In an industry where some designers are struggling to sustain one label, what made you decide to start two?
We started Chalice in the summer of 2011 and had an immediate and positive response from retailers in Western Australia and other states. The continued growth and success of Chalice in subsequent seasons encouraged us to think about how to further develop our potential. Candice had joined our company as a Curtin design graduate, and this gave us the incentive to add a label designed to appeal to a younger demographic.
Can you describe the different aesthetics of the labels?
Chalice has a feminine but minimal aesthetic where lifestyle-orientated styles are created in beautiful fabrics such as our exclusive silk prints and separates. As well as silk, we use a variety of other natural fibres in complementary styles. Our focus is always on designing with the best-quality fabrics we can find. We like to think the shapes and design of Chalice are ageless in their appeal. Zed Alliance is designed to appeal to a young woman who has a definite fashion-forward awareness and who wants to dress accordingly. Our resources allow us to offer our Zed Alliance collections in excellent-quality fabrics with directional shapes and styling, but at an affordable price point.
How has the market responded?
The response has been extremely positive. We now have agents in every state for the two labels, and have over 100 stockists Australia-wide for Chalice, and 80 for Zed Alliance.
What’s your ultimate goal?
Now that we feel confident that we have our design profile and production capabilities established we are very excited about the prospect of perhaps showing to the overseas market. That is very much on the agenda for 2015, and we have begun the process of investigating the most appropriate shows
and selling strategies to pursue.
Chalice is made its debut at TPFF: what made you decide to wait three years before being involved?
We wanted to be confident that our brand and our team was ready to take this step. To be honest, we have been very busy just keeping up with the growth of Chalice over the past three years. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes hard work to have the collection at the point that we felt we were ready to have it appraised in a runway show.
What are your standout pieces for the season?
A beautiful draped silk dress in our signature print of the season, Abstract Expressions. We have also designed some perfect racewear pieces in textured organza which have proven to be extremely popular in our High Summer collection.