At the heart of Morrison, the iconic Australian women's wear label, are three very strong influences - Morrison the dog - a kelpie cross whose humanity and loyalty was the inspiration behind the brand, Kylie Radford - the designer, muse and Richard Poulson, the business mind. All have a lot in common - lively, honest, loyal, family focused and above all fun to be around with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the brand!
Kylie Radford, the designer behind the label is an Australian girl at heart. Having completed her University degree in Tasmania, she moved to Perth, Western Australia and had a variety of jobs ranging from recruitment to hospitality, before finding her real passion in the creation of wearable clothing, initially in a sleepwear label - Max & Morrison. Quickly the success of these designs moved on and a range of basics clothing was created by Kylie including the infamous "Good Butt Pant" an almost overnight success story as quite simply Australian women could not get enough of their perfect fit.
Richard Poulson, the 38 year old behind the careful but optimistic growth pattern, has always worked for himself and has never worked a normal job. Starting out in Tasmania, Richard has always showed signs of entrepreneurship, firstly by importing a container of Christmas wrapping paper, followed by a number of successful businesses both in Tasmania and WA.
Styles designed draw strongly from this emphasis on fabrics, garments are easy to wear without looking lazy. Morrison is often described as effortless style and is a firm favourite with those who enjoy subtle and discrete luxury.
As the label has become popular, so Kylie has built a design team around her, and clearly the energy and passion she has inspires them to describe her "as the most generous, giving person ever..." quite an accolade and one that every boss would aspire to!
Kylie and Richard's success is being constantly recognised - West Australian Designer of the Year in 2007, Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and numerous retail industry awards have been bestowed on them, although interestingly they are discretely placed in staff space, not on show to the visitor, rather a quiet reflection of "team" success than individual achievement.
As if designing for her eight stores and more than 150 wholesale clients was not enough, Kylie is regularly seen supporting Breast Cancer awareness, and helping to make women who have suffered through the disease feel beautiful about themselves through the wearing of her designs and range.This talented young designer, operating in the ever changing world of fashion, is also being recognized as a successful business woman, with her latest nomination for Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year 2008. Clearly with Kylie Radford at the helm, the Morrison label will continue to go from strength to strength.
We took five with Kylie and Richard to talk us through the current summer `12 collection, `Retrospect` in stores now; their design process and why they manufacture their Basics range in Western Australia.
View the new Morrison collection on Stand H08 at Premiere boutique trade event this Sunday August 26-28 at the Royal Exhibition Building.
Where do you source your inspiration? And how do they drive you and influence your design?
Our greatest source of inspiration comes from the inspiring women who surround us. From our great team at work to our friends & family and most importantly our customers.
The everyday woman... this drives us to ensure that all the basis of one's busy, modern day life is covered, allowing our Morrison women to be herself, effortlessly and with style.
Talk us through the current Morrison collection? The story behind the range, where the inspiration was sourced and creative process.
The summer collection ‘Retrospect' which launches in August is a celebration of the last 10 years, bringing forward the essence of what the Morrison is all about. ‘Restrospect' encompasses the feeling of long summer days and balmy summer nights.
How do you transfer these inspirations into design? Talk us through your design process from drawing board to in-store/online?
These emotions transcend right through our design process from the initial trend forecasting, fabric sourcing and design process. All of which play a defining roll in reaching that desired wearability for our customer, allowing our clients to get the most out of each garment they purchase.
What are some of the highlight pieces of this range?
Print and colour are the highlights of this upcoming season- especially the palm tree print.
The Basics range are signature pieces of the Morrison collection, how important is this range to the brand? Why?
The basics range was what started Morrison and is therefore an integral part of the collection. Our wholesale clients have benefited greatly over the years with consistent sell through in large volumes.
The Basics range is manufactured in Western Australia, why do you choose to manufacture on shore?
We have kept our basics range onshore at the moment to ensure that our quality is exceptional. It also allows for us to operate on short lead times so we can replenish stock quickly as needed.
You are about to showcase the brand at Premiere in August, why did you choose this event and what do you hope to gain?
We felt the timing was right for Morrison to begin a realignment of the placement of our brand in certain regions and we feel that Premiere is the right place for us to do that. Growth is part of any business but its equally important to meet new clients face to face in the first instance, its important to us that we deal with the right people.
What's in store for the future - where do you see the brand heading?
Morrison will continue to do what it does best, produce beautiful and stylish contemporary clothing to devoted customers. Growth opportunities are a plenty at the moment but we will be making our decisions carefully and diligently.
View the complete `Retrospect` lookbook on the Premiere Fashion Blog, visit premierefashionblog.com.au