Camilla and Marc is made up of a multi-talented duo that have identified and established a sophisticated line that reflects the ease of Australian lifestyle, allowing them to build a brand ethos that is at once contemporary and effortlessly elegant. The brother sister tandem has been a runway regular since 2003 and has grown from one of Australia’s most exciting labels into an international favourite. Get to know 1/2 of the duo, in our interview with Marc Freeman during a press event in D-mop Central.
Marc showing Electric sekki the Firefinch dress which has been selected by celebrities to wear lately.
ES: How many times have you been to HK? What do you like about it?
MPF: A lot. I’ve visited Hong Kong many times. I think, over 20 times. It’s a place I really enjoy coming to. Vibrant, fast moving, very dense so there’s a lot of people, I like that energy.
ES: Based on your instagram account, you were in Canberra lately?
MPF: The Prime Minister (of Australia) and his wife invited me t o meet the Duchess and Prince when they came to visit Australia.
ES: Did you dress The Duchess?
MPF: Yes we gave her a couple of outfits so it’s pretty cool.
ES: On an interview with Vogue Australia last year Camilla was asked: “What do you love about Australian fashion?” and she answered:
“We particularly love how Australian fashion is intrinsically influenced by the country’s landscape and culture. People often think that our isolation is restrictive, but I think it means that we’re unique in how we develop our own aesthetic. With that in mind, when we design each collection, we’re mindful of both our Northern and Southern Hemisphere markets, so creating these seasonal collections can be a challenge. I think that internationally, we offer a point of difference that we attribute to living in Australia.”
How does maintaining that point of difference apply on running the business in Asia?
MPF: Well I think the point of difference has helped us create a signature look, of both masculine and feminine, of structured and floaty garments. So I think that those ideals and aesthetic is what we stay true to and hopefully, I trust that it’s what the Asian customer really likes.
ES: How/ are you ever involved in the design part of it?
MPF: Yes very much, our business is design so daily I’m involved in the design process.
ES: Most write-ups say that Camilla’s design and you are business…but of course those two come together.
MPF: Those two things blur. Day to day, Camilla’s focus is pretty much solely on design. Whereas my focus is across many more things but I still have a very much focus on design because that’s where everything starts and where everything finishes. It starts with an idea and a product. An idea that we want to design and then is executed by creating our product and selling it to the customer. That’s as we continue to do what we are doing, growing our business…so I’m very focused in the design element .I sign off every single style, every single print.
ES: You can say that the whole brand is actually representing you, too?
MPF: Very much so. Men look at women more than women almost look at women. Me as a man is very important in creating/ defining what a woman should wear.
A preview of the next collection were put on display too:
ES: Your personal style, what brands do you wear?
MPF: I like brands like Dior and Prada for more structured suiting. I do create some stuff for myself.
ES: What is your vision of Camilla and Marc in Asia in the next few years?
MPF: We plan to continue to grow the brand in stores like D-mop, who supported us. As well as other stores right through China and the rest of Asia. There’s a lot of opportunities , local customers seem to … like looking great and loving the product. Such a large population so many beautiful people to dress so I think there’s a lot of opportunity for the future.
The latest collection up close below:
ES: Describe your fanbase.
MPF: I think we have a lot of celebrity dressing in The States. Young, it, Hollywood girl, and actresses. There’s a function of these women looking beautiful in our clothing but its important for us to make the IT girl look beautiful,a s well as the girl next door look beautiful. It’s not just designing for one person but for many women.
ES: What is it like working with your sister as the Creative Director?
MPF: Really good. We’re very close in age and were best friends as well as siblings, so we just enjoy hanging out, spending time with one another. And she married one of my best friends. It’s a really close relationship.
ES: As a child or a university student, did you ever see yourself in the fashion business?
MPF: Ive always ben fascinated by fashion. Growing up, I had a couple of friends who were much older who were in the industry. And I always wanted to have my own business quite early on. We started our business when I was 23 and Camilla was 21. Relatively young, figuring out what we wanted to pursue what we wanted to do.
ES: How does it feel now that it’s been more than a decade since you launched Camilla and Marc?
MPF: Really good. But we’re just getting started, there’s so much to do . It takes a while to develop a signature and aesthetic and understand your customer and as you continue to ____ and continue to open stores and design a lot more beautiful product. We got footwear to design, the collection goes into stores in Australia next month.
