Living colours inspire Wilmington fashion designer

From hues of toffee, brown and gold that add a softness to the harsh dry of the Flinders Ranges to the brilliant blues of the Spencer Gulf, designer Nikki Atkinson creates with inspiration from her ‘backyard’.

From the family property in the Flinders Ranges and nearby Wilmington to Port Augusta, where she has opened a boutique selling her own Liv Sienne designs and fashion from other Australian designers, Nikki says it is easy to see beauty in even the harshest conditions.

“My inspiration comes currently from the drought conditions and the colours, I draw so much from the environment around me,” she says.

Nikki first launched into design and production after studying at Marleston TAFE, going on to co-own the successful Betrothed bridal boutique in Adelaide at just 26-years-old.

One of Nikki Atkinson’s Liv Sienne bridal creations.

After eight years, love lured Nikki back to the country, when she married husband Dallas and moved to Wilmington in the Mid North. She continued made-to-measure couture and design from home for a number of years with her young children often playing at her feet while she sewed.

As a farmer’s wife and mother of three, Nikki says her passion for the fashion and design industry was bubbling away under the surface and in 2013 she decided to launch her Liv Sienne label and eventually a store in nearby Port Augusta.

It has not been easy, but Nikki has been determined to make it work and share her passion for design and creating, forever fortunate for what her ‘home’ brings to her work.

Liv Sienne designer and creator Nikki Atkinson at home on her family’s Flinders Ranges property.

“The farm is my zen place – to go home at night and see the wildlife and hear the kookaburras really is very special, although I don’t slow down nearly enough to appreciate it at times,” she says.

“Life is busy, but I really needed some of me back. Designing and fashion is ‘me’ and so we make it work.

“When we’re shearing or crutching on the property, I have meals to prep before the kids go off to school, and it’s crazy and it’s busy but we make it work.”

As a woolgrower and also a farmer’s daughter who grew up on a grain, cattle and sheep farm at Buckleboo on Eyre Peninsula, wool and natural fibres have been an obvious choice for Nikki, who is fiercely supportive of Australian-made products.

“I’m very passionate about wool – it’s such an easy fibre to work with,” she says. “It is amazing, it’s pliable, you can do anything with it. It’s a long way from the scratchy, itchy fibre people associated with wool before we really discovered the beauty and versatility of fine wool.

One of Nikki Atkinson’s Liv Sienne designs, photographed in the Flinders Ranges by Meridee Groves Photography.

“I probably shouldn’t be so emotionally attached to Australian-made – it is more expensive to create and produce in Australia – but if we don’t, we lose the skills of being able to use a sewing machine, thread a needle and pattern making, and I’m passionate about keeping those skills.”

Nikki’s return to the fashion industry has been well-supported, her designs popping up at country race meets, weddings, formals and even as far as New York where she was asked to design the “perfect dress” for DeVoe magazine’s Full Figured Fashion Week.

Having concentrated the last 12 months on developing the Liv Sienne brand and storefront in Port Augusta, Nikki is now ready to launch back into her real passion for design.

“This is going to be a big year, I’m really excited for what lies ahead,” she adds.

Feature image by Meridee Groves Photography.

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New botanic fashion label with eco layers

As models took to the catwalk at Raj House in the city of Adelaide last week, Lauren Crago saw the fruits of her design labour appearing in more ways than one.

Not only was she showing the first ever Solomon Street collection of ethical clothing after a hard year planning and designing – the collection also centred around her own designs featuring bold, fruit-inspired prints.

“At the moment the designs are inspired by fruit and vegetables, there is a real beauty in them,” Lauren says.

“The current prints are focused mainly on apricots and figs, they hold a special place in my heart with family, my mum and grandma, and my love for cooking…. I have great memories of me and my mum picking figs.”

