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4 awesome things we've seen online retailers do

Do you love awesome stuff? Here at Flaunter, we certainly do.  

So, in celebration of all things awesome, we’re proud to present to you a list of super awesome ideas that are helping brands lead the way in the online retailing space.

The best bit? Some of the best ideas are those that are super easy to implement in your own stores. Awesome.

  1. Invest more time in photos that really talk up your product

The most successful online retailers know how to walk that delicate line between maximising the perceived value of their products and completely overselling them.

To bring great visual communication to your online store, consider bright, clear images which allow your customer to zoom in to check every detail including fabric texture, stitching, seams, closures, and even a photo of the label. Of course, no customer wants to be surprised by what they find in their mailbox after purchasing, so keep colours as accurate as possible and limit your use of Photoshop -  it’s a fantastic tool for polishing flaws in your images but over-editing is a surefire way to get yourself into hot water.

One final note on online store photos: the best retailers make sure all their product shots look like family - this means the same brightness, same collection of images per product (eg: front/back/closures/texture/side/motion shot) etc. Creating a cohesive look like this goes a long way towards ensuring your collection looks polished and professional.

  1. Regularly upload new content

Think about your relationship with some of those huge online stores out there like Net-a-Porter and Asos. Why do these websites  make us want  to come back to their websites day after day? Because we know they’re going to have new content for us to lust after.

Even though you may not have the volume of a global giant (…yet- we believe in you!) staggering the release of new product entices shoppers to visit with you on a regular basis.

Want to up your game even further? Take a page out of Kate Spade’s book and ask your web team to add a “Fresh this week!” banner to appear on your newest items.

  1. Sell the whole look (styling with other products)

This might sound like online store logic 101, but it’s amazing how few brands cross-promote items by styling pieces with other items from their inventory!

  1. Promote honesty, realness, and openness

Although it’s pretty commonplace to shop online these days, some customers still experience a little angst about transparency and trusting that what they see online is what’s actually going to show up on their doorstep.  

Brands like Gap and Modcloth are leading the way by showing honest reviews of products (Fit/Colour, quality as described, etc.) as well as images of customers wearing their purchases . Don't shy away from negative feedback, it's all constructive and will help you really nail your next run of products.

Also consider starting a forum on your site, it promotes a sense of community among your regular customers, and they're all linked by one common thing: they love your brand!


top three ways to make your flaunter profile a success using media images

The top 3 ways to make your Flaunter profile successful

Do you spend hour upon hour carefully selecting which images you'll post to your personal social media accounts (all 1 million of them!)? Yeah, us too. Because how we present ourselves online is kinda a big deal these days. And we certainly make sure to keep our personal accounts shiny and update-to-date. So it makes total sense that we'd want to do the same with our online business profiles.

Building your brand online is now a non-negotiable part of your everyday. Yes, it's literally an everyday activity. Flaunter can be an integral tool in helping you communicate your brand's aesthetic with one of your most influential audiences - the media (both 'old' and 'new'!).

Here are three tips to setting up your Flaunter profile for maximum results.

Work your content to suit your media

Think about the editor/stylist/blogger viewing your Flaunter account and tailor your uploads to suit their needs.  Are they looking for crystal clear, deep-etched product shots or are they after a stunning look book image?  If you’re not sure, do your research. Look at the magazines, blogs and websites you’re keen to be published in. What photo types do they like to use?

Pro Tip 1: The more image types you can upload for a collection/new range, the greater your chances are of being published in multiple places. Different outlets look for different shots – you can be a media superstar by covering all your bases.

Pro Tip 2: Media outlets won’t use an editorial image that has been published elsewhere already, so rather than uploading already-published shots  to your Flaunter Profile, share those bad boys on your social media profiles instead!

Be organised: Albums are your friend

It’s all about image size and quality for our media users.  We did the numbers, and high res photos are always more coveted. Make that 600% more coveted in many instances. To make it easier for the media to use your pics, arrange your images into collections via albums and use clear, descriptive titles.  For example:

Summer 2016: January Drop

For someone outside your brand viewing your profile, it makes it far easier to find exactly what they’re looking for (which in turn increases the likelihood of your images getting published!).  Remember, media users will most often want to publish images of products that are available at the same time their publication is released or website piece goes live.

