Former RM Williams Creative Director Bets On Timeless Fashion

The jet set route between Australia and prestigious international retailers using bags is also explored by historic accessories brand Oroton, revitalized by former Country Road Creative Director Sophie Holt.

Oroton was under administration before Caledonia chief investment officer Will Vicars saved the company from administration with a $ 25 million bid in 2018. Holt has turned the company’s creative fortunes around, rekindling interest for their bags before launching a ready-to-wear collection in 2019.

Oroton on the catwalk at Australian Fashion Week, Carriageworks on June 1.Credit:Getty

Now overseas expansion is underway with London department store Selfridges currently hosting an Oroton pop-up, showcasing the sculptural daywear in a coastal palette.

“We are delighted to have recently launched our international wholesale business,” said Holt. “It made sense to start with the accessories because they are the basis of our brand. We have now added the apparel and where possible prefer to present the brand as a whole by giving our customers the full story of Oroton.

Oroton makes her runway debut at Australian Fashion Week on June 1.

Oroton makes her runway debut at Australian Fashion Week on June 1.Credit:Getty

“With Oroton, the first step was to redefine the look and feel of accessories, creating a modern and relevant feel that always spoke of the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship. Once we had the new props writing it was easier to use it as a basis for informing the
look and feel of clothes.

It is an evolution of the brand which has proven itself abroad. The French luxury leather goods brand Hermés launched its first women’s ready-to-wear line in 1967 with Catherine de Karolyi, before calling on designers such as Martin Margiela and Jean Paul Gaultier. Italian luggage supplier Prada staged its first runway show in 1988, while Louis Vuitton finally passed the monogrammed bags stage in 1998 with the spectacular collections of American designer Marc Jacobs.

“To light up the look of the clothes, we took a vintage approach to the brand’s history and combined it with utilitarian details,” said Holt. “A kind of charming utility has been created.”

The two brands are banking on the utility appeal for greater international success. With Haulier, Hershan accepts that overseas sales and a global perspective are essential to the survival of Australian luxury brands.

“Australia will always be the home of the brand, but the market here has a cap for the types of products I make. There is a much larger audience when you go global.

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About Gail Mena

Gail Mena

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