Lara Worthington is well versed in the art of transformation.
The Sydney-raised model, mother and founder of beauty brand The Base – now Share The Base – has been recently inducted as an L.A. local. But when we meet Worthington she’s a little closer to home, for our shoot at Melbourne stonemasonry and sculpture studio denHolm – where she’s at ease in shades of indigo, among works of art.
Those refined lines and sculptural forms mirror her personal style: an appreciation for tailoring and a penchant for minimalism that’s made her a long-time muse in our eyes.
“Evolution to me is finding it in yourself to assess where change in your life is needed and taking action.”
“Over the years my wardrobe has simplified and definitely become more streamlined as a mother,” tells Worthington of her aesthetic. “Of course there are still times when a red lip and glam dress are called for – but in general it’s subtle … Denim is the be-all staple for day-to-day duties ...”
On shoot day, the new Artist Jacket is the piece Worthington doesn’t want to take off. And the Milla Jean Long Eloquent, she equates to “a second skin”.
But our affinity with Lara goes far deeper than that. With an enduring connection to her home country and a drive to do more for the world at large, Worthington is a Nobody Denim woman from every angle.
That aesthetic sensibility – it extends to a love of art and photography (a favourite piece in her personal collection is a capture of 90s-era Kate Moss by Juergen Teller, gifted by her husband Sam Worthington). And it was a desire for creative expression, on her own terms, that inspired Worthington to found her signature brand back in 2014.
Recently, though, The Base began undergoing a transformation of its own. “I decided I wanted it to take a different path,” Worthington explains. “I had the LB Cream which was the bestseller – and saw it as an opportunity to keep generating income and be able to give the funds to causes that meant something to me.”
“I love seeing Nobody Denim stick to their guns and make it work for our homegrown industry.”
Enter Share The Base – a new rendition of the brand that sees profits donated to three key charities. Deciding on which was anything but spontaneous; Worthington met with almost 20 before she settled on WWF-Australia, Humpty Dumpty Foundation – a charity devoted to purchasing medical equipment for children in need – and Bowel Cancer Australia, a not-for-profit she has worked with since losing her father to the disease in 2008. “WWF because nature is so important to me and to Australia, HDF for how I related to it as a mother of young children and Bowel Cancer for known reasons,” she explains of her decision. It was important, too, that they all be close to home.
This connection to Australia is one Worthington maintains “easily”, she says. “I am often here for work.” And it’s another quality that’s made her a Nobody Denim muse.
An additional factor behind our collaboration for SOMEBODY Issue 01: for Worthington, the feeling is mutual. “I love seeing Nobody Denim stick to their guns and make it work for our homegrown industry,” she tells. “20 years of Nobody Denim is a real milestone for any business in today’s market – and an especially motivating one from an Australian brand producing their goods on our shores. I’m an Australian through and through – so this kind of endeavor makes me proud and inspired.”
Nobody Denim’s ethical credentials are another point of connection. “I love to see another business doing their part. No matter how small or big a contribution, it all adds up and encourages others to do the same.”
“20 years of Nobody Denim is a real milestone for any business in today’s market."
Beyond her own business, leaving a positive mark is something Worthington is mindful of on a day-to-day basis – beginning with her environmental footprint. And no, she’s not afraid to be that person at the cafe who turns down single-use items. “If I’m at home it’s easy to have a low impact but if I am out and about I have to challenge myself and the places I go to – to be more conscious,” she says. “Like if you are at a cafe and they only have plastic, or a restaurant where they change your glassware – you have to put your hand up.”
Worthington is skilled at discerning and prioritising the essential; it seems it’s a quality that permeates every consideration. Take her health and beauty practice for example. “It gets more and more simple,” she says. “I am always trying to simplify the routine with maximum results.”
And, amidst the minimalism, an appreciation of the good things in life: “A day at a spa is always my go-to. Steam, sauna, cold plunge.”
“Sitting at dinner with a couple of girlfriends always makes me feel [like] myself. As does being at home on a Sunday with my three boys. But also, I love being solo – like when I get on a quick plane trip to Australia, that alone-time for 15 hours is me time.”
For an extended escape, it’s “Tokyo for big city madness and Maldives for idyllic beach scenes.” Still, Worthingon’s latest life stage is for the most part a grounded one. And she’s content with where she’s at in the here and now. It helps, of course, that “L.A. is not a huge transition from Sydney,” Worthington notes. “I found living in New York to be much different.
“[I love that] my family have a home – a place where we will settle for a while – where my sons will go to school.”
Regardless of location – ask Worthington what’s most important to her, and she returns to the simplest notions: “Being happy, healthy and surrounded by friends that you love, and family, that are happy and healthy too.”
What Worthington knows is that not all transformations are a study in expansion. Perhaps the evolutions that are truly worthwhile are those that allow us to pare life back to what matters most.