Pro Tip 3: Adding an RRP to each image makes life a lot easier for the media! And data shows that a stylist is 87% moe likely to use an image with a price clearly available, versus one without.

Get Hiding

As soon as you have a new collection or range of images to upload, press the hide button on your old collections.  Media and stylists are a busy bunch, and they are only looking for the latest and greatest content. They don’t want to spend time wading through your profile to find your newest uploads.

Pro Tip 4: Hide, don’t delete. This way you keep your image statistics to help inform your future uploads, and still having the content ready for any special requests that might come through.

BONUS Point!

Keep your content as fresh as a mountain stream to ensure that media keep coming back to you time and time again. This is the number one piece of feedback our media users share with us. The brands they like to feature? Those that make finding the latest, most relevant images and their full credit details EASY - consistently.


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Ali Izzo tells us how your biggest PR fail could take less than 30 minutes

"First and foremost, PRs need to understand our product, tone and our audience. They need to react quickly, impart the value of their pitch succinctly and be able to offer me some sort of unique angle that will give me the edge over my competitors – whether that be via assets, access or exclusivity. Also, I can’t stress enough the time-factor. We turn around a story in 30 or 40 minutes, so if I ask for a hi-res image or quote I need it stat, or it simply won’t be published. It sounds demanding, but it’s really just the nature of the online publishing beast."

This busy lady has been on our radar for quite some time. After careful planning (read: almost 2 months in the making!) our diaries finally connected and now the girl crush is in full-swing. Alison Izzo (some of you may remember her as Alison Parr ;) ) is the Digital Editor of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia. Having ‘worked in digital’ for longer than most people can remember life BC Instagram, Ali is an encyclopaedia on the topic. A very charming one at that!  

Naturally, we talked a lot about digital content - and how brands and PRs need to have a better understanding of how a digital editor works in order to get cut through in this rapidly moving new ecosystem. So interesting was our conversation, we felt we immediately had to share it with you. Seriously - this is a MUST READ!

So here is Ali, answering Flaunter’s 10 Questions With:

 

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I started in fashion department at CLEO magazine (RIP), before working my way up to fashion editor at DOLLY. Sensing digital was increasingly where it was at I moved online to edit POPSUGAR Fashion, which was a tremendous learning curve and an incredible experience to work for digital-only publisher at Allure Media. Then I tried my hand at the startup world as the editor in chief of a fashion-focused online shopping aggregator called TROVA, then I did a stint as the head of editorial at Network TEN’s online catch-up service tenplay.com.au, then I was approached for the role at BAZAAR. Phew!

2 - Why did you chose to step into a digital role, before most people even knew what that meant?!

As a fashion stylist for a print product I was increasingly frustrated at the limitations of my role – I wanted to write, and art direct and produce the shoots (control freak, much?)! Working online allows me to creatively direct the content from concept to final execution, and I find the immediacy of digital is both exhilarating and incredibly rewarding (when you get it right).

3 - What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in what interests your readers?

I don’t think that what interests readers has changed as much as how readers are consuming content. If you can understand what sort of headspace they’re in when they’re ready to read something, you’re much better placed to give them something of interest to them – at that specific time and place. This applies as much to print as it does to digital content.

4 - What do brands need to do today to grab your attention?

I think brands need a distinct identity, and stay true to that. They also need to be innovating. It’s not enough to shoot a stock-standard lookbook then expect for digital publishers to just run your press release. I would urge brands to think about the ‘news-worthiness’ of their brand stories, and why readers online would click into a piece of content featuring them. What is the headline? What is the angle? What can readers learn or gain from that piece of content?

5 - What does it take to get featured on harpersbazaar.com.au – what do brands and PR agencies need to better understand about online publishing?

First and foremost, PRs need to understand our product, tone and our audience. They need to react quickly, impart the value of their pitch succinctly and be able to offer me some sort of unique angle that will give me the edge over my competitors – whether that be via assets, access or exclusivity. Also, I can’t stress enough the time-factor. We turn around a story in 30 or 40 minutes, so if I ask for a hi-res image or quote I need it stat, or it simply won’t be published. It sounds demanding, but it’s really just the nature of the online publishing beast. PRs also need to understand that there’s no such thing as an “Australian exclusive” – we work on the INTERNET, which is a global thing. Our users read international websites voraciously and are obsessed with social media, so the odds are that if the story has been given to US or UK outlets our local readers have probably seen it already.

