Interview of Kylie by Freya Bennett
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m the founder and creative director of Obus – a womenswear label I started in Melbourne almost 20 years ago.
Tell us a bit about Obus:
Obus creates beautiful and practical wearables for the modern woman. We strive for exceptional quality, use natural fibres and one of my main roles is to design and develop our exclusive textile prints. We love colour and bold, conversation-starting prints, and put our heart and soul into creating well-made clothing and accessories that are timeless but have a sense of style, originality and confidence. The mainstay of our collections are manufactured in Melbourne, helping to support the local industry and economy – Something the entire team at Obus is very proud of.
Did you always want to work in fashion?
I’ve always been interested in fashion, but I studied graphic design at university. Whilst studying for my masters I took my first trip overseas… To india – and that changed my life. For someone who had barely travelled out of Victoria spending those months in India totally blew my mind. It changed the way I thought about things – the people around me, and how I wanted to spend my days. That’s why Obus the (then) one lady show was born, and travel has remained the central inspiration behind what we create.
What tips do you have for girls wanting to go into fashion?
The landscape has changed a lot in twenty years since Obus began (!) but my advice for anyone pursuing their own idea for a business is to do so with authenticity and conviction. Know what is important to you and your brand, and use this as a base for the evolution of your work.
What do you see in the future of fashion?
More transparency in manufacturing and processes – both from customer-facing fashion brands and the suppliers they work with. We’ve manufactured the majority of our products locally since we began, and it’s not always been easy, but ensuring minimal ethical and environmental impact at every stage of production is getting easier as brands and customers demand it.
Who is your inspiration?
Such a tricky question to answer! But if I had to name one, I’d say my 5-year-old son Orlo. His unbridled enthusiasm for the everyday often makes me see the world through a different lens – and sparks creative ideas that I apply to my textile designs, and to Obus as a whole.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still steering the ship of Obus and taking it to new places, with my talented team beside me. And perhaps a few more travel adventures stamped in my passport!
If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ha ha for someone that loves new adventures, and also has trouble with decisions thats an almost impossible question! I do love Paris… I’d love to live there for a while. I’d also love to spend a serious chunk of time in Tokyo. We’ve visited a few times (both with and without Orlo) and loved it every time. Another favourite city for me is Istanbul. But if I think realistically about what would suit our little family it would be not to be in the city at all. We would chose somewhere more remote so we could grow veggies, build things, enjoy nature!
Obus has kindly given Ramona readers a chance to win a $100 voucher! Head to our Instagram @ramonaforgirls for details![share]