The clothing range is also remarkable on another layer. All the garments were made from carefully selected, sustainable fabrics including recycled fishing nets, and were printed in Australia. The label was greeted with strong support for the launch at the Feast Festival headquarters in Adelaide’s West End.

Among the family, friends and loyal customers were other local makers and those involved with other eco fashion brands including Huntermade and organic sleepwear label Jager.

Solomon Street’s pieces are centred around fruit and vegetable prints and made from sustainable fabrics.

It’s been a whirlwind month for the entrepreneurial 25-year-old as her burgeoning label also opened its first bricks and mortar home in historic Regent Arcade off Rundle Mall with support from Renew Adelaide.

In a world dominated by consumerism, Lauren says it’s been a passionate pursuit. She first started Solomon Street to sell eco-friendly biodegradable textiles and stationery online about a year ago, creating bound books she designed and cut herself along with cards.

The name for the clothing and stationery label came from the street in the Adelaide CBD where Lauren previously worked at Fairweather coffee as a barista.

But she kept her eyes on the end goal; to produce her own eco fashion label. She is now creating bold designs then taking them to a Melbourne manufacturer for the fabric to be printed.

The fabrics range from organic cotton, a linen and cotton blend, and recycled nylon made from fishing nets in Italy, used in her line of swimwear.

Garments including bathers, leisure wear and jumpsuits are then sewn either by Lauren or through another Adelaide business with the final products landing in the store or being sold online.

Lauren Crago recently celebrated the opening of her bricks and mortar fashion store in Regent Arcade, off Rundle Mall.

“My inspiration comes from changing the way businesses behave, we are a very consumerist society, the fashion side of things is a large part of the business,” she says.

“There are so many facets to the designs. I wanted to create clothing that was comfortable to wear but in a flattering silhouette, it’s reminiscent of the ‘70s, A-frame dresses and flared, wide-leg pants. They are vibrant and fun but comfortable and they will last a really long time.”

It’s been a boost for Lauren, moving into the like-minded hub of Regent Arcade.

There’s a vegan juice bar nearby along with Have you met Charlie?, a gift store featuring homewares, jewellery and prints from independent South Australian makers, many with a sustainable bent.

Oh Deer Sugar is nearby with its non-edible bakery making ‘food for the skin’ bath and body products – all handmade in Adelaide using cruelty free, vegan ingredients to replicate desserts.

And there’s the small design studio Leatherworks Adelaide that specialises in quality, handmade leather goods. It’s owned by Lauren’s family friends and she created the store branding.

“I’m really excited to be in Regent Arcade, it’s known as a hub for a lot of young and up and coming designers in Adelaide and being part of that cohort is pretty cool,” she says.

Solomon Street’s line of swimwear is made from recycled nylon from fishing nets in Italy.

Lauren is also working hard to make Solomon Street a zero-waste brand with the current packaging bio-degradable and products which can be recycled or are also biodegradable.

She also says customers buying her clothing can bring them back for alterations – like tightening straps – to ensure they last longer.

There are plans to use some of the sales profits as loans for those experiencing poverty to gain financial support.

“I want to create ethical and sustainable fabric and paper products from beautiful prints that fund life-bettering projects for our local and international community,” Lauren says.

“We believe that humans are innately generous and kind. Our beliefs lie in the idea that even as one person, one team, one community, we can make the world into a better place.”

Industry in focus: Craft industries

Throughout the months of November and December, the state’s craft industries will be celebrated as part of I Choose SA.

South Australian craftspeople make up some of our most creative thinkers and makers of sustainable and innovative goods. Read more craft stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Sustainable hemp at the heart of Good Studios

Ethical fashion designer Anny Duff is championing the use of hemp fabrics to create her contemporary clothing designs with minimal environmental impact.

Her South Australian-based ethical and sustainable fashion label Good Studios features clothing and homewares made from luxurious hemp linens and hemp organic cotton blends woven in Adelaide’s sister city of Qingdao, China.

