Tell us a little bit about who you are and your journey to Apero…

I have worked in the fashion industry for around 10 years now, with a strong focus on design for the last five years. I was designing for a large chain of stores here in Brisbane for a few years and really felt like I wanted to create something for myself. When you are a creative person, it’s hard to not have the final say on things, or back a particular style/design/print/fabric/colour…etc, so I think eventually that really pushed me to design something that excited me. I had seen branded tees emerging in a big way from high-end designers and bloggers through my design research, but at the time it wasn’t really a huge thing in the commercial market, so I decided branded tees would be a fairly cost-effective way to start and fund my own label. I was inspired by the word Apéro and the meaning behind it, so from the very first collection of boyfriend tees the brand had a very heavily inspired French aesthetic.

What sets Apero apart in the market?

I think people love the Apéro brand and it’s meaning and really buy into that. It has a strong European influence and a simple elegance about it, making it diverse and easy to dress up or down. We also really focus on giving back through donating 5% of all of our online sales to women in need, and I think people are valuing the social justice side of brands more and more, which is amazing!

Brand designer and founder Rachel Mellers.

Can you tell us a little about your latest collection?

Our collection launching in Jan/Feb 2020 is fun and has a lot more colour than others in the past. Along with new variations of our signature tee designs, we have injections of linen pieces, vintage florals and a yellow gingham signature print.

We travelled to Joshua Tree, California to shoot this range in the dessert. It made for the perfect backdrop for the pieces and we cannot wait to share it with everyone.

What would you say is the most challenging part of your day-to-day?

Juggling all of the different responsibilities of running a small business. You have to be across such a broad range of different tasks and mindsets, that it can be easy to miss things or fall behind. Trying to stay on top of everything and put the right amount of focus on the areas that count the most can be challenging. You can easily get bogged down on small things that are insignificant in the big picture. 

What’s been the biggest win at Apero? Has there been retailers deals, activations or coverage that have stood out?

Being approached to stock on The Iconic in our first year of business was a pretty exciting milestone. It helped confirm the traction we had gained in such a small amount of time and pushed us forward even more.  

We also recently had the opportunity to feature in the Iconic Summer Show 2019 at The Calile Hotel alongside some really amazing brands. In 2 years we’ve gone from a small Brisbane startup to suddenly having Australia’s biggest influencers socialising in an Apéro branded cabana, drinking Apéro cocktails, and watching some of our outfits coming to life down the runway. It’s been a really great end to the year, and what feels like a foretelling of all the amazing things we will accomplish in 2020. 

Iconic Summer Show 2019 photographed by Laz Smith @Crewmedia.co

Why is PR important for Apero? Have your goals or company message changes much since you first started?

We have found that PR is important for brand awareness and getting our brand name out there. The more people know about Apéro and see it on other people, the more we can continue to grow and expand our offering for our existing customers.

What are your core in-house PR activities that drive coverage?

Influencer partnerships and gifting would be our main source of in-house PR currently. We really want to grow this side of things and start hosting influencer and customer events going into 2020, as well as doing more celebrity photoshoots and product collaborations.

Your photoshoots are beautiful. What are your top 3 tips for creating beautiful media-ready images?

  • Choosing a great model is key. Someone who suits your brand aesthetic and knows what they are doing makes it 10 times easier to create beautiful imagery. We never cheap out on our models.
  • Having a photographer and video team that are on the same page and know the direction of the shoot and the brand in a larger scale. 
  • Capturing the product in a true and sellable form. Campaign imagery can’t just be pretty and interesting, it still needs to show the details of the garment in a way that will sell it to customers. At the end of the day if the garment looks bad or the main details are hidden, no one will purchase it, as they won’t know what it really looks like. 
Apéro forte beaded femme tee.

What’s on the horizon for Apero Label? Are there any major milestones that you are hoping to achieve in 2020?

We are currently looking to start expanding into the US market. This is something we want to do nice and slowly and spend a few years doing properly, as it’s a very big market and can be extremely expensive. We are excited and nervous to see how the US market responds to our clothing. 

Favourite Instagram account we should be following?

@cultgaia

Favourite item on your website right now?

The Sunshine Embroidered Maxi Dress & Forte Beaded Tee. 

Describe Apero Label in 3 words…

Timeless, Fun, Empowering

 

Find and follow Apéro aperolabel.com or @aperolabel.
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