6 - What does the future of online publishing look like?

Positive! Exciting! Unknown! I think it’s an incredible space to be working in as the boundaries are always being pushed and tested. I’m particularly interested in unique video content for fashion publishers, and the impact of mobile to the way we craft and deliver content. Unsurprisingly, social media is increasingly important to how we acquire and retain our audience.

7 - How do the digital and print teams work together?

I can’t speak for any other titles, but at BAZAAR we’re very lucky to have a fantastic working relationship. Kellie Hush, BAZAAR’s editor in chief, really understands the importance of our digital channels and that sort of support is vital when it comes to integrating the BAZAAR brand message across both print and digital products. We share content, we find the best medium for the story and we support each other

8 - What’s some of the everyday lingo you use now, that you’d never heard of 3-5 years ago?!

Ha! Um, there’s lots of jargon that some people love to use – mostly to just confuse other people who aren’t so tech-literate! Acronyms are a favourite – CPC, CPM, SEO, SEM, CMS…! But I guess when we talk about analytics and data you have to be able to use and understand certain terms, like ‘engagement’ ‘retention’ ‘reach’ ‘virality’ etc. For brands and PRs, I think they should definitely understand the difference between ‘native content’ and commercial integration.

9 - What excites you the most about your job?

This sounds clichéd but the BAZAAR team are a truly inspiring bunch, so getting to work closely with these experts every day is a joy. Kellie is a fearless leader who isn’t afraid to try new things – especially on the digital space – so the freedom that gives me makes my role really exciting. The loyalty of the BAZAAR readers coupled with the organic and consistent growth that we’re seeing right now across all digital channels is the reason I can say I truly love my job.

10 - What did you last 24 hours look like (so that people can REALLY understand how you’re juggling CPC, content management, various platforms, engagement stats, analytics etc etc).

Really? Ok – here goes. Apologies if this is WAY too much but honestly this is what my day looked like yesterday.

5.45am – Wake up, put my gym gear on, drink my greens powder, get out the door without waking my husband. Definitely still asleep.

6.15am – Personal training session. Still not yet awake.

7.00am – Check emails/social media on the way back from the gym. Deal with anything urgent that may have come in overnight from overseas. Moderate our social media channels.

8.20am – Shower, dress, get to work – check and respond to emails on the bus (so glamorous!). Start outlining the daily list of stories in my head that we should be covering that day.

8.50am – Grab a coffee and breakfast on the way into the office.

9.00am – Talk to my right hand (wo)man, Grace O’Neill about the day’s news. She is the engine room of the site and she’s a true talent! Finesse the story angles, re-prioritise the publishing order, delegate the content plan to the team and nut-out the social sells for each.

10.12am – Post something fresh to the BAZAAR Instagram account.

10.15am – Coffee meeting with a videographer about a potential editorial project. Exciting!

10.35am – Try to stay on top of my inbox. I make an effort to reply to everyone, if even if it’s just a  ‘thanks, but this is not quite right for us’ message. Forward anything that might work better for the print team. Flag anything urgent with Grace. Workshop ideas that I think might work but in a different way for the site.

11am – Print production meeting for the May issue, which we are about to start sending. It’s vital for me to sit with the team like this and understand in detail what is going in the mag in month so I can echo and amplify it online.

11.30am – Digital WIP with my digital manager – we talk monthly traffic goals, editorial wins, commercial targets, resourcing and new social media strategies.

11.50am – Our market editor Caroline Tran walks in with the most adorable Stella McCartney coat from Pre-Fall, which is embroidered top to bottom with cat faces. Post a pic to the BAZAAR Snapchat channel. #cute

12.00pm – Write up/publish an exclusive preview of Zimmermann’s Swim ’16 campaign starring Lily Donaldson.

12.35pm – Edit/rework posts with the digital team. I’m a hard-task master when it comes to SEO best practise and crafting the right social sell for a story.

12.45pm – Respond to a sales brief for a major cosmetics brand. I love the mix of sales and editorial that my role straddles. Plus, when we win a brief – which we often do! -  I get added satisfaction from knowing that the final post will really resonate with our audience, and will perform well in terms of traffic.