Industrial hemp is still a fledgling industry in SA, with a number of growing trials rolling out in the Riverland and South East.

Anny, Brand South Australia’s latest I Choose SA ambassador, is passionate about hemp linen as a sustainable fabric, which she uses to create simple and minimalistic pieces, with colour palettes of blues, greys, naturals, blacks, earthy oranges and khaki greens.

Hemp linen is made from the largely misunderstood hemp plant, which aside from the clothing industry can also be used in the manufacturing of some health foods, skin care, construction materials, paper and biofuel.

Anny is quick to point out the differences between the hemp plant and its infamous cousin, marijuana. While it’s a variety of the cannabis sativa species, the chemical compounds of hemp are different to marijuana as hemp contains little to no levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC.

I Choose SA ambassador Anny Duff is behind sustainable fashion label Good Studios. Photo by JKTP.

“I could spend hours talking about the vast differences between marijuana and hemp, they are completely different plants, just of a similar species. If you were to smoke a field of hemp you’d just get a headache,” she says.

“It was only recently that SA changed legislation that allows farmers to apply for licenses to grow industrial hemp. But we still have a long way to go.”

Anny works hard to ensure as much of her supply chain as possible follows sustainable paths.

“We have really tried to find companies who are doing really incredible things and we showcase their fabrics as much as possible with really simplistic designs,” says Anny, who has showcased her pieces from creative workshop, retail and gallery space Ensemble Studio since 2016.

“One of our suppliers is an incredible organisation and is the first Chinese company to be fair wear certified. We work with them to get their surplus and deadstock if we can, so we try to not make too much from scratch.”

Once Anny has sourced the fabric, it is dyed by Oeko-Tex Certified dyes before all design and manufacturing is done in Adelaide.

Some of Good Studios pieces are made from Australian wool, while the label’s line of swimwear is made from up-cycled nylon from salvaged fishing nets.

Good Studios also has a homewares line with bedding made from 100% hemp linen, known for its durability, antibacterial properties and for being naturally thermoregulating. The bedding is made to order with the help of Anny’s mother, a talented seamstress.

Anny says having a sustainable supply chain is sometimes a challenge due to cost and logistics, but she “couldn’t do it any other way”.

“There are moments you have to compromise but my mantra is to try and not compromise as much as possible,” she says.

“There are things you could just turn a blind eye towards but at the end of the day why should some people have less of a livelihood than you just because of the way things are? “Things need to change and need to be transparent.”

Anny founded Good Studios in 2012 after working in the film industry but longing to get back to the roots of her upbringing.

She grew up on an organic farm at Wistow in the Adelaide Hills and attended Mt Barker Waldorf School, a Steiner school offering an education rich in creativity and dynamic learning.

Ensemble Studios has a small retail space showcasing wares made by fellow SA makers, as well as a few selected pieces from sustainable makers across the country.

After completing Year 12 she got an apprenticeship in the film industry as a camera assistant before moving into art direction and production design. She worked on local feature film One Eyed Girl as production designer and set out to find simple, minimalistic, op-shop-style outfits for the cast.

“That sort of aesthetic of really paring back design to the bare minimum was really enjoyable for me and was definitely the first seeds of Good Studios,” Anny says.

“It (fashion design) started as something on the side in-between film projects but then it took on a life of its own and I was hanging onto the proverbial coattails.

“I had no background in pattern making or sewing, I have done a pattern making course since, but it’s been a baptism of fire making sure I work with the right people to deliver my vision.”

Filmmaking still takes up some of Anny’s time. In August she travelled to China to document Good Studios’ supply chain beginning in the hemp fields, and hopes to release a film in the near future.

Aside from Good Studios, Ensemble Studios is also home to two other resident designers, Beccy Bromilow of BB Shoemaker and plant stylist Emma Sadie Thomson.

“That’s probably the best thing that has happened from starting my label, meeting an incredible group of people,” Anny says.

