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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I'm working on making some urban/streetwear designs including t-shirts and other products. Just wondering if anyone could tell me how good Melbourne is for urban/streetwear brands. I'd looking to help small start-up brands as well by advertising them through the site/creating a small brand community/newletter/digital magazine but short of actually flying out to Melbourne which I cant do right now I'm just wondering if anyone could tell me about the fashion situation there. I've heard its has plenty of areas that are shopping Meccas and I got some friends there but I'd like to hear from people in Melbourne or selling t-shirts etc there. Thanks for reading andany help you can give,

Nick.

HongKongDMZ
 

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What sort of information do you want? Melbourne is one of the main fashion capitals in the world, especially in the 18-30 market. If Milan is the capital of chic, Melbourne is the capital of grungy Bohemia.
 

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Street as in skate or street as in hip-hop? If the first, there's a strong scene here... no idea if they'd be accepting of outsiders or not (most of the labels are run by people who've come up through the scene, so everyone knows who they are). If you mean the second, Sydney has a much stronger hip-hop scene than Melbourne.
 

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monkeylantern said:
What sort of information do you want? Melbourne is one of the main fashion capitals in the world, especially in the 18-30 market. If Milan is the capital of chic, Melbourne is the capital of grungy Bohemia.
Well i work and sell in Melbourne and would totally have to disagree with that comment, but oh well.

People here are into expensive but casual looking clothing. There are many secular pockets who wear the bohemian style clothing, but they are quite frankly useless because they don't spend the money on clothing.

Melbourne has a MASSIVE fashion scene, people pour half their incomes into clothing here. The trick to it is targetting the correct stores, if you hit the wrong ones, you will fade away, or be delegated to the 'rather not spend so much' crowd.

I would do quite a bit of research of price points and exactly what you want to achieve in regards to penetration and clientel with your range.

If you could shed a light on more specifics of your clothing, I could maybe point you in some directions and try and help.

Zac
 

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racerz said:
Well i work and sell in Melbourne and would totally have to disagree with that comment, but oh well.
Helklo Zac!

You'd disagree? Been to Smith Street or Brunswick street lately? :)
 

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monkeylantern said:
Helklo Zac!

You'd disagree? Been to Smith Street or Brunswick street lately? :)
You know i've had this exact discussion numerous times before. First of all brunswick st barely has any so called beatnick stores, the ones that are there turn over hands almost on a monthy basis and barely break even, i have had friends try. The rest of the street is actually high end boutiques mostly stocking expensive local brands and imported european clothing.

Gertrude st is even more expensive now. Smith st has a smattering of some outlets and used/recycle stores, then a few more higher end fashion stores.

The beatnicks you actually refer too who hang around in that area, are not actually doing much shopping at all, they mostly get their clothing from markets, savers style recycle stores and weird outlets.

That market is next to useless in making a profit, and to be honest the people are damn annoying to deal with always trying to shove Soy Chai Decaf Latte's down your throat.

People seem to think that represents Melbourne fashion, when in fact that is a tiny % of the true scene, and quite a weird little corridor to live in, which is mostly filled with academics and aspiring academics.

You have to always target a market which best suits you, but at the same time can actually sustain a business.

The truer Melbourne scene really extends down the south east corridor, on the other side of the city. Basically you start around little collins st, and move down through richmond, over to south yarra, through prahran, glide around windsor, into st kilda, then finally settle into elwood.

That is the group that drops a lot of dosh on clothing. They are the ones who buy their wanna be urban gansta kids the $1200 clothing spree shopping afternoon. The young professionals who need new outfits everytime they go out.

I tried really hard to be intentive and artistic with my stuff, I struggled to find a market and had to bite the bullet and realise that the end users were only there if i could get my stuff into stores. To get my stuff into stores i had to slightly cater to what the store buyers were looking for. The most stores available were through that corridor, so i went for it.

Melbourne is a great and lucrative market as long as you read it well.

:)

Take care!
 

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To be fair Nick didn't say beatniks, or talk about the op-shop crowd.

I suspect you might actually both be talking about much the same thing, just using different terminology/descriptions. If you consider Bohemia to have changed with the times (rather than evoking images of 50s Paris, etc.) I don't think the description is particularly unfair (though by no means all encompassing).

It sounds like you've got some interesting experience Zac. How'd you get started in the industry?
 

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Solmu said:
To be fair Nick didn't say beatniks, or talk about the op-shop crowd.

I suspect you might actually both be talking about much the same thing, just using different terminology/descriptions. If you consider Bohemia to have changed with the times (rather than evoking images of 50s Paris, etc.) I don't think the description is particularly unfair (though by no means all encompassing).

