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Collective Hub - - STYLE - WORDS JEFF LACK 5 MIN­UTES WITH… ALISON COT­TON Di­rec­tor and head de­signer at sports life­style brand First Base. WHAT DRIVES YOU? WHAT’S NEXT FOR FIRST BASE?

WHAT IN­SPIRED YOU TO START FIRST BASE?

I wanted to take my love of surf and skate cul­ture and blend that with the clean sil­hou­ettes I love but al­ways find so hard to get. And I’m a glut­ton for pun­ish­ment, ob­vi­ously.

Out­side of some sick ob­ses­sive dis­or­der I clearly have for hard work, my staff, my crew. They push me. I push them. We share in the highs and pick each other up in the lows.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SPORTS LUXE TREND?

It’s not a trend any­more… is it? It’s pretty much a way of life now, I think. I have a love-hate re­la­tion­ship with sports luxe as a ti­tle! But I guess ul­ti­mately it has broad­ened what sportswear can be and made it re­ally palat­able for peo­ple to adopt.

HOW SHOULD YOU TRAN­SI­TION FROM THE GYM TO THE OF­FICE?

If you can avoid sweat­ing, or have the lux­ury of a shower be­tween gym and of­fice then opt­ing for great ba­sics is al­ways go­ing to hold you in good stead. A sim­ple mus­cle tank or tee looks like so much more when you throw a state­ment bomber over the top, and will to­tally elevate your look. On top of that, I love a good ac­ces­sory. At present I’m quite fond of head­scarves – to­day I wore a ban­dana to work as if I was [Guns N’ Roses singer] Axl Rose and acted as if that was com­pletely nor­mal. No one said a word. So in my book, it was a suc­cess.

WHAT MAKES FOR A GREAT OF­FICE CUL­TURE?

Work­ing with amaz­ing peo­ple who are on the same wave­length. I’m very lucky that my girls and I all have a sim­i­lar out­look on life and, in dif­fer­ent ways, are all the First Base girl. When you take a bunch of peo­ple who have that in com­mon, and all share in the vi­sion, it’s so easy to cre­ate gen­uine brand cul­ture be­cause it just hap­pens. Plus, a few bot­tles of rosé on a Fri­day af­ter work def­i­nitely helps. It’s our ver­sion of a team-build­ing ex­er­cise.

We open our first se­ri­ous store in West­field Bondi Junc­tion in July, so that’s big for us and bloody ex­cit­ing. We’re also rolling out some new prod­uct cat­e­gories, one of which is menswear, which has been in the works for ages.

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