ES: When will the shoes be in Asia?
ES: What about menswear?
MPF: We definitely want to design menswear in the future.
ES: You took up engineering in college, how does that influence your work?
MPF: I’m More so influenced by things that I see, and things that inspire us. The zeitgeist of our time. It’s important to interpret what’s going on in and around you and the world. As well drawing back on historical notes.. My engineering background has probably allowed me to think very laterally and help w the construction of garments and the development of the business. And informed processing which I would design moreso than the actual design.
Scroll through our older entries and see what happened behind the csenes in D-mop during the rest of the day!
— October 31, 2014 —
Fresh off of a Style.com feature on the label, Cocurata is the buzzy new name on the fashion block these days. A label born out of a collaboration between former ksubi designer George Gorrow and Opera Gallery New York's curator George Benias, Cocurata is delivering a whole new approach to the arts-meets-fashion design sphere. Though the idea of artists and fashion designers collaborating is not new (Mondrian famously worked with Yves Saint Laurent in 1965 and, more recently, Marc Jacobs collaborated with Takeshi Murakami for Louis Vuitton), Cocurata is an attempt to take that relationship to the next level, approaching each collection as a hybrid of both an 'exhibition space' and a fashion line, hoping to introduce these artists to a whole new audience and promote their work through new media. "Rather than simply appropriating their artwork, each artist works in direct dialogue and creative exchange with the Cocurata team to reimagine and reinterpret their work into stand alone pieces that function as both clothing and art," says George Gorrow of the process. George Benias elaborates, "Working together with the artists to create our collections, we all keep in mind which of the artworks and prints could be extracted to work best with the kinds of shapes and the vibes we come up with for the collection. With all of those things in mind, another important factor in choosing the artworks was simply how much the work resonated with us." We sat down with Cocurata's brand manager, Suzi Buckley while we were in Paris to chat about Cocurata's debut Spring/Summer 2015 collection and how the label came about.
The Cocurata set-up at Paper Mache Tiger Showroom in Paris.
Cocurata, what does it mean?
The word 'cocurata' comes from the definition of being 'co-curated'. The way the brand works is that we have two guys behind it. One is George Gorrow, ex-ksubi, and George Benias who is our curator. George Gorrow is the creative director and George Benias is the curator. Benias' background is with Opera Gallery in New York; he looked after the contemporary and street artists for them. The two of them 'co-curated' this brand. So that's where the brand came from. The idea was to eventually create a brand that has that street wear touch, that is activewear and sportswear inspired, but in elevated way. It's high-luxury sportswear, elevated street wear. You will see a lot of bomber jackets and hoodies always done in beautiful fabrics such as silk jacquard or leather. So you always have the aesthetic of a sportswear or activewear concept, but done in beautiful fabrics. That's the aesthetic of the brand going forward. You have dresses that you can wear with sneakers or sandals, but you can always also wear high heels and wear the same dress at night. The majority of the collection would be based on those kinds of pieces. The idea is to be AM/PM.
Street artist Paul Insect was one of the first artists Cocurata has collaborated with for their debut collection.
An enlagement of one of Paul Insect's pieces printed on a tee.
The flecked textures visible in Paul Insect's art echoed in a jacquard textile.
Can you tell me a little bit about how the designer and curator relationship works?
They were looking at the designers who were doing collaborations with artists in fashion, the different brands that are inspired by art, even Bast does a lot of fashion collaborations (the latest being Marc Jacobs, for example). George Gorrow and Benias had known each other for a long time, they were always meeting up and they sat down together one day and they said, "That's what we need to do, that's where the gap in the market is. We need to have a brand that serves as a platform to exhibit their work through clothing." That's where Cocurata was born. The idea is to promote the artists through the collaborations and the clothing. The way it works is George Benias already has created a roster of 20-25 artists that will be working with us and all of those artists are street artists, urban contemporary artists. Every season, the George's get together and they select three artists and three artworks in total for the season. So Paul Insect, Bast and Rostarr are the three we are working with this season. Both of the George's and the artists have a lot of involvement in putting the collection together. The idea is that every season we will have three different artists and three different artworks; however, because those artists are from our same roster and are the same genre, the aesthetic of the brand is always going to be the same. We want to build that expectation of, "Who's going to be next? Which artwork is going to be next? What's Cocurata going to do with the artwork."
