5 Australian brands that got their start at the markets

5 Australian brands that got their start at the markets

From humble stalls to success stories; it still pays to start local.

By Guest Styler | 13th August 2015

Who doesn’t love to have a little bit of a mosey around on the weekend at one of the Brisbane markets? It’s a completely different atmosphere than the crowded weekend shopping centres or the rushed late-night trade in the City; it’s a chance to catch up with friends, get your dose of weekend air and sunshine, and browse the emerging trends, and often hidden gems of the small business and creatives in Brisbane.

And not only is it great for us, the consumer, it’s also a great start for creatives and small businesses who can’t afford to launch their brand with a big budgeted bang. Going straight into a retail space is risky, as is moving to a strong online presence before the brand is fully formed and received by the public.

This is where Brisbane markets form a great bridging gap, as they help small businesses and creatives get their products and brand out there, while the traders have the opportunity to interact with locals, build a rapport and get to know the ins and outs of the buyer’s market a little bit better.

Here are 5 Australian brands that got their start at the markets, and have since killed it in their entrepreneurial pursuits:

Sass & Bide

Sass & Bide website as of August 11, 2015

Sass & Bide website as of August 11, 2015

This Australian women’s fashion label should definitely be in your fashion vocab, after first being noticed on a global scale by being worn by Sex And The City actress, Sarah Jessica Parker, followed by celebrities, such as Kate Moss, Beyoncé and Nicole Richie. However, the initial success for Brisbane girls Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke stemmed from their decision to sell customised bespoke denim from a market stall on the Portebello Road Markets in London. Within two years they had returned to Australia to create their first seasonal ready to wear denim collection.
www.sassandbide.com

Black Milk

Black Milk website as of August 11, 2015

Black Milk website as of August 11, 2015

Brisbane’s Black Milk Clothing have a massive global empire online, speaking not only to the general population, but also attracting prominent celebrities and fashion bloggers to the brand’s nylon-based wears. However, the story of the label’s success started with a broke James Lillis (Black Milk’s owner), who had $6 and a sewing machine (which he had to trade his CD player in for) and a whole lot of creativity and determination. Although the brand is purely an e-retailer now, during the early days of the brand, James attempted to sell the Black Milk leggings at one of the Brisbane markets. While he admits to selling enough items to break even on the market stall and the cost of materials, he used this time to become a stepping-stone to launching his brand as an exclusively online retail space.
www.blackmilkclothing.com

LOVER, the label

LOVER, the label website as of August 11, 2015

LOVER, the label website as of August 11, 2015

From a humble stall at Bondi Markets to a critically acclaimed 10-year anniversary runway show at the Sydney Opera House in 2011, LOVER has become a favourite amongst the it-girl fash pack (including Alexa Chung, Miranda Kerr, Kiera Knightley and Beyoncé), with ladylike lace, soft silhouettes and sharp, edgy tailored looks. Nic Briand and Susien Chong mixed their fashion and graphic design backgrounds and made clothes they loved and admired creatively, and they’ve stuck to what they know, with their design inspiration and ethos remaining consistent from their weekend stints at the markets to their brand’s now international recognition.
www.loverthelabel.com

Zimmermann

Zimmermann website as of August 11, 2015

Zimmermann website as of August 11, 2015

Two sisters, one successful story! Nicky and Simone Zimmermann founded their namesake label in 1991, forging fashion and swimwear into a label fit for fashionable Australian women. Launching the label at Sydney’s Paddington Markets, Nicky would design garments during the week to sell at their weekend market stall. Nicky says she used their weekend market stall as an opportunity to refine the brand’s aesthetic and to see first-hand how the market responded to the fashion. The brand soon won a loyal following and began being featured extensively in fashion magazines, with orders from boutiques across the country flooding in. The clothing label now has a few stand alone stores in Australia (including one in Brisbane), and is now stocked in iconic stores internationally, such as Barney’s and Harrods, as well as premier online e-tailers, such as net-a-porter and ShopBop.
www.zimmermannwear.com

Samantha Wills

Samantha Wills website as of August 11, 2015

Samantha Wills website as of August 11, 2015

Proving that you can turn your hobbies into an empire, Australian jewellery designer Samantha Wills began her journey to global domination from a weekly stall at the Bondi Markets at age 21. The stall let her interact with the public and she was selling her accessories rapidly, which led to a friend offering her a tiny stand at Australian Fashion Week, where she took more than $16,000 worth of orders. Over the next few years, the brand reached international success (now a global-multimillion-dollar brand), with a placement on Sex And The City 2 and the emergence of more celebrities flaunting her designs, including Rachel Zoe, Eva Mendes, Lady Gaga and Drew Barrymore.
www.samanthawills.com

If you’re interested in launching your brand in a friendly, casual and local setting, the exciting new M&A Lane Meraki Markets could be for you. Launching Thursday evening of August 20, the market will offer a carefully curated collection of premium lifestyle wares, fashion and epicurean delights, perfect for inner city living.

At this stage, only successful brands and up and coming businesses creating a buzz will be invited to show their wares at the markets, with brands such as Sans Peur, White Bungalow, Meeks, Nodo Donuts and Jane in Tribe, to name a few.

Apply now to become a stallholder at the newest, highly exclusive, boutique market in Brisbane.

M&A Lane Meraki Markets
M&A Laneway; Corner of McLachlan and Ann Street, Fortitude Valley.
www.merakimarkets.com.au

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Article by Guest Styler

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style Digital.

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