Welcome to week two of Australian Design in Focus and this week I am excited to be featuring a local Melbourne label, Retrobub.
When I stumbled across Retrobub at Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent Shirt & Skirt market a few weeks ago I was overcome by the cute! Bronywn makes such a delightful, unique range of kids clothes – for babies right through to older kids – I was completely taken. I’ve got to say that as much as I adore her girls range (and I do) it’s having an equally great boys range that really excites me. It’s so hard to get funky stuff for boys and I just love Bronwyn’s designs! Not only do I love buying local for a myriad of reasons, but the quality of Retrobub clothing and the fun designs have made this a new personal fave.
Tell me how Retrobub came about? What sparked the dream? I started making Retrobub when on maternity leave for my daughter who is now 17. I have always made clothing, first for myself and my friends, then I did fashion design at RMIT and went to work in the industry, so it was a pretty normal next step for me to move into childrenswear when I had my child. With Retrobub I try to make garments that are practical but happy and interesting as well. Some styles are a hark back to what children wore generations ago like little pinny dresses. I try to keep the clothing childish, rather than scaled down versions of adult clothing. This is in reaction to what of the major labels do for children, which is often aggressive for boys or too girly, princess-y or sexy for girls, when it could just be old-fashioned, fun and childlike.
What’s your vision for Retrobub? I have been doing Retrobub now for 17 years and I am pretty happy with where it is. I like selling directly to my customers so markets are great for that. It takes out the middle man , making the clothing more affordable and I like the community of it, people can give me feed back and I can make them things to order and cater to their needs. I have just started working from a bigger studio which has room for a shop, so at the moment the dream is to grow that.
Can you take us behind the scenes and tell us a bit about what a typical day looks like? My typical day involves sitting at a sewing machine from 9 am to 6 pm which is not such a good thing for your back and neck! I spend the week sewing the clothing and then do a market on the weekend to sell.
What do you love most about running Retrobub? I enjoy most the creative side of first designing the styles, playing with fabrics and coming up with new ideas. As a result I make new things all the time, which keeps it fresh for me.whawhah
And just for those of you with little girls, feast your eyes on this…
What do you think folks? Gorgeous, right?!?