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Tegan Brideson Meets aussieBum’s Sean Ashby To Find Out About His CEO Sleep Out

September 13th, 2010

Written by Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Slumber Fun For Your Aussie Buns

I’ve got two words for you. aussieBum. What do you think? Sean Ashby’s story from “jack of all jobs and really a master of none” he says, to a creative CEO of a globally successful Australian owned and made brand is an inspiration.

He was approached to participate in Channel Nine’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ and the comparisons to be made from what he could have become to what he has become are close to home. Ashby says “I started aussieBum to give myself a job as none were being offered, so I could pay rent and support myself instead of ending up a real bum.”

The designer was originally supporting himself in jobs ranging from a barman to a personal trainer and when he began developing the aussieBum label, he says “for me, it was all about the idea of doing what I believed in.” The brand will be ten-years-old next year, an achievement that proves hard work pays off.

In the ‘Secret Millionaire’ episode, Ashby participated in CEO Sleep Out, an event he says he was “wrapped to be a part of.” The company raised and donated over $30,000 to the cause.

“It was something I signed up for personally because I am a great believer in walking the walk and not just talking the talk,” he says. Striving for his company to be become more community oriented meant this was a way that he was prepared to participate and contribute, aiming to motivate others to [do the same] in the future.

He didn’t have any expectations when it came to stepping out of his comfort zone either, “apart from wanting to get more involved in my community and show support for those who are sometimes overlooked,” said Ashby.

It’s started the ball rolling for future community projects but Ashby’s passion for aussieBum is to maintain an Australian identity and to continue his Australian made brand’s successful competition in the global market.

This is all carried out with fun being the main objective. The company has a London based office to maintain the relationships with major buyers so travelling is also a priority. He says the buying and selling trips involve “lots of alcohol” [laughs] and “plenty of time spent at the buffet breakfast counter, I love breakfast I do.”

We’d all be laughing too apparently if we watched how Ashby taught himself the online store aspect of the site. aussieBum’s initial domestic and international success can be attributed to the e-commerce website, something he says he was totally uneducated in. “It’s amazing what you can do when your back is against the wall and it’s up to yourself to make your dreams come true” he says.

When asked if he’s ever dreamed of opening a stand alone store he answers with a laugh, “bloody hell yeah, it’s one of the most commonly asked questions.” He’s thinking more along the lines of a café though, where he says “people can hang out and enjoy the lifestyle and perve factor of the brand… and I also like the idea I will have somewhere to go for breakfast.” Straight to his heart.

Secret Millionaire airs on Channel Nine.

Copyright © Tegan Brideson 2010


I Can Feel It In My Bones – Dinosaur Designs by Tegan Brideson

August 23rd, 2010

By Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

I Can Feel It In My Bones
Dinosaur Designs is an iconic Australian brand with a new collection as Tegan Brideson reports.

Archaeological references between Dinosaur Designs and the meaning of bones aside, the new season is approaching and anticipation is high.

From Sydney to Melbourne and as recently witnessed in New York, Dinosaur Designs have a uniquely distinct appeal. Their jewellery and home-wares are immediately identifiable for their shape, colour and texture and there’s certain ease in their style that will ensure it’s future success.

Bones Spring/Summer 2010 can be added to that identifiable list, as inspiration was taken from artists such as Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi and Barbara Hepworth.

A spokesperson for Dinosaur Designs says “the shape and movement of bones has always inspired sculptors and artists for thousands of years.” The aforementioned artists’ interpretation of the human frame has assisted in shaping the stunning collection.

“The predominant influence on the range was the work of sculptor Henry Moore. The home-wares from the Bones range have been photographed [by Luke Irons] to reflect the size and scale of a Moore’s sculpture,” the spokesperson says.

Jill Davison styled the Bones range to capture the neutral tones with a sculptural feel to beautiful effect, noting that the collection will be available in stores across Australia and the USA from mid October 2010 or on their website at www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au.

It’s safe to say these collectable relics could become extinct anytime soon, stock up.


Copyright © Tegan Brideson 2010

You Could Do Like Eva Q – By Tegan Brideson

August 9th, 2010

Written by Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Sustainable approaches to fashion and textiles are on the rise so Tegan Brideson finds out when she speaks to Melbourne based textile designer, Eva Q.

