EVA’S TIPS FOR BUD­DING DE­SIGN­ERS

Collective Hub - - STYLE MAKERS - 1) FIND A MUSE

Par­lour X’s bur­geon­ing e-com­merce arm, and this, along­side Eva’s strate­gic align­ments with larger lux­ury groups, has cat­a­pulted the pro­file of Par­lour X in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“I had the head of global fash­ion of [lux­ury con­glom­er­ate] LVMH come over and do a pre­sen­ta­tion of all their col­lec­tions,” says Eva. “They’ve ap­proached me to do some re­ally amaz­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions which will roll out over the next years. They are the sort of col­lab­o­ra­tions that they in­vite the ‘Co­lettes’ and the ‘Dover Street Mar­kets’ to do, and have never been done in Aus­tralia be­fore… putting Aus­tralia even fur­ther on that map in terms of be­ing a des­ti­na­tion to watch from a fash­ion per­spec­tive.”

Aus­tralian de­sign­ers too are find­ing their global stand­ing, with Eva not­ing that the cur­rent batch pre­sent­ing in Paris are “bet­ter than they’ve ever been be­fore,” and the far-flung suc­cess of lo­cal ex­ports Ellery, Mat­icevski, Ro­mance was Born and Christo­pher Es­ber (who all sea­son­ally cre­ate ex­clu­sive cap­sule col­lec­tions for Par­lour X) at­test­ing her praise. The chal­lenge now, as far as Eva’s con­cerned, is recog­nis­ing tal­ent on home soil.

“We’ve got all these in­cred­i­ble peo­ple back home that are so phe­nom­e­nally suc­cess­ful, but be­cause they are in Aus­tralia – [and] ev­ery­one has so over­glo­ri­fied the idea that if it’s hap­pen­ing over­seas, it must be bet­ter – then they get for­got­ten. It’s just bizarre,” she says.

“So that’s some­thing that I think needs to change, be­cause we need to be cel­e­brated from within, be proud of what we’ve got and recog­nise that what we’ve got is very good. [Our in­dus­try needs] to stop look­ing over­seas all the time and think­ing that it’s bet­ter, be­cause ev­ery­one over­seas is look­ing to us.” But she has to be real. Do you know how of­ten I say to de­sign­ers, “Who is your muse?” And straight­away they say, “Oh, she is some­one who is 30 and she dresses re­ally well. Maybe she is a pro­fes­sional…” No! You’re talk­ing about some ab­stract per­son you cre­ated. Who is the ac­tual per­son who is go­ing to be wear­ing your clothes? Give me a fash­ion iden­tity. Give me a celebrity. Give me an artist. Give me some­body you know. Give me a rel­a­tive. She has to be real. She can’t be ab­stract. Be­cause if she is ab­stract, then your client is ab­stract too. Which means she doesn’t ex­ist.

2) HAVE A DE­FINED SIG­NA­TURE STYLE

Your muse will also help you main­tain a sig­na­ture style… The im­por­tant thing is that some­body will walk down the street and go, “That’s Ellery! That’s Mat­icevski! That’s Saint Lau­rent or that’s Is­abel Marant!’” Ce­ment­ing who your muse is will help you ce­ment that. She will also de­fine the de­mo­graphic and your ap­peal and you’ll get to know her bet­ter so you will de­sign for her bet­ter, and you can have lots of muses, it doesn’t have to be just one.

3) DON’T USE THE TERM ‘LUX­URY’ LOOSELY

You need to be re­al­is­tic about where you’re po­si­tion­ing your­self in the mar­ket. Don’t use ‘lux­ury’ loosely. If you’re not Valentino, do not use the word lux­ury, okay?… If you think you’re lux­ury when you are not, you will never be taken se­ri­ously by the buyer. Know your mar­ket, know who you’re ap­peal­ing to. It doesn’t mean that can’t change down the track, but in the mo­ment of time when you’re pre­sent­ing that col­lec­tion, know who it is you’re sit­ting next to.

Ev­ery­one has so OVER-GLORIFIED the IDEA that if it’s hap­pen­ing over­seas, it must be bet­ter – then they get for­got­ten. It’s just BIZARRE.

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