“Consumers are placing a lot more value on the handmade and it’s such a human thing to make. To be able to do it for a living is really special.”

Industry in focus: Craft industries

Throughout the months of November and December, the state’s craft industries will be celebrated as part of I Choose SA.

South Australian craftspeople make up some of our most creative thinkers and makers of sustainable and innovative goods. Read more craft stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Kangaroo Island spins its own unique wool story

When sheep and grain farmer Christine Berry walked into a Japanese clothing store and saw suits tagged with ‘made from Kangaroo Island wool’, she couldn’t resist buying a jacket to take home to Australia.

“When we walked into United Arrows, it’s like Myer in Japan, and saw a suit presented so beautifully and with the Kangaroo Island label it was wonderful, it was so powerful,” the chair of Kangaroo Island Wool says.

It’s been a dramatic change in approach for the collaborative group of 22 shareholders and producers who joined forces in 2012 to create a new way to market and sell their wool.

Before Kangaroo Island Wool was jointly started with veterinarians Greg Johnsson and Deb Lehmann, local producers would sell their produce with little idea of its end destination.

“Traditionally, our wool would take us 12 months to grow on the island, we’d shear and the bales would go to Adelaide and then be sold in Melbourne, we’d have no idea where it would go,” Christine says.

The fabric of the island.

Now they can trace where their wool lands in a global market and they are paid a premium for the high quality product.

This year, they’ve even managed to take it to the next level in selling their own range of wool jumpers, beanies and scarves online and at seven Kangaroo Island stores.

“For me personally, I’ve always wanted to wear a garment made from wool from our farm,” Christine says.

“I do now, I wear a jumper every day made from our wool, it makes me feel proud, I love what we do on Kangaroo Island.”

There’s a strong emphasis on sustainability and animal welfare for the producers who mainly sell through their biggest customer, Australian Wool Network.

The network combines Kangaroo Island wool with New Zealand possum fur to make luxury knitwear for MerinoSnug, and is now also helping to produce products for the group’s own brand.

In fact, it was Kangaroo Island that was the first region in the nation to help launch the Australian Wool Network’s unique Direct Network Advantage (DNA) wool supply program in 2015.

The DNA scheme enables consumers to follow the wool’s journey from bale to garment – when they buy a MerinoSnug product it comes with a QR code to scan and links to a video showing how the wool was produced.

Kangaroo Island wool grower Geoff Nutt.

Christine says the group is committed to a code of practice ensuring farmers focus on sheep health and welfare, social good and environmental care.

And, as a result, the company has a reputation for producing high-end fibre, consistently producing wool finer than the national average.

“As professional woolgrowers our simple philosophy is that looking after our sheep will ensure they look after us,” according to the group.

As demand for the group’s new range grows, it has employed Lucy McNaught as sales and marketing officer and plans are afoot to design a 100% Kangaroo Island wool rug with a local artist.

“On the island we have beautiful food and we have beautiful wine and honey, we know people love that but they are all consumables and we thought there was space for a tangible product for people to buy and take home to remember Kangaroo Island,” Christine says.

At her own farm Deep Dene, she cares for more than 5000 merino sheep with her husband Lloyd and daughter Caitlin.

Kangaroo Island Wool chair Christine Berry.

Lloyd’s parents arrived as Soldier Settlers in 1955 and when Caitlin returned to the island in 2015 after studying animal husbandry in Adelaide, she became the third generation to be farming the land.

They also crop 600ha with GM-free canola, broad beans and wheat, and “we can trace where everything we produce ends up,” Christine says.

Much of the wheat is sold to South Australian company Laucke Flour Mills at Strathalbyn for bread flour and Arnott’s for biscuits.

The family is part of a proud history for the island that began farming sheep in 1836 and, at its peak, was home to 1.24 million of them.

Others among the Kangaroo Island Wool ranks are third generation farmer Simon Wheaton, whose family has been working land across the water from Kingscote at Redbanks for 100 years.

