venturing into bigger waters
Sifting through the Camberwell Market on any given Sunday can lead to extraordinary finds. This week did not disappoint, as a pair of sophisticated knee high boots enticed my friend and I to the unique stall of two stylish blondes.
After much discussion over whether or not the boots were appropriate considering they were three sizes too small, we were distracted from what was standing right there. Teale Talbot of Friend of Mine and one of Australia’s brightest talents in the fashion field. Talbot was disguised in black and beige Ellery shades and at first sight appeared to be a typical Melbourne girl clearing out her closet. But rather than a lack of hanger space prompting her to hold the stall, this girl was looking to make room in her suitcase.
After minutes of bargaining and exclaiming over the sheer volume of ‘cool stuff’ we decided to take the opportunity to establish the grass roots of the young Australian brand.
Launched in 2009, fresh faced Talbot and business partner Letitia McLean established this bold and respected Australian label. The ‘beach – meets – grunge’ style has been quickly recognised by Australian publications and international fashion heads alike.
Talbot studied product promotion and marketing at RMIT University before venturing into the ridiculously competitive fashion industry. However, in this case luck wasn’t paramount as she “just has it [talent] when it comes to designing” her fellow store holder blogger Anniieemal exclaims.
Described as ‘feminine with a relaxed look’ the clothes have been designed in the hope that the consumer will make the pieces into their own by following individuality rather than the trends. With items including studded black boots, a green python mini and barely there leather skirts, this brand is the epitome of hipster chic.
Talbot explains that she is moving to Los Angeles to establish her brand in the great US of A after having just returned from living in Bali for the past few years. Bali is often the launch point for many Australian designers who move there to generate product designs and material samples.
Friend of Mine is not the only Australian label that has ventured to America in search of success. Renowned brand Alice McCall launched during Australian Fashion Week in 2004, and has since expanded to 165 stores spread over ten different countries. The label sees the meeting of girly charm with a bohemian flare and a little bit of rock and roll. It is this quirky style that has generated a global following, many of whom are Hollywood stars.
Homegrown brand Zimmerman is another success story cutting it in the big leagues after just last year opening a boutique on the infamous Robinson Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The success of Australian designers on foreign soil is becoming more and more common. With the unique talent and style of young Australian fashion designers it is only a matter of time until Melbourne is hailed the fifth fashion capital of the world.
With our hands full and eyes gleaming from our moment of inspiration and determination to one-day start our own label, it was time to ask the most important question of all. What is the meaning behind the name Friend of Mine? The answer did not disappoint. Teale explains that “I wanted to be able to answer that common question of ‘who are you dressed by?’ with: a friend of mine.” Simple as that. Pure genius.