1.05pm – Lunch! At my desk, sadly. I try to take some time to read a few things for ‘fun’ while I’m eating. I like checking in on local sites like TOMBOY Beauty, Who What Wear Australia, Gritty Pretty, ELLE Australia as well as Timeout (love a new restaurant recommendation!) or Broadsheet Sydney. Also love Man Repeller and Into The Gloss, for obvious reasons. That, or I cruise around Net-a-Porter for fun…

1.20pm – Sales meeting RE an exciting editorial proposition that we’re putting together. I wish I could say more! Then spend an hour sourcing assets, stats and copy for the media kit.

2.20pm. – Chocolate Easter eggs arrives in the offices = treat time! Contrary to what you might that happens at a fashion mag, the whole team jumps on the perishable goods and the eggs disappear within three minutes.

2.23pm – Dive into my inbox and attempt to answer the 398 emails that have cropped up since lunchtime. I spend the next hour replying to PRs – either trying to nut out fresh and exclusive story angles on things that they’ve pitched that I think will work for the site, emailing out interview questions to talent, trying to coordinate talent for upcoming digital initiatives – some of which are tied to our print product, sending out links to stories that have gone live so the PR can see their coverage or simply deleting (sorry!) when something is totally off brand for us.

2.40pm – Crowd source some intel for a story from our editorial print team. They come through with the goods immediately, and all of sudden what was going to be a pretty standard news story is now a really pervy gallery. WIN.

2.55pm – Write, picture source and send off the monthly Online page for the May issue of the magazine. I forecast what we’ll be covering online when the issue will be sitting on newsstands and try to hero any new features, social channels or editorial series that we've recently launched online.

4.15pm – Write up and publish another exclusive story on the site – this time for the new Self Portrait X Le Specs collaboration. If the popularity of the label’s lace dresses are anything to go by, this collab will be a sell-out.

5.05pm – Respond to more emails. Send out a content game-plan for a proposed social media takeover with a celebrity who will be in Sydney in the coming months.

5.32pm – Post something fresh to the BAZAAR Instagram account.

5.35pm – Harass (nicely) some of our digital contributors for their next batch of content for the site. Ensuring we stick to regular publishing timelines is a full time job in itself!

5.55pm – Trawl our social media channels for the print team. Each month we feature the best Instagrams and Tweets from readers about the previous issue. The effort that goes into some of those flatlay shots are impressive! Send off to our Art and Subs teams.

6.15pm – More emails! I try to clear as much as I can by the end of the day.

6.30pm – Home time! I try to walk home to clear my head before walking in the door at home. I use the time to call my mum or sister, or play with Apple Music to try and find something new to listen to.

 

Need help getting your brand noticed? Click here to find out how we can help.

 


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Tyler Matthews of Bonel PR tells us how to organise a killer media showing

Ok, so you've been toiling away on your latest collection and are now ready to share it with the world (via your extra special megaphones: the media) . But you're a little stuck on how to do that - Who?! When?! Where?! How?!

Welcome to the world of media showings.

A media showing is a crucial part of the sales and communications process, where a new collection/range or product is showcased for the media & key influencers to view so they they can talk about it with their audiences. It's important for brands to do this, as it gives them the opportunity to show media what is coming up in a more exclusive way. It’s a hands on experience, which makes it easier for media & influencers to view the product and see what could work for upcoming shoots/events.

We spoke to Tayler Matthews of Bonel PR (masters of the exceptional showroom space) for the expert rundown on a killer showing.

WHO?

Who should I invite to my showing? Should I just invite editors or assistants and bloggers as well?

TM: It’s important to consider who is the target market of the brands that you are showcasing when creating your invite list. When curating our invite lists, we like to extend the invite to all members of the media (stylists, editors, assistants) as well as influencers/bloggers that are a good fit for the brand or have showed interest in the brand previously.

HOW?

Aside from having the garments on display, what else should I have organised? (Refreshments, Drop dates?)

TM: Having a thorough knowledge of all the collections (e.g. key pieces, and the inspiration behind the collection) is really important. It’s often useful to also have a press release available for media to reference on the day, as this gives them a more in-depth explanation of the collections. Refreshments (drinks and snacks) are always necessary, and it’s often nice to organise florals and other arrangements to spruce up the showings.

