By Nilushi Warusevitane
The fashion industry worldwide is getting more competitive than ever.
Australian fashion designers Lisa Reynolds and Maggie Woods from Viktoria + Woods are used to turning heads with their collections on home soil, but making a big mark in international markets would be a dream come true.
Impressing the panel with their domestic success, design aesthetics and solid strategic plan, they’ve been selected as finalists in the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship competition, with a chance to win $10,000 worth of international freight, mentorship from DHL and IMG and a trip to New York Fashion Week in February 2016 to meet with international buyers.
With grand ambitions to grow their business, Lisa says the prize would be incredibly beneficial for the brand, particularly when dealing with costs involved in branching out into the international market.
Lisa, who was brought up in the countryside, studied fashion design in RMIT and was strongly encouraged by her family to follow her creative passions.
Viktoria + Woods originally started back in 2005 with Maggie and Lisa joining forces in 2010 to grow the label. Ever since then, the brand has been taking the Australian fashion market by storm, with over 70 stockists including David Jones Designer
Forum and Tuchuzy in Australia and other overseas stockists, as well as a collaboration with Lindy Klim.
“Viktoria + Woods is always timeless. It always has a modern edge and it’s about beautiful fabrication and clean simple design,” Lisa says.
Her favourite piece in particular is the elegant and versatile Braxton coat, which she says is perfect for winter and in a new season hue.
“Even some of our classical pieces from when the label started, I always go back to.”
Inspiration for the label comes from a range of sources, including Australian woman to Lisa’s own lifestyle, past collections and beautiful fabric. She reveals the process of designing a collection typically starts by being in the right mood and deciding what can be translated into a collection.
“We always start with what we want from that season and then it all sells from there.”
With a new collection coming along next season, Lisa hopes Viktoria + Woods further expands internationally while still being loyal to its Australian admirers.
Previous DHL scholarship winners have included Michael Lo Sordo, We Are Handsome and Bec & Bridge. The winner will be drawn June 29.