It’s not easy for Australian labels to get noticed overseas. Bridging the geographical divide and competing with the global market makes it hard to break through. But Kym Ellery, the creative director and founder of Australian fashion label Ellery, is a local label that’s both acclaimed and in-demand outside of Australia. And with her eye always on the international prize, the designer has told the Australian Financial Review that she’s exiting the domestic market.
Ellery closed two Sydney stores on April 16, and made 22 staff redundant two days later. Her Chippendale manufacturing and production facility will also close.
Due to the rising cost of manufacturing in Australia and the country’s isolation from international fashion capitals, including Paris and Milan, Kym Ellery told the AFR she’s terminating her Australian business.
“I am very proud to have built an independent, globally recognised fashion house from my home, Australia, [but] it has not been without its challenges,” Ellery said in a statement to AFR.
“Unfortunately, running the production out of Australia proved to be commercially unsustainable. As a result of some poor strategic decisions … and the high cost of manufacturing in Australia, we have been left with no choice but to close Elleryland, our production facility and Australian operations company.”
Fans of the label will still be able to buy Ellery online and in stores that stock the label overseas. Last time Broadsheet spoke to Ellery’s international sales manager, Sophie Endrey, 90 per cent of the company’s sales occurred overseas, and the business had around 160 global stockists. Considering that between 2009 and 2012 100 per cent of Ellery’s products were sold in Australia, that is a drastic shift. And with that shift the label’s prices also rocketed; once on par with labels such as Camilla and Marc and Alice McCall, Ellery is now as expensive as international contemporary labels such as ACNE, and classic European houses such as Celine.
Ellery was founded in Sydney in 2007 when Kym Ellery was 23, and the designer has for years since been based in Paris. Her label was the third Australian label (alongside Collette Dinnigan and Martin Grant) in a century to be granted official recognition by the body that controls Paris Fashion Week – Federation Francaise de la Couture du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode.