My earliest memory of my mum Erna is her smell. She always wore Yves Saint Laurent Opium, which I actually have now, too.
Growing up, my mother wasn’t matronly or conservative-looking like my friends’ mums. Her motto was, “I’m not here to blend in”. She had an original style and there are pictures of her from years ago wearing bell bottoms, big prints and fun colours with her wild blonde hair. I think my mum made me my own person and showed me how to make my own mark.
My mum learnt to make clothes from my grandmother, a seamstress, and she still makes them aged 73. When you see me wearing a long coat or knitted sweater, my mum will have made it. She is where I found my love for dressing up.
My mother, Oracene, has been the most influential woman in my life. She has taught me strength, patience and confidence. Especially now that I am a mum myself, I find myself looking to her for advice and guidance even more. She raised five women, so she is extremely knowledgeable and has been a massive help, but at the same time encourages me to find my own path on this journey.
That is how she has been my entire life: always encouraging me to find my own path but still be there with me every step of the way.
My mum, Jo, is an artist and an incredible businesswoman. She and my dad divorced when I was 10, so she raised me as a single parent. I grew up in Melbourne as an only child, surrounded by creativity and good people.
Mum never spoonfed me as a kid. She didn't remind me to take my homework to school or pack my sports bag; she let me fail and I learnt from that failure. She always said, "You can do whatever you want to do. As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
The older I get, the more I learn from my mum. Last year, at age 62, she moved to London to do a Master of Fine Arts. We're best friends and we talk every day. She's my constant source of inspiration.
My mother, Janet, had me at a very young age and she made a lot of sacrifices in order for me to be the person I am today. She put me and my sister in front of her own needs, sacrificing both her own career decisions and her comfort. She endured a lot of suffering – including feeling the shame of being a young, single mother.
I grew up watching my mum put on a uniform every day. She was a janitor. She also cleaned houses and was a maid at a hotel. I saw her work very hard and watched her live pay cheque to pay cheque. She never talked down about her job and we respected her because she was doing work that needed to be done. Without cleaners, our whole community would fall apart.
My mum gave me the opportunity to grow and pursue my dreams instead of following her own. She was always very creative and she used to sketch a lot when I was little – I have tried to encourage her to do more art. Now, she’s going back to school and getting a degree.
My mum is at a level in her life where she doesn’t give a damn about what you think. She is a free spirit with no inhibitions whatsoever.