There’s more to sustainable fashion than just meets the eye as Eva Q points out. “Education and encouraging people to keep the environment in mind is very important” she says. “I didn’t set out to make my business eco-friendly, it just sort of happened.” Embellishments, headpieces and brooches are made from extra fabric and off cuts, and there lays her motivation, to minimise waste.

This is a way of life that at the barest minimum, the RMIT graduate promotes. “My family has been recycling since forever so it’s nothing new to me.” And her family’s sustainable practices don’t stop there, with rainwater tanks installed and the use of grey water on the garden or to wash the car. It’s that simple, and it’s that inspiring.

Spoken like someone who has certainly done their research, Q says “you’re not expected to change your life dramatically and live in a tent, but you should be aware of what mark your actions are making on the environment.” And her small changes show the smart and creative approach she applies to her life and business. “If everyone makes a few minor changes, that will have a huge impact,” says the designer.

So when asked who her biggest influence has been, her mum has shared her wealth of “incredible knowledge” she says. The benefits of having a dressmaker for a mother when starting out in the fashion industry, and to have a mentor when it comes to garment construction and patternmaking, provides invaluable insight and direction for the opportunities that follow.

Her second biggest influence is Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, she says. “Mademoiselle Chanel worked so hard and was so motivated.” It’s clear to see that Eva Q is focussed on the bigger picture. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to stay focussed because there is no one pushing me, I have to push myself.”

Sharing her secrets for people who’d like to make eco-conscious changes to their lifestyle, the designer says “invest in garments you love, if it’s a great colour, cut, fit and quality fabric you could have it for years. And try to buy Australian,” she says.

Keep an eye out for Eva Q’s summer range, showcasing in two runway shows for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. There’s a method in the madness and it’ll catch on, just wait and see.


Copyright © Tegan Brideson 2010

Unbuttoning Burton – By Tegan Brideson

August 4th, 2010

By Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Unbuttoning Burton
Tegan Brideson discovers the creative genius of Tim Burton’s career on exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

There’s an exceptional wealth of creativity bursting at the seams in Melbourne’s Federation Square. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is hosting Tim Burton’s Exhibition, complete with sketches, figures, costumes and photography spanning the legendary and unique director’s career.

Showcasing pages from his sketchbooks at school where he grew up in Burbank, California, there’s evidence that his signature style was emerging from a young age, and nurtured as he completed a four-year apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studio’s.

Burton’s creative history spans a wall in this exhibition, with his first work’s emerging in the late ‘70s. Illustrations and a bank of creative expression from 1980-1985 fill the space, before many of his famous titles from the likes of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, Batman Forever, Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland are previewed on screens, transforming the atmosphere.

The neon glow through a Burtonarium tunnel of figures takes exhibition visitors to Burton’s world, like a peek into his very complicated mind.  It’s considered that the circles and triangles visually explored in his work all lend meaning to his state of mind as an expressive psychoanalysis.

If a trip to Melbourne between now and 10 October 2010 is on the agenda, Tim Burton’s Exhibition is well worth visiting. It’s central and easy to navigate, free cloak room services operate and all ages will appreciate the mastermind behind the uniqueness of some of Hollywood’s biggest films.


Copyright© Tegan Brideson 2010

Lick Of Paint – Berger Premium Launches New Colour Range

July 27th, 2010

Written by Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Lick Of Paint
Berger Premium launches its new colour range, with personalised names to boot, as Tegan Brideson discovers.

Like watching paint dry? Didn’t think so. However it’s about to become a whole lot more fun as Berger Premium is set to launch their new colour range in August.

Flexing new colours extending from the nationwide ‘Name That Colour’ competition that ran in February, contemporary style is reflected by continuously reinventing their colour offer; six newly named paint colours will be included in the launch.

It’s impossible to go past Chocolate Shadow and Outback Gold, Ashen Graze has a nice ring to it and Harry’s Red Wagon is a nice visual link to the paint colour. Frosted Puddle and Helium Blue bring them home.

Julie Johnston, Colour Developer for Berger said “whites and neutrals are always in vogue.” When it comes to selecting paint colour either interior or exterior, a lot of thought goes into it. Not only is it a time consuming task that can’t be changed as often as one might select a new outfit if they change their mind, it can be stressful too. It’s surrounding you everyday.