While Mitch Wilson is a fifth generation farmer whose ancestors arrived from England in the early 1860s, buying land at Willson River in 1867.

He and his wife, Ros, now shear about 12,000 sheep a year.

“Wool is a natural, renewable fibre, and Kangaroo Island Wool is dedicated to the long-term development of an industry that is socially and environmentally responsible,” the Wilsons add.

Industry in focus: Craft industries

Throughout the months of November and December, the state’s craft industries will be celebrated as part of I Choose SA.

South Australian craftspeople make up some of our most creative thinkers and makers of sustainable and innovative goods. Read more craft stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
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Harvey The Label stitches towards a sustainable future

In a world of fast fashion, one South Australian label is standing out from the crowd by designing and producing socially sustainable clothing.

“One of the core elements of our mission statement is not to mass produce,” explains Harvey The Label founder and designer Mim Harvey.

“I only order enough of each style to fulfil our wholesalers’ orders and stock our Rundle Street flagship store.”

The garments themselves are naturally sustainable due to their multiway styling – some having the ability to be worn up to 17 ways.

Adelaide’s Mim Harvey, of Harvey The Label on Rundle Street.

With the designs not being tied to seasonal trends and made with trans-seasonal fabrics, they can work back with every wardrobe for years to come.

“The Harvey ethos is to make designer clothing accessible, wearable and versatile,” Mim says.

“All clothing and prints are designed in-house from our Rundle Street office, above the store, which gives us daily feedback direct from our customers to our design room.”

This year has seen Harvey The Label take flight from Adelaide to the runways of New York, for the 2018 Fashion Palette show, held during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

“The organisers of Fashion Palette had seen us via our Instagram and the influencers we work with and extended the invitation,” Mim says.

“We were amazed with the outcome. After the runway show, we had five meetings a day with agencies and stores reaching out to us. To say we were overwhelmed when we got back is an understatement.”

Harvey The Label at NYFW’s Fashion Palette.

Mim has since been in contact with major US-based PR and sales agencies and has signed with POSH Showrooms in LA to begin the wholesale expansion of Harvey The Label into the west coast.

“Our US expansion strategy is a slow and curated one which we are not rushing as we need much more re-con and to see the fruits of the seeds we planted while over there.”

Mim is now back on home soil and gearing up for this year’s Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF).

“It’s an amazing opportunity for our local fashion community to shine and showcase their work on a well-publicised and celebrated platform.”

Harvey The Label will feature in the SA Designer Showcase on Thursday 18 October alongside a number of other talents who have pursed their fashion careers in the state.

Harvey The Label at NYFW’s Fashion Palette.

“We will be showing our SS19 collection from the NYFW runway and also debuting some pieces that will be shown on the AFF runway for the very first time,” Mim says.

“It’s a romantic collection with a clash of prints, colour, signature multiway pieces juxtaposed with florals and bold linear prints.”

Joining Harvey The Label on the runway in the SA Designer Showcase is a mix of emerging and familiar favourites, including: Binny, Cinquante, Georgy Collection, Holiday Trading, Katya Komarova, Naomi Murrell, Ryderwear, Stephanie Chehade, Sylvy Earl, The Daily Edited, Tiff Manuell, and The Wolf Gang.

The runway show will be styled by Vogue Australia fashion editor Philippa Moroney, who has featured local designers and models regularly in the pages of the famous title.

Connect with Harvey The Label on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide Fashion Festival 2018 rundown

From the fairytale creations of internationally renowned Paolo Sebastian to the stylish minimalist garments by Acler – (of whom Beyoncé is a fan) the 2018 Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) will showcase the best in the business.

The city’s most anticipated fashion event of the year will spread across various locations from October 17–21, showcasing South Australian fashion success stories as well as new kids on the block.