WHEN?

When should I hold my media showing? (Based on my production & drop dates…?)

TM: It’s important when targeting both short lead and long lead publications, that you are showing your collections at a time that is relevant to the media. For example, a long lead publication will often work 3-4 months in advance, and it’s important to align your showings around this same timing.

How long should my event run for?  A few days? A week?

TM: The length of the showings is purely dependent on how many people will be attending. It’s nice to have one person/one publication at a time attend the showings, to ensure that you can give them your undivided attention and assist to any of their needs. Generally a two-day event is ideal.

WHERE?

I’m a start up label and I don’t have my own venue, what kind of space should I rent?

TM: It’s good to hire a space that is a good representation of the brand or somewhere that visually compliments/enhances the brand. Most of our showings are held at La Porte Space for this reason - aesthetically it’s a really beautiful space to present collections, and the varying studios provide options for different sized spaces etc.

WHAT?

What will the media want from me at the showing? Images? Samples?

TM: The media often request product for upcoming shoots on the day of the showings, and so this product is reserved for them until after the showings. It’s important to also have all relevant samples and to also have any relevant flat lay/campaign images available for media’s reference and use.

If you'd like more info on how to create your own digital showroom to really amplify the whole experience, just drop us a line at hello@flaunter.com :)


knowing what to design next - via pinterest

The Art of Knowing What to Design Next Season

Perhaps one of the biggest shocks for creative professionals leaving design school is discovering that the opinions of others and the status of our wallets are now inextricably linked. So, to keep that cash-money flowing for future creative pursuits (and other important things like lunch) we’ve put together the three best ways to  find out what your clients love.  

  1. What sold last season

It probably goes without saying that your best sellers are going to say a lot about what your clients are looking for next time, but taking the approach of simply re-doing those pieces in a new colour way isn’t necessarily the best move.

Think a little more about why your best sellers moved with such gusto. Was it their price point? The fit? The fact that none of your competitors seemed to do a similar piece? A little deeper consideration about your client’s motivations can go a long way in predicting their moves next time.

  1. Your Flaunter Profile

Remember that time Kate Middleton was photographed wearing a Zimmermann dress and the resulting demand almost broke their website? Whilst you can’t necessarily control the Royal Family’s interest in your pieces, you can harness media attention to drive sales.

By using the ”Reporting” tool within Flaunter, you can instantly see the pieces in your current line being most coveted by the media in terms of views and downloads. Use this information to create content that will really grab their attention next time around.

Excellent, media-friendly product and content within your Flaunter profile increases your chances of being published (and potentially introducing your collection to a huge pool of new fans.)

  1. Just ask them

Your retail team is an ideal bridge between your design team and your customers. At your next team meeting, chat to them about what your clients regularly come into the store to purchase, but even more importantly, what they’re looking for when they leave empty-handed.

Are you online only? No problem! This is a great opportunity to drive interaction through your social media channels by asking your customers what they’re hoping to see in store next season.  Everybody has 2 cents to give and will love knowing that one of their favourite brands is taking such an active interest in their desires.


Flaunter Emerging Designers: James Greenway of Atelier Harlem

It’s only been a little over 3 months since our Emerging designer showcase and we’ve discovered that a couple of the insanely talented graduates we featured are already well on their way to taking over the world.

James Greenway of Atelier Harlem (Whitehouse Institute of Design) has been offered coveted spots in the VAMFF National Graduate Showcase at the Melbourne Fashion Festival on March 11th, and despite being exceptionally busy with his preparations for VAMFF, James  was lovely enough to spend a little time chatting to us about working with overseas with Iris Van Herpen and creating new textiles biodynamic bacterium- amazing stuff!

 

- Why did you choose to study fashion?

It's transforming materials into something that is showing off the feminine body, transforming it, having a dialogue with it. It’s such a personal way of creating something. It’s not only that you give someone something to wear — it’s also that the wearer really gives something to your creation. And that interaction is really interesting - the identity that they bring to the piece.

- What’s been the most exciting moment for you to-date?

Working in Amsterdam with Iris van Herpen. It was a life changing experience.

