Anita, could you spill the beans about the upcoming summer collection? Judging by the behind the scenes snapshots, it’s going to look amazing!
It is definitely going to look amazing! It’s very colourful and bright because we always like to show a lot of colour at Swish. I think our target audience, who is 50+, likes to see the colours. They do wear black and they do wear a lot of navy but they always love a splash of colour in fabrics, scarves and accessories.
Generally speaking, Summer is naturally more colourful than the winter but we still do a lot of colour in Winter, too. We try and do as many colours as we can that will go with the black or navy.
How long does it take to create a fashion collection? Can you tell us what are the steps?
It’s literally months to put one collection together. For example, to design this summer collection which is released in July, we have to start working on that one year in advance.
We start seeing the ranges, maybe fly overseas to have a look at the fabrics. The collections take weeks, on and off to look at, viewing different fabric ranges to gather the ideas.
And then obviously you’ve got to get ideas on styling, which means looking everywhere for inspiration.
Once we’re done with the research, we order sampling. Then we can start designing which will usually take a good two months to put a range together, working 4 to 5 days a week. It’s very intense. It’s all about testing samples and then retesting it.
It looks so simple when you get a garment but when you look behind the scenes, you start to discover there’s so much more…
I’m also very glad to say I’m lucky to be surrounded by good pattern-makers who know their stuff.
What are your plans for the future, what do you think will Swish Fashion be like in, say, 2021?
We’ll just continue to produce beautifully made, good quality, predominately Australian-made garments. We make 90% of what we do in Australia, which is nearly unheard of in today's market.
I like staying true to being Australian-made as it supports our economy. I know a lot of our workers would be devastated if we moved offshore so it’s only right to stay here.
The downside of that is obviously the cost factor. It’s a bit higher when you need to pay Australian wages but in the end, it is worth it.
Once you’re done for the day (although - are you really?), what do you do after work? Are you more of an outdoorsy type or do you prefer to stay in?
I normally leave Swish about 6:30 - 7:30 pm, go home, cook dinner and do what mothers do, as I still have one of my four children at home.
But I do train four mornings a week: I run, I do yoga, I do boot camp. I am outdoorsy, definitely. I don’t like to sit around and always have to be on the move.