Pip Coates, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW MAGAZINE
Venroy boardshorts creators Theo Smallbone, 26, and Sean Venturi, 27, made a bold call earlier this year.
The Bondi-based duo told Barney’s New York, Fred Segal Los Angeles, Oshman’s in Japan and Simons in Canada, plus hoteliers W group, and the Four Season’s to, well, take a swim.
“It used to feel so good to get into new department stores and retailers, but then stopped feeling good because we had no control over the environment out product was housed in or how it was displayed,” says Venturi.
So after five years of wholesale distribution they switched focus, launching a website and, in October, opening a Venroy boutique in Sydney’s Bondi Beach with an expanded range of casual menswear.
The boardshorts – popular for their short length, softer-than-cotton polyester mesh lining and print created from Smallbone’s photographs – account for 30 per cent turnover.
The linen shirts and lounge pants have found favour with women buying for themselves and men buying for comfort.
The store is the duo’s way of staying close to their customers. They envisage future rollouts in other holiday-vibe destinations.
“Think East Hampton rather than Manhattan,” says Venturi. “It’s not enough to just have a product any more. There’s lifestyle a lifestyle behind the product that’s aspirational and that’s where we’ll be.”