australian style, Olive Cooke would be right up there. Boutique labels teamed with an ethos steeped heavily in beach culture, it’s laid back yet flawlessly styled – the ultimate Australian mélange. Growing up in Western Australia before moving to her current home in Byron Bay, Olive has long been on our watch list as we’ve followed her rise to one of the country’s prominent style Instabloggers.
Now, not only is she creating refreshing campaigns for brands such as Olivia Burton, but she’s stepping into the design hotseat herself with the launch of her own upcoming label Cooke and Kin (and from what we can tell from the outset, it’s going to be good. Really, really good… but that’s a story for another day).
Against a backdrop of her recent Olivia Burton campaign, we pull Olive aside to get the intel on some of our curiosities – from first getting into Instablogging to meeting fiancé Henry to being long drawn to the sartorial.
Can you talk me through how you first got into Instablogging?
I have always just enjoyed taking photos of my life, outfits, friends, things I get up to… I never meant to get into “Instablogging”, there was no such thing when I first had Instagram – then about 5 years ago I did a modelling job for Rusty & was asked to post photos on my Instagram tagging them. I think that was my first paid post.
How has your attitude towards Instagram changed since first starting out?
I think I am a lot more comfortable with it now, sharing your personal life will always take some getting use to. It has become really easy and I feel I have a really manageable and enjoyable balance with it all.
Do you find you’re able to switch off from it when you need a break?
Of course. I took a little time to myself last year and it felt good. I have a really lovely life without Instagram filled with amazing friendships and family, so it is incredibly easy to enjoy that and switch off from it all.
You have a great eye when it comes to planning out a feed. Have you always been drawn to style?
I think so. I am a very visual learner and have been since I was young. Sewing, painting, photography etc have always been most enjoyable.
How much thought and time goes into each picture found on your feed?
It really depends, some images are a snap that is just accidental & turns out to be something great, while others are creatively planned & put together.
Is Henry the photographer behind a lot of the pictures found on your Instagram?
When we are on holiday together but not so much at home. It’s usually just friends who I am with at the time or when I have a specific project to work on, I am lucky to have some wonderful photographer girlfriends that bring an idea to life.
Had you met Henry before you started out in the influencer world?
Ooooh, I can’t really remember – I guess so! I don’t think there was as much of an “influencer world” back then.
Can you also quickly tell us how the two of you met?
We met through a friend, drank about 15 margaritas each & laughed the entire night.
Does he love coming along for the Instagram ride?
Instagram isn’t a huge part of our daily life. Henry is a builder here in Byron so he is always working really hard. We spend most of our time being active outdoors, enjoying our friends, and living life to its full. If a trip involves outdoor activities, Henry is there – but you wouldn’t find him anywhere near a fashion week, haha.
You’re also very good friends with Lisa (Lisa Danielle) and Emily (Emelinaah). How did the three of you meet?
Em and I met through friends in Bali, it was love at first Bintang – and then I met Lisa though Em a little after.
Did you all decide to move to Byron together or did it just pan out that way?
A lot of my friends already lived here, including Em, & then I got a job for a magazine that required me to live in Byron so I had no hesitation to move.
Do you think it makes it easier having a group of you together?
Life is always easier with friends.
You’ve been on some amazing trips in the last few years. What’s been the best one and why?
Last year I did a florist course in Tuscany, which was a really special experience – something I will remember forever, but I think every trip has its best bits.
What about your favourite campaign to work on?
I had an absolute ball shooting for Kirstin Ash last year in Positano. Great memories and friends for life.
Talking about campaigns, we’ve noticed Olivia Burton popping up in your feed recently. Do you find styling images for shoots like this a fun part of the job?
LOVE styling accessories, I feel like Olivia Burton just fits so easily into my life – so this was really enjoyable to style & shoot.
Can you talk me through some of the equipment and tools you like to shoot and edit with?
I shoot on a Canon 5d mark 3 & on film Contax T3. Edit in Lightroom and sometimes a little VSCO but just a little grain here and there.
If you weren’t being a content creator, what would you be doing?
I would just be making something else, maybe mosaics or something like that.
Where can we expect to see you in 5 years time?
You will just have to follow along and see…!