- Who/ what do you look to for inspiration?

Inspiration for my collections comes from a myriad of places, which are then congealed into the “concept” or story. For example my next collection is inspired by; a book I’m currently reading called The Philosophy Of Intimacy by Töregene Khatun - daughter in law to Ghengis Khan, and different forms of armor or protection, throughout history. When you see a suit of armor and then a portrait of the person who wore it, you’ll see that the person was sort of tiny and a little feeble, so they put on this great big suit of armor to look a little more frightening.

I haven’t quite figured out the story yet but it will come. Once I’m a little bit further in the process, then I dare to pin myself down to the concept. The work in my hands and intuition — they both have to be part of it.

- What Australian designers do you most admire and why?

Right now I’ve been looking at visual artist and designer Justin Davies of J-DART. His use of the naked human body as a medium is so beautiful, there is an air of romanticism to his work.   When I look at his work I think about our bodies and how we use them, the fact that parts of our body, a lot of our genes and atoms, might be patented. That we don't really own them. That, to me, was strange because you really feel, as a person, you own yourself. It’s a very surreal idea that maybe it's not like that. It’s very transparent, but at the same time you feel really far away from yourself.

- Who are you designing for- who’s your target market?

We are designing for the Neo-gothic consumer. We aim to build an intimate relationship with our consumers. When our consumers’ identities are in line with our brand, it can be argued that we are in a close relationship. This widens the view on self-identity and consumption by incorporating the concept of brand relationship.  

The consumer needs to feel recognised and valued for what they do and who they are. Many consumers don’t get the recognition they need through interpersonal relationships and therefore need a product or brand that endorses their role within society. The consumers are focused on buying to shape their self-identities through choice of clothing. They consider their body a creative outlet within itself, being able to express what is on their inside on their outside.

- What’s been the biggest challenge in getting your collection to this point?

The biggest part of making a collection is the research. It is the thing I get most excited about – finding new techniques and materials. It’s really a learning process of trying and experimenting and making mistakes. I think it’s the most important part of the work and the collection. It’s difficult. It means a lot of failure. You sometimes make mistakes that are actually a starting point for something. You have to come to a stage where you have a control of the material, and the material is not controlling you. And you don’t always reach that stage. Maybe half of all experiments that you do end in the rubbish bin. I do think the process becomes shorter; you realise sooner when things don't work. The primary texture for this collection was the “terrain” on the body. It is made from lazer cut latex “stars” which are glued and grown into “flowers” and Swarovski beaded “pollen”. It took over 400 hours of hand application.

- Tell us what the last 24hrs in your life looked like.

I’m currently in the process of growing a biodynamic bacterium that can be used as a fabric. It’s not very pretty right now and it requires a lot of love and care. It needs an incredibly sterile environment so half my day was cleaning my studio with white vinegar. It’s definitely a labour of love. It’s something I’m really passionate about because if it can be developed further it has the potential to reinvigorate the Australian textile manufacturing industry. Hypothetically, we could reduce industrialisation, mechanism, carbon pollution and climate change.

The latter part of the day was making patterns for new latex pieces I’m developing; pieces that are more accessible to our consumers which I’m really excited about. Watch this space!


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Meet the Designers at the AFC Paris Fashion Week Showroom, March 2016: Rebecca Vallance

rebecca_vallance_flaunterThe Australian Fashion Chamber's Australian Designer's Abroad program was launched in Paris in 2015 to connect the best emerging Australian brands with international media & buyers.

This March seven designers will present their collections as part of Paris Fall 16 Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week. The line-up includes: Bianca Spender, Christopher Esber, Ginger & Smart, Rebecca Vallance, Romance Was Born, Tome and STRATEAS CARLUCCI.

Introducing: Rebecca Vallance.

Australian fashion label Rebecca Vallance has firmly established itself as one to watch on the international scene. Launched in 2009 and debuting for the first time at New York Fashion Week in February of 2014, Rebecca Vallance has become one of Australia’s latest fashion exports.

Signature to Rebecca Vallance’s collections is her structured tailoring, luxurious fabrications, and inspired use of leather. Combined with a global aesthetic, the unique a look of the Rebecca Valance collection - one she describes as “menswear-like cuts with a ladylike polish” - has quickly made it a favourite of style icons, celebrities and top models alike. 