Graffiti artist Bast was another one of the trio of artists featured in Cocurata's Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
A blown up portion of a work by Bast featured on a T-shirt.
The final artist Cocurata collaborated on with this season was painter/filmmaker Rostarr.
A portion of Rostarr's artwork featured on a jersey tee.
So how does everything tie together then? Would it be through the silhouettes? How does it then all come together?
When the design team comes together to create the collection, they view the collection based on the artist's work, so each artist gets almost like their own capsule collection. However it's done in a way that it all merges together, because if you pull pieces from one artist's collection, you can easily merchandise it with another artist's collection. There are all these colours, silhouettes and shapes that flow nicely across all three artists and across three artworks. So the idea could be a print that connects with another print or a fabric development that then connects into another artwork. There will always be that synergy between the three artists. The idea is to build a brand where you don't necessarily have to buy into the artists, but that you're buying into the concept. We merchandise the collection in a way that it can be sold as a collection, not as capsule collections by artist. It all works very well together to create one cohesive collection.
The lines in Rostarr's work was translated into a 3D texture used throughout the Cocurata collection.
All of the T-shirts featuring the artists' works within each Cocurata collection will have a limited edition run of 300 pieces, with each piece numbered.
So tell me a little bit about each artist that Cocurata is working with this season.
So we have Paul Insect, who's from the UK. He's English and based in the UK but also has an established presence in New York. Cocurata is very much a New York brand; the majority of the artists on our roster are either from, based or established themselves in New York. Benias is based in NYC, Gorrow is between NYC and Asia, so it's very much a New York brand. Paul Insect used to be Banksy's right-hand man and one of his very first solo exhibitions was bought without ever even being seen by Damien Hirst. He's very satirical, he's got a political touch on everything he does. His work is also very bold so you see a lot of colours and shapes. Then we have Bast, he is one of the leaders of the street art movement. He was from the generation of Basquiat and all those guys. He's done a lot of collaborations with different fashion brands, he's very vocal about putting fashion and art together; he's done a collaboration with Marc Jacobs. A lot of the new street artists that come in often look to Bast for inspiration. Then, finally, we have Rostarr, who is originally Korean, but he is based in Brooklyn and established himself in New York. Having that Asian background, he's the master of calligraphy. His perfection and precision in terms of lines and forms is very impressive. So all of his artworks have beautiful calligraphy effects on it, and is extremely graphic.
With George Gorrow's strong denim background, it made sense to include a core denim collection within each Cocurata season with which you can mix-and-match the art-collaboration pieces.
How does the denim fit in?
The denim brings that street aspect to the brand. George Gorrow being George Gorrow, is the master of denim! If there's one thing that he's amazing at, it's denim. This season, we wanted to focus on the fashion, so the denim is limited to a few styles that we know there is a gap in the market for. They're a category within the collection that we're going to grow each season, but we're a fashion brand, not a denim brand. We're a fashion brand with a very strong denim category, so the denim will always be a very important part. In our look book, a lot of our pieces are styled with the denim, so that's how we see it fitting into the collection.
On our previous blog, we talked to Henry Holland about his latest collection. We caught up with him again on his recent visit to Hong Kong to launch the collaboration of Mr. Men and Little Miss and House of Holland's Mr. Quiffy. The event was held in I.T. Kingston Street in Causeway Bay. On this interview, we asked him a few questions about the collaboration..and everything else under the sun (restaurants, Mariah, Ryan Gosling...Rita Ora.)
ES: You said that Mr. Men Little Miss x House of Holland is a dream collaboration come true. Why is that?
HH: Because they’re so iconic, these characters, and there’s a concept. Mr. Men and Little Miss is something that I grew up with, and they’re still really popular today. Like with kids now, so I think its an honor to be able to work with the characters themselves but also to be able have our own character created exclusively for us. Yes, it is a dream.
ES: What do you feel about doing all day of interviews like today?
HH: It’s fine! I enjoy talking to people. I’m a real chatterbox, so it’s ok. It’s just that I'm super tired coz of my schedule, its fine, its not like I have a hard time. I love my job and it doesn’t feel like work.
Henry with the Electric sekki team.
ES: Some questions not related to the collection: Favorite celebrity to dress?
HH: Ooooh. I cant choose. Because then what if…
ES: Top 3?