With runways to be walked, trends to be set and collections to be revealed, the activity will come alive at the event’s hub, the AFF Runway at the Torrens Parade Grounds, as well as various other locations across the city.

We’ve bundled up some highlights to give you an idea of what’s in store. But it’s just a snippet of the action, so head to the website to check out the full program.

Be enchanted by Paolo Sebastian
SA has birthed some of the Australian fashion industry’s greatest talents, notably Paul Vasileff, the creative genius behind Paolo Sebastian and a past I Choose SA ambassador.

The couture house will open the fashion festival on October 17 with its AW 2018/19 collection The Nutcracker, inspired by the works of Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

The showcase will be accompanied by a live score by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and is likely to take you somewhere magical.

When: October 17, 5.15pm, 6.45pm (sold out) and 8pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $99

Paolo Sebastian ‘Once Upon a Dream’, 2017 AFF. Photo by Shauna Voon.

Hear from the industry’s elite
AFF goers will have the chance to hear from two fashionistas who have helped shape fashion in Australasia for the past decade, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung and Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann.

The trend-setting pair will host an intimate breakfast event alongside The Australian’s fashion editor Glynis Traill-Nash.

Angelica, who founded the up-market magazine and played a crucial role in surging China’s fashion industry forward, is no stranger to SA, having achieved her Master of Business Administration at the University of South Australia in 1999/2000.

When: October 18, 7.30-9am.
Where: Electra House, Adelaide.
Tickets: from $99

Check out local threads
SA’s top fashion talents will share their creations at the SA Designer Showcase, including some of our Shop South Australia vendor favourites Julie White and Naomi Murrell.

The runway will include showings by old favourites and newbies, such as men’s swim short label, Vacay Swimwear, who will hit the AFF for the first time, as will activewear champions Ryderwear, among others.

The showcase will be styled by Vogue Australia fashion editor Philippa Moroney.

When: October 18, 7pm and 8.30pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $79

A model wears a GretaKate skirt and Ryderwear top.

Hit the mall
Rundle Mall will be even more stylish than usual, with a two-day Vogue Festival taking over the central shopping precinct, offering consumers a sneak peek at the hotly anticipated new H&M store.

Shoppers have the chance to win vouchers ahead of the store’s opening on November 2 in the newly redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza, as well as the chance to be the first to shop there ahead of the public opening.

During last year’s Vogue Festival Rundle Mall recorded $45 million in sales and a 21% boost on its usual activity. About 230,000 visitors are estimated to have poured into the shopping strip across the festival.

The 2018 Vogue Festival will also bring entertainment, styling sessions, pop-up bars, DJs and exclusive shopping offers.
David Jones ambassador Jessica Gomes and Vogue Australia editors will also make an appearance.

When: October 19, 20
Where: Rundle Mall
Tickets: free

Spot the next generation in fashion
Emerging local designers will showcase their pieces for the AFF TAFE SA showcase, entirely produced by TAFE SA students from hair and makeup, lighting, visual merchandising, catering, event management, and music and graphics fields.

Second and third-year design students will present looks that represent their vision of ‘athleisure’, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global fashion industry.

When: October 19, 6pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: front row $50, second row $30, standard: free.

Slow it down on Saturday
The fashion world revolves around new trends. But what about designers who are slowing it down and championing for sustainable and ethical fashion?

October 20 is Slow Saturday, a three-part day where guests will attend a runway styled by Vogue Australia fashion editor Philippa Moroney featuring a collection of sustainable brands. Vintage threads and surplus stock will also get a restyled run.

Tasting Australia’s Simon Bryant will prepare a three-course lunch teamed with Wicks Estate Wines.

The day will also include a discussion with Vogue Australia’s sustainability editor at large Clare Press and a team of local SA designers who are also slow fashion enthusiasts.

When: October 20, from 11.30am
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $120

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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H&M announces opening date for Rundle Mall Plaza store

Fashionistas, make room in your wardrobe because global fashion giant H&M is almost here.

