I came across Australian boutique Saxony, where Chictopia’s founder recently shopped at during her trip to the country. Founded in 2008, Saxony is immersing art and fashion in a brand of sculptural pieces that are interchangeably worn by both men and women. I got to interview Brand Manager Amy Low who gave me some background info on the inspirations behind the brand and Saxony’s Creative Director Stan Wan. Get to know this fashion forward brand below!
Where is the Saxony HQ based?
“Our headquarters are in Sydney, Australia. We have stores in Sydney and Melbourne. Stan is frequently on the move, travelling to all corners of the world.”
I noticed Saxony has a minimal yet avant-garde aesthetic. How would you describe Saxony’s aesthetic and what do you find most fascinating about it?
“The aesthetic is dark and sculptural, playing with layers and a monochromatic palette. Working with proportion, shape and structure becomes more fascinating the moment that you see a person interacting with it. The interplay between what we perceive of ourselves and how we present to the world is intriguing and powerful. We really enjoy seeing how people wear our garments, particularly that moment of discovery when someone is trying something new.”
How would you describe the Saxony man and woman?
“The Saxony man and woman share a mindset— a quiet thoughtfulness and considered approach which acknowledges their environment whilst also resisting the expectations of others. Connected, engaged and innovative, our customer is confident in their style. We’ve been excited to have so many customers who are willing to experiment with our range— men wearing our womenswear pieces and women buying our menswear pieces and finding a way to make it their own.”
If Saxony could be described through a playlist, what songs would be on it?
“We think a lot about the music that we play in our stores. Music adds an emotional connection to a space that can change the way that you feel. That gives us so much opportunity when it comes to creating an immersive brand experience in store. We hope that through music we can create something that is both beautiful and haunting. This means that the music traverses many genres and often covers unfamiliar ground. Our current playlist features Olafur Arnalds, whom we play a lot of. We also have included Tindersticks, Stars of the Lid, Bersarin Quartet, alongside Cecilia Bartoli’s ‘Sposa son disprezzata’, a track from Steve Reich’s 9/11 WTC and ‘The Big Sleep’ by Bat for Lashes.”
How long have you been in the business and how did Saxony get its start?
“Stan has been in the fashion industry for more than a decade. Saxony got its start when he was presented with a challenge to bring fashion to an unsuspecting audience in an Australian department store called Myer. It was an opportunity to build a brand that could grow beyond that, bringing together a philosophy and concept that we could really care about.”
How did Stan land his creative position at Saxony?
“Stan mapped out a vision for the brand and it’s creative heart. In that, he created the position of Creative Director.”
Have you been to the US before? How do you feel the US market is different compared to Australia’s?
“Stan has worked previously in New York and travelled to the US many times. Australia’s population is just over 20 million, our market size is dwarfed by the US. The difference in size gives more opportunity for niche brands to survive, creating a dynamic environment where creativity and business can meet. Australia’s market has less room for this kind of development. Rentals are also incredibly expensive in Australia, which puts pressure on small businesses to grow. My other observation is that celebrities influence consumer purchases more in the US, creating waves that can make an overnight success. Very few Australian celebrities have that kind of following.”
Have you worked with bloggers before?
“We have worked with Jesse and Micah at RAWWW blog before. Working with bloggers is something that we are really only just beginning.”
What are your favorite places to shop at in Australia?
What’s your favorite Saxony piece at the moment?
“Favorites at the moment are the textured crepe wool drop crotch pant and blazer as well as the sculptured crew neck sweat.”
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of running a fashion line?
“Running a fashion line is getting more and more difficult— from production deadlines, achieving margins and finding an audience. Nothing comes without hard work and persistence. Seeing an idea come to life and become real is what makes it most rewarding. The hours spent are all made worthwhile when we step back and see a team brought together to grow something meaningful, a concept that connects and inspires creativity.”
Who works behind the scenes with you?
“There’s a small and dedicated team of talented people who work with me to deliver this brand. They produce the experience, make sure product is available for purchase and manage our retail stores amongst many other things.”
Have any tips of the trade for other boutique owners?
“Be different, be daring and surround yourself with like minded people, from customers to business collaborators.”
Have anything exciting planned with your shop?
“Our stores are designed to be dynamic and adaptive. We are working on our next art installation, which always brings a new element to the store environment. We are working on the Australian summer collection which will be in stores in August. We’re also looking at how to grow the brand globally.”