HH: Usually my friends, people that I know, people that I know well. So Pixie, and M.I.A. recently, Rita Ora.
M.I.A. in House of Holland
ES: How much of your life do you share online?
HH: See that’s the thing, people think that you share everything and there’s a lot it’s very carefully edited. I share what I’m comfortable sharing, I don’t share too much at all. But people have the impression that I share everything, because you share some mundane things , some banal things that people think you must be sharing every single part of your life. But that’s not the case. I only share very select things. Things that I feel comfortable with.
ES: Dream celebrity to dress?
HH: That’s difficult. Maybe the Queen. I think that will be amazing. Someone really abstract, somebody out of the ordinary. Somebody people wouldn’t expect.
I can totally imagine the Queen in House of Holland.
ES: Would you like Mariah to wear your designs?
HH: Oh yes, she’s a legend.
ES: Who is your favorite One Direction member?
HH: Harry. Coz he’s the only one I know personally.
ES: He’s into fashion, yes?
HH: Yes! He’s been to my show before.
Harry Styles at Henry Holland's show.
ES: What will be your recommended Girls Night Out in London?
HH: Probably some cocktails and some dinner, followed by karaoke, followed by a bar like late into the night and maybe some dancing. I don’t know, just the same as everyone, really. Half of the time I won’t remember, a little bit too drunk.
ES: Your favorite restaurant ion London?
HH : J. Sheeky’s Fish Restaurant. Very classic English but specializes in fish.
ES: Do you ever Google yourself?
ES: If you search Google images of Henry Holland, in all your photos you have your quiff up. Except for one photo.
HH. The British Fashion Awards? I did that once, and I was at the Awards and everyone kept ignoring me and I was like “Why is everyone being so rude?” They didn’t recognize me.
ES: You look like Ryan Gosling with your hair down.
HH: Nooooo. No way.
Henry in a Ryan Gosling sandwich, separated at birth?
ES: Can you talk about your upcoming Menswear?
HH: We are launching menswear next year, and it’s been a really tricky time to be travelling because it’s a very critical time for our menswear launch. But we’re working on it at the moment. It’s a really interesting process because its completely different to all of my womenswear and the way that I had to approach it. Its been a real refreshing change in the learning curve but I'm very excited about it.
ES: Will there be slogan tees for men?
HH: Mmmmmm. Maybe.
ES: How was Tokyo?
HH: Tokyo was mental. I was there for 5 days, we did our fashion show on Friday. Part of Tokyo Fashion Week, and we’re doing that again in March. Japan is a market we’re gonna concentrate on for the next year and try and grow our business there. And I really like it, I like the people, I like the atmosphere. I like their approach to fashion. I like the way that they do things. It’s great!
ES: Plans in the next few days?
Plans : I have Meetings all day tomorrow, a bit of sourcing, then fly to Australia. I'm hoping my schedule will be a little less hectic in Australia because I'm in need of a weekend. I haven’t had a weekend in 3.5 weeks, if I can just have one day.
The past 3 weeks have been really busy for Henry. He toured Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Hope you have a nice time in Australia, Mr. Quiffy!
(L-R) Our CEO, Amiee Wills at the I.T. event, Henry chatting with the I.T. ladies, and Henry chatting with Electrci sekki.
If you have been following our instagram account (which you should), you will have known by now that Marc Freeman of Camilla and Marc was in town just a few days ago. Electric sekki arranged press interviews with Marc in D- mop, On Lan St. in Central. Here are some behind the scenes photos that will give you an idea of what transpired on a lovely afternoon with Marc Freeman himself, the press, the Electricsekki marketing team, and the ever reliable D-mop staff.
The window display in D-mop Central last week.
Looking at the display from the inside.
The Electric sekki team getting ready for the press.
Marc being interviewd by Harper's Bazaar.
Marc being interviewed by Me Magazine.
Model being made up by D-mop Beauty.
Marc being interviewed by Manifesto.
Marc posing for Manifesto.
Our model all set and ready to shoot.
Another interview now with Oriental Daily.
Our model working it for the camera
Loving this jacket!
Marc being interviewed by Electric sekki. Get to know Marc Freeman, next on the blog we will feature our interview with Marc. We asked him interesting questions like the future of Camilla and Marc in Asia, his personal style/ favorite designers, and the much awaited footwear that their label is coming up. Don't miss!
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