Shoppers have been eagerly awaiting the details surrounding the opening of international fashion retailer H&M’s first South Australian store.

The Swedish fashion company will open its doors in the redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza on November 2.

The H&M store will span across 3000 sq m over two levels, offering apparel, underwear and accessories for men, women and children.

It will also include an H&M Home concept featuring homewares, curtains, rugs, bed linen, cushions, blankets, storage, serving-ware and decorations.

“We are excited to finally be able to announce the opening date for our Rundle Mall Plaza store on November 2 and to offer our customers an incredible fashion shopping destination within Adelaide,” says Thomas Coellner, Australian Country Manager for H&M.

“We are also looking forward to introducing our H&M Home concept to Adelaide as we feel this really rounds out our wide assortment offering.”

H&M will be the major tenant in the redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza. Photo supplied by Hames Sharley.

H&M will be the major tenant of Rundle Mall Plaza which has been under redevelopment for most of 2018.

The overall plaza redevelopment, undertaken by owner The Weinert Group, spans over four lower levels of the nine-storey building.

In addition to H&M, a ‘tech hub’ with offices and co-working spaces, a higher-end dining level, and health and well being precinct are also envisaged for the building.

The higher-end dining precinct will offer quality dining experiences that still cater to the lunchtime trade.

Large glass windows in the dining precinct overlooking Rundle Mall will be a feature of the building, as will the relocated Progress status, a welded copper structure created by Lyndon Dadswell in 1959.

H&M entered the Australian market in 2014 and now has 31 stores across the country.

It is understood that about 100 jobs including management positions are being filled within H&M’s Adelaide store.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Small online venture boxing up luxury on Limestone Coast

With her impeccable style, bubbly personality and passion for sparking joy, Katie Fox is a Mount Gambier woman on a mission to deliver happiness to the world – one luxe gift box at a time.

The popular make-up artist’s new online business Little Pink Fox ticks every box on the ultimate pampering wish-list.

Her distinctive pink packages filled with her own vegan body whip, hand-poured soy candles, crystal earrings and sparkling wine recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Limestone Coast’s inaugural eNVIes live pitch night hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI)

Katie Fox at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute eNVIe awards.

Katie says the program handed her the tools and connections to refine her business model and broaden market reach.

“Joining this accelerator program was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business; I learned so much, the guidance from the teachers and mentors was truly amazing, and the classroom camaraderie from everyone who went through the program was fantastic,” she says.

After 15 years working in fashion, the style guru switched her career focus to professional make-up and hair styling, and promptly became one of the Limestone Coast’s go-to girls for special events and photo shoots.

It was while working behind the scenes at weddings when Katie came up with the idea for her latest business venture.

The bridesmaid gift boxes feature candles, sparkling wine, jewellery and other wedding preparation essentials.

“I have worked on hundreds of weddings, and I have seen stressed out brides struggling to find the perfect gift for their bridesmaids, and I thought ‘I could do this – I could create the ultimate gift box for bridesmaids,” she says.

After launching last Christmas, she quickly realised the growth potential despite some strong competition.

“In a market this size, there is always room for unique, beautifully packaged gifts; Australians spent more than $11 billion on Christmas presents last year and attended an estimated 119,000 weddings, but it’s husbands and commercial businesses who have also embraced the click and send concept,” Katie says.

“Everybody wants the easy way to purchase the perfect gift.”

Katie Fox runs her own online gift and accessories business from the Limestone Coast.

Buoyed by positive feedback, Katie is now exploring wholesale markets and extending her range.

A Happiness Box is among the products in the pipeline, complete with inspirational cards and a short book containing tips on how to sustain a positive mindset.

Katie is planning to pay it forward in the community which has thrown its support behind her, and will donate part of the proceeds to Lifeboat South East, a group for people suffering stress, anxiety or depression.