Vallance first developed her keen eye for fashion and design by working as a model at age 13, embarking on a career as publicist for top labels Prada, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana shortly thereafter. Vallance's fashion-entrenched past provides deep roots for the label, while her frequent travels imbue each season's collection with a distinct signature look.


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Meet the Designers at the AFC Paris Fashion Week Showroom, March 2016: Romance Was Born

The Australian Fashion Chamber's Australian Designer's Abroad program was launched in Paris in 2015 to connect the best emerging Australian brands with international media & buyers.

This March seven designers will present their collections as part of Paris Fall 16 Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week. The line-up includes: Bianca Spender, Christopher Esber, Ginger & Smart, Rebecca Vallance, Romance Was Born, Tome and STRATEAS CARLUCCI.

Introducing: Romance Was Born.

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales met whilst studying fashion design and launched their Sydney based label, Romance Was Born, in 2005. Romance Was Born encompasses both new and classic modes of fashion resulting in an understated, playful elegance. The designers draw their inspiration from artists, often collaborating with them to create a unique language for each season. The pair are known for their ambitious and often theatrical runway shows that realise the Romance Was Born vision. Each show production becomes a dreamscape to explore vast themes of fantasy and vibrant imagery.

Romance Was Born is a label drenched in Australia's diverse culture and unique history, seen most notably in their 2015 Cooee Couture collection which featured looks showcasing Australia's opals, shimmering gumtree leaves, and Aboriginal culture.


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Meet the Designers at the AFC Paris Fashion Week Showroom, March 2016: Ginger & Smart

The Australian Fashion Chamber's Australian Designer's Abroad program was launched in Paris in 2015 to connect the best emerging Australian brands with international media & buyers.

This March seven designers will present their collections as part of Paris Fall 16 Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week. The line-up includes: Bianca Spender, Christopher Esber, Ginger & Smart, Rebecca Vallance, Romance Was Born, Tome and STRATEAS CARLUCCI.

Introducing: Ginger & Smart.

The collaboration of sisters Genevieve and Alexandra Smart, Ginger & Smart was founded in 2002 and creates designs for spirited women whose distinctive style is an expression of their individuality.

Blending Alexandra’s background as editor of several lifestyle magazines with Genevieve's tenure designing for Australian fashion labels has allowed Ginger & Smart to showcase both cool confidence and bold discovery, underpinned by a luxurious contemporary design aesthetic.

Seeking to combine both the polished and playful aspects of a woman, the collection features bright prints and geometric details and includes a line of leather accessories, a ready-to-wear line, and Akin, a spinoff collection.


Meet the Designers at the AFC Paris Fashion Week Showroom, March 2016: STRATEAS CARLUCCI

The Australian Fashion Chamber's Australian Designer's Abroad program was launched in Paris in 2015 to connect the best emerging Australian brands with international media & buyers.

The selection criteria is tough and applications are judged by a panel of industry professionals including AFC Deputy Chair and Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Kellie Hush, industry veteran Carla Zampatti and Tiffany’s Vice President & Managing Director of Australia Glen Schlehuber.

This March the chosen designers will present their collections as part of Paris Fall 16 Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week. The line-up includes: Bianca Spender, Christopher Esber, Ginger & Smart, Rebecca Vallance, Romance Was Born, Tome and STRATEAS CARLUCCI.

Introducing: STRATEAS CARLUCCI.

Combining their backgrounds in communications and industrial design, Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci of STRATEAS CARLUCCI have cultivated a strong aesthetic since founding their label in 2012. The two have blended their unlikely backgrounds in industrial design and communications to create collections which feature fine fabrics and a minimalist aesthetic.

With a focus on construction and tailoring that references utilitarian elements and utilises the best quality fabrics and unique techniques, the two create a modern label whose DNA is grounded in structure and minimalism.

This fusion of urban design and luxurious textiles has earned STRATEAS CARLUCCI an impressive array of awards as the fashion world sits up and takes note of the Australian design duo, including the 2014/2015 International Woolmark Prize, 2014 GQ Fashion Designer of the Year and a Prix De Marie Claire award.

Watch the interview we did with Peter and Mario-Luca in their Melbourne studio before Paris Fashion Week, October 2015.