AUSTRALIAN FASHION BRANDS YOU NEED TO KNOW: VENROY

Nikolina Skoric, GQ

We talk to the Aussie fashion label Venroy about this coming summer, Aussie style and being unique.

Since their birth in a small factory in Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, the boys at Venroy have had the goal to create the most authentic, well-crafted and beautiful garments that are instilled with the essence of free spirit and fun.

Sean Venturi and Theodore Smallbone carved out a global footprint, and have focused on global expansion since their first batch of men’s swim wear was distributed throughout Sydney’s eastern suburbs in the summer of 2010.

GQ had a chat with Venroy’s artistic director, Theo Smallbone, about the brand, and the trends to look out for this spring/summer.

What is the ethos behind Venroy?

At Venroy we instill the feeling associated with leisure in everything we do and make. We are dedicated to creating a luxury environment in-store and online which acts as an escapism portal into a world immersed in travel and leisure.

How did the brand’s first line come about?

Sean and I grew up collecting swim shorts. Growing tired of the same prints being regurgitated season upon season, Venroy was born as a passion project in 2010.

With no fashion knowledge we made a small run of 60 swim shorts in 3 styles… We were obsessed with quality and built them to last.

What is your USP?

Signature in-house prints, luxurious fabrics and a strong Australian personality.

How has Venroy changed/evolved over time?

As a brand we’ve built a strong international identity with our swim shorts, however swimwear is now only 20% of our collection having launched a full leisure offering. T-shirts, Shirts, Lounge pants and Summer Chinos are now a core part of our business.

How does the brand cater to its clientele?

We strive to provide an un-paralleled customer experience in-store and online. We offer free shipping on most orders and free returns always via our own website supported by online chat and phone customer care teams. We also offer style advice and inspiring content via our blog ‘The Leisure Manual’

Comfort is king, we offer unique fabrics with seasonality in mind, which have been run through multiple garment washes to achieve incredibly soft hand feels.

What do you think is the ideal business model?

At the beginning of the year we made a huge strategic decision to stop pursuing wholesale business to focus solely on a vertical distribution model.

Via our own Venroy flagship store (more stores opening next year) combined with eCommerce we can control the experience our customers have with our brand from start to finish.

The last leg where customers interact with Venroy is the most vital part of the entire process and we’ve regained that relationship, which has been really special.

What excites you about mens fashion in 2015?

Having spent the past 4 years working from our US office, it’s been really exciting to be back in Sydney and see how much the Australian market in particular is progressing within menswear. Poorly sewn garments with tired fits made from average fabrics don’t cut it anymore; people are more educated which is great.

What are your style tips for the Australian summer?

Keep it simple with airy fabrics, summer linens, lightweight cottons and of course well cut, above the knee swim shorts.

What is the one trend to adhere to this summer?

Linen everything.

What is the one trend to swerve like the plague this summer?

I’d be steering clear of any loud graphic T’s.

Anything on the horizon we should be on the look out for?

We’ve never made an autumn winter collection before…. and we wouldn’t mind keeping you warm during the colder months.

gq.com.au

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