The next NVI program intake is in September/October. Click here for more information.

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Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
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These inspiring regional stories are made possible by:

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Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide men’s swimwear brand catches eye of major online retailer

Temperatures might be dipping into icy figures as Adelaide settles into the thick of winter, but South Australia’s Jordan Kallios and Corey Decandia still have board shorts on the brain.

Less than a year into the trade, the pair’s online men’s swimwear brand Vacay Swimwear has caught the eye of Australia’s largest online fashion retailer, The Iconic.

Specialising in vibrant male swim shorts, Vacay Swimwear gathered popularity on Instagram before being picked up by the US and European markets.

Based in Adelaide, Jordan and Corey’s label recently received praise from The Iconic’s head of menswear, Tom Simpson, who says Vacay Swimwear ranks in his top five swim short brands.

“Vacay Swimwear is an amazing brand, it knows who it is and doesn’t over-complicate things,” he says.

“Possessing basic prints in amazing shapes with added details, it is a great price point and relates well to the typical Australian man.

“It was the guys that made me want to stock the brand. Every brand that I bring into The Iconic has to have a story.

“I met the guys and you could feel the passion and enthusiasm for the brand – that’s what sold it for me, and it just so happened that the product was amazing as well.”

Vacay Swimwear pieces feature bold prints and are named after some of the world’s most exclusive holiday destinations.

“We’ve both been avid shoppers on The Iconic and we have to pinch ourselves when we see Vacay Swimwear stocked among some of the biggest brands in the world,” Corey adds.

Header image features Corey Decandia, left, and Jordan Kallios.

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Living regionally no barrier to success for teen entrepreneur

Renmark teenager Nathan Woodrow might only be a few months outside of finishing high school, but he already knows what it’s like to run his own business.

The young Riverlander launched his own clothing label, Ryde Clothing, two years ago and has since sold about 1000 units across the country, the majority through online sales.

The brand is inspired by the former Renmark High School student’s love for skating, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and wakeskating, a sport similar to wakeboarding except the rider’s feet aren’t strapped to the board.

At the age of 15 Nathan suffered a knee injury leaving him unable to participate in the many sporting activities that usually kept him busy.

Searching for something else to keep him occupied, he started sketching designs for t-shirts, screen printing them from his bedroom and selling the items online.

He told no one of his entrepreneurial pursuits and it wasn’t until he was interviewed by music and fashion publication, TEO Magazine, that Ryde Clothing began to gain local traction.

“When I was at school, a lot of the sales would come from me walking around the yard at lunch time and selling shirts,” Nathan says.

“It’s really good that in the Riverland everyone gets around you.”

While at school, Nathan also held down two part-time jobs, saving his money to invest in the small business.

He now sketches his designs at home before sending them off to be refined by Queensland artist Tammen Willmott.

Once the prints are sent back to Renmark, Nathan screen prints the designs onto the clothing.

He originally began running Ryde from his bedroom, but it wasn’t until t-shirts began to clutter his family’s living room that he decided to move operations to a shipping container in the backyard.

“I might go for a skate and just think to myself about a design, then come home straight away and sketch something up until I get it right,” he says.

Ryde Clothing released a t-shirt design for the 2018 Riverland Dinghy Derby.

Ryde Clothing’s motto is ‘stay stoked’. Many of the designs are reflective of water sports enjoyed on the Murray River.

In 2017 Nathan was mentored by Bruce Mellett from Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland who helped him to seek local media attention, find local stockists and set business goals.

Nathan finished Year 12 last year and now splits his time between a part-time role at Renmark printing company Tri State Graphics, and running Ryde Clothing.

He says living in a regional town has been an advantage to his business rather than a detriment.

“A lot of people think that you can’t do something because you’re in the Riverland,” Nathan says.

“But being here gives you an advantage because the community always gets behind you, and with the internet, you can do everything you need to.”

Ryde Clothing will release its winter collection later this month.

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