It sounds like you've got some interesting experience Zac. How'd you get started in the industry?
Yuh, I did mean the same crowd the op-shop bohemian/beatnik crowd are one of the same here really. Way too much corderoy. :)

All i really was trying to say though, is that crowd doesn't really represent Melbourne fashion, as the fashion here is really tied in with Europe. We tend to follow them in a more conservative fashion though, about 1 season behind. Of course we have our flow and feel to it, but the brunswick st/smith st fashion scene is simply 1 tiny section of Melbourne, which unfortunately would not be enough to sustain a business. The young urban professional, or the wealthy teenage/parents of them are really a way to make a lot more profit.

Also, considering i have brought people here from NYC, and even they can't get over the sheer amount of clothing stores here, but alas most seem to stock the same stuff.

There is no point in trying to compete for the 'average' dollar, it is all covered, you really have to target specifics and then try and be the best at it.

I got started here quite a while ago through other brands, my parents worked (still do) in the 'shmutter' business, and through sheer luck and just getting to know a lot of the Melbourne icons, I had work with them from the age of 15. It was carrying boxes in a wharehouse, and doing retail sales, but it was work.

When I started my design degree they would call me in to design labels, prints and illustrate their cuts and it kinda grew from there, I ended up working at a few different labels. This year I decided to start my own.
It wasn't really too painful for me, as half the people I know own the stores, the others I simply walk in, ask who their buyer is, then say you know this store stocks it, as does this, do you want to be part of it. It usually works.

The entire strategy was to target really specific stores and client types, because I knew these people hate it when someone else has something that they don't! Also people tend to base if something is cool via where they got it from. I know if I got something from Cyberia or Lovers Lane I would think its way cooler than something from Myers.

I keep my designs really exclusive, maybe at most I will do 40 of each. I don't really follow rules or fashion so much, I just do mish-mash designs of stuff i like. It may be a monster, bad doodles based on movies i loved, weird shapes, even sometimes just a tree and stupid text. I also don't really stress about crispness or text, how vibrant it looks, or if my material is getting a little ragged and flakey. In fact sometimes i purposely overwash my runs of fabric, have them purposely screw up the dying process slightly. Geez one time I got so bored I cut out some cardboard by hand and used/eventually broke a can of air and $10 airbrush kit and just sprayed designs all over the t-shirts. Also ruined a great pair of bapesta sneakers in the process, ohh well. heh heh. People seem to really love the feel of something that looks well loved, retro, cool, childhood, exclusive and a little different.

At the moment I just do orders of at least 10, then go and get them printed at a local screen printer. Before that I used to use a $200 japanese toy screen print kit, and do them by hand.

I am looking at now buying some kinda DTG printer and invading my housemates space by plonking it right infront of his bedroom. (as you can tell i want him to leave!!) I'll just do prints at that point at my own whim, then tell the stores they must buy it. Usually they will, because sucessful shops always want stock.

That is what i did/do, I prob will never be able to stabley live off it, and I don't really want to, it is something I enjoy and do for myself, as soon as I take it too seriously, that will be the end I am sure.

Take care!
 

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racerz said:
Before that I used to use a $200 japanese toy screen print kit, and do them by hand.
Ah, the good ol' Gocco :)

racerz said:
That is what i did/do
Cool, sounds like it's working. Seriousness is probably my curse actually... I tend to take everything to the Nth degree.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe if I e-mailed you guys some examples of my designs you could help give me a better idea? I'm actually still working out the specific fashion style. There seems to be a difference between Melbourne and HK fashion. Still trying to find out which exactly I'm looking for. Although isn't Hip-Hop already saturated now?

Thanks for the replies though, it really helps me a lot. :D

Nick.
 

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hongkongdmz said:
Maybe if I e-mailed you guys some examples of my designs you could help give me a better idea? I'm actually still working out the specific fashion style. There seems to be a difference between Melbourne and HK fashion. Still trying to find out which exactly I'm looking for. Although isn't Hip-Hop already saturated now?

Thanks for the replies though, it really helps me a lot. :D

Nick.
I actually adore the HK fashions, I came back with so much stuff. Great shorts, loads of bathing ape stuff, and lots and lots of sneakers!!!!

But the fashion does differ HEAPS.

First of all the entire tomboy girl look, nah ah, not here at all. The converse with baggy jeans and an off the shoulder tshirt on guys... nup not at all. You really need to look at Milan style fashion, simplify it, degrade it a bit and there you go!

I would love to see some samples, You can also add me on MSN [pm me for info]

Take care guys, feel free to ask any questions.

Zac
 
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