Johnston has recognised that people are embracing neutrals and whites by “introducing a more comprehensive range,” she says.

“Along with these, we’ve added more charcoals and greys, which continue to grow in popularity and are widely used for both interior and exterior decorating projects.” The shape of things to come.


Copyright© Tegan Brideson 2010

Mulberry In Sydney – By Tegan Brideson

July 19th, 2010

By Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Mulberry In Sydney
Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall is set to house Britain’s timeless and iconic brand.

Save the date. November is when Britain’s luxury brand, Mulberry is set to swing open it’s doors for the first time in Australia. Muberry Creative Director, Emma Hill says “The culture and beauty of Sydney suits Mulberry’s optimistic and playful aesthetic.”

The store situated in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall in the heart of the CBD, will surely provide eager fans with celebrity favourites including the Bayswater bag and the Alexa bag.

Men need not feel left out either, as Mulberry’s men’s accessories will also be available.  A wide variety of cross-body bags, briefcases, wallets and cufflinks will be included straight from the London collections.

“We are thrilled to be extending Mulberry’s international reach to Australia.” Hill says. So are many of the fashion set.

“Inspired by the cool of the city and the craft of the countryside, Mulberry’s timeless and iconic bags and accessories will bring quality, fashion forward designs and luxury” a Mulberry spokesperson has said, and the Australian market is ready.

With a cool and crafty match like that, it’s one that hopefully flourishes in Australia.


Copyright© Tegan Brideson 2010

Eco-Luxury Life – By Tegan Brideson

July 12th, 2010

By Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com

Eco-Luxury Life
Sustainable fashion is an endangered species. Tegan Brideson meets someone who’s out to protect it.

I’ve got a question for you. Just how big is your eco? When Matthew Paroz launched howbigisyoureco.com.au in March of this year he wanted to fill the gap that was presented to him while researching for a directory of eco-ethical fashion labels online.

“I’m trying to support the brands that design with an ecological approach like Kate Sylvester, Gorman and Bassike” Paroz said. “They balance sustainability with style,” he says.

That’s his main aim because global brands such as Stella McCartney prove that “luxury and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive anymore.” He wants people to start thinking more responsibly with life’s luxuries.

Even the larger luxury brands are involved in approaching sustainable practices as well. It’s undeniably true that even the smallest change for these global companies like changes to their packaging, on the overall scale means a greater net gain for the environment.

Approaching the task is no small feat for Paroz. The potential to expand into beauty products, restaurants and cafes excites him, but he realises that taking it one step at a time will ensure the success of his campaign. “I have just under 30 designers on my website and next month the collections will be dropping into store,” he says. “With the new season, I’d like people to go to my website and make informed decisions about what they’d like to buy for the season.”

“We need to teach people to make informed decisions and just because it’s on my website doesn’t mean the whole label is sustainable.” Paroz explains that he learns what percentage of their range is sustainable from speaking with designers.

The biggest surprise is that 70 to 80 per-cent of a garments carbon footprint is made after it’s purchased. Paroz stopped using his dryer and consciously thinks about where the textile or hardware is manufactured and under what conditions.

This is an area where Paroz practices what he preaches. He’s humble in his approach. “It’s not about being perfect but more about making careful decisions,” he points out. The Bondi resident, who has the support of organisations Oxfam and Ethical Clothing Australia, says that he’s a big supporter of the resourceful approach that the local designers apply, due to the size of the market and what they’re able to do.

When asked about where he sees sustainable practices in ten years time, Paroz explains that it wouldn’t surprise him if government regulations were enforced. The ideal situation would see ecological resources becoming more widely available and therefore cheaper for more designers to avoid the price premium they experience now.

“It’s not just a trend, there’s too much thought, preparation and money that goes into it. It’s a gradual process,” he explains. “We now have a new generation who are across the issue and making good choices. We need to educate ourselves and find information to make informed decisions.”

Purchasing eco-ethical garments shouldn’t automatically mean taking a hit to your style and Paroz’s website is here to ensure that people’s views shift from that old-fashioned mindset.

“If they are doing it to jump on the bandwagon then who cares, if they’re making smarter decisions then it doesn’t matter what the motivation is.”

And that’s one bandwagon worth jumping on.


Copyright© Tegan Brideson 2010