Behind the Brand
This week I had the opportunity to chat with Graziela Oborn, the founder and creative director of the Australian label Graziela. Graziela has extensive experience in the fashion industry and has worked with leading fashion brands throughout Australia. Her passion and determination to create a superior label shows in her designs. The fabric, quality and cut of her pieces speak for themselves.
Graziela's story begins in a poor village in Brazil...
Who are your role models?
My mother and my grandmother are two of the strongest women I have ever and will ever know! They were born and raised in a very small town in the deep country of Brazil. My mum started working as a cook for a well-off family from the age of eight. Eventually she worked her way up to become a manager in a large shirt factory. I grew up observing her determination to give me all the things that she did not have. I don’t mean extravagant things; I’m talking about basic necessities like shoes. My mother received her first pair of shoes at nine years old!
My mum was a single mother working full-time. To help my Grandma came to live with us when I was born. My Grandma also had a very tough life but she is the happiest person I know. Everyone that meets her falls in love with her!
What was your biggest challenge when starting out?
Because I am a one-woman show I have to do everything myself. From creating the next collection, managing production, maintaining the website, PR to social media, nothing happens unless I do it. At the beginning I had to spend a lot of time learning different skills. I understand that you should invest in professionals to help with the areas you are unfamiliar with however when finances are tight, you have to learn how to tackle those areas yourself. I found this experience to be very positive because I know my business inside and out.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
I believe every single achievement is big. Nothing comes easy! The fashion world can be fickle. What brings me the most joy is to see women wearing my pieces. I love to hear about the compliments they receive and how wonderful they feel wearing them.
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
It is never the same process twice. Sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes a single construction detail that intrigues you. The current collection was inspired by the Louis de Bernieres’ novel, Birds Without Wings. The book is set in a small fictional Turkish town where Turks and Greeks, Christians and Muslims lived in harmony. I wanted the collection to emulate this harmony, to articulate that different styles, trends and purposed can be incorporated into a single range. It’s about inclusiveness! Women from all walks of life will be able to identify themselves with the range.
Why do you do what you do?
Passion motivates me but not passion for fashion. That alone would not be enough to get me working until 3am. It’s a passion for doing the right thing and creating a business with substance. I enjoy creating opportunities for the people involved in the whole production process. From where I source fabric to where it is printed and then manufactured, my aim is that everything is done ethically and at the same time supports the environment. My focus is developing products that have integrity, longevity and style.
What is a must have item for women in 2016?
Wardrobe staples are a must, look for a classic cut jacket, slim fit pants and a timeless black dress (These also happen to be part of my current collection!). Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses entered the scene last year and I believe the trend will continue on as they made an appearance again during the latest shows.
The Graziela collection is on sale now! Visit www.graziela.com.au