A week in the life of a fashion designer!

October 19, 2009

What’s it like to be a fashion designer? We get amongst the trends and threads with Hussy’s chief chick Marie Hatzis-Ritchie.


“I’m flying to Bali to start designing Spring Summer 11 and taking my assistant to introduce her to our colleagues over there. We manufacture all over the world – Australia, India, China and so on. With three summer collections and two winter collections we are in a perpetual state of designing, production and selling so a big operation. It’s not only to fulfil our five flagship stores but we sell to 90 stockists nationwide, and some of the top stores all over the world – no mean feat! And I’m doing this two months pregnant with my second little one, crazy! Lucky to be able to design in such a gorgeous place though, Bali has the most intense smells, colours and tropical heat – great for the soul and perfect for inspiration… Sweet dreams for me tonight…

Tonight is a great collaborative event with one of Sydney’s top bars – The Loft. To launch the new night Seasons at the Loft, which Grazia are hosting – we are partnering with Redken and Napoleon Perdis to put on a super hot runway show. Small drama with the music brief halfway through the day but DJ Somatik pulled one out of the bag and the girls look HOT on the catwalk strumming along to some serious bootleg cuts that have even this uber cool media crowd throb! The theme is naturally Warrior Princess after our Spring Summer collection – full of intense pops of colour, uber flattering shapes and gorgeous embellishments. Ardino Salon did the most amazing hair interpretations and I can see our girls wearing the soft braids toughened up with rough edges for the next week! So happy – a great night, loads of socials and fabulous feedback.


I had a great meeting this morning with Ardino Salon on Oxford Street and met with Maria the Creative Controller. So many similarities, she started her business 17 years ago and it is now one of the top hair and beauty salons in Sydney – three floors of gorgeous creativity – all the media go there. We are looking at doing some great things together, exciting stuff. I had the pre baby chop about 2 months ago otherwise would have gone here for sure. Long hair was me for so long, it feels very sophisto with the new “do” – all directional and edgy. Love it. I’ve come back in the studio and just locked in our Winter Media showings with our General Manager and Publicist for our 1st winter collection with local media. We open our showroom each season and invite the top national media to personally view the collection – early October now scheduled.


I walk in the office this morning to note that Nordstrom have just seen the line in our New York showroom and went bananas. That’s the kind of story I like walking into in the morning! Tomorrow, Barneys?! I had to make a quick trip to Melbourne today for such a gorgeous Hussy AW10 launch at the gorgeous studio of our Sales Agent. It was an afternoon media event – very simple and elegant with a runway running down the centre – all white brick walls and white flooring. Champagne was flowing and everyone came away thrilled with the collection, poring over their goodie bags it was such a buzz seeing it for the first time on the catwalk! Then I had to high tail it straight over to our beautiful flagship store at Melbourne’s historic GPO building. We had invited our top VIPs for a high tea and Meet the Designer (that’s me!) experience in store. It was so sweet, the customers had even bought me presents they are huge Hussy fans! This is the very rewarding part of the business, seeing that feedback first hand and styling your customers in your garments. A busy but very fulfilling day – very productive!


Today is the last day before Bali so in the studio preparing with my Assistant and PA getting the specs ready, the garments and shoes, the 1st samples which will need to be tweaked and fitted – and so much more. Thank God I have a nanny over there for my gorgeous little boy, it is so stressful running round from supplier to factory to designing it’s nice to have that back up. We’re about to open our 6th flagship store in a brand new exciting development bang on Oxford Street Paddington – a shopping Mecca and destination for everyone wanting to experience Australian fashion at its best. We join just up from the famous shopping strip now named The Intersection, with Sass and Bide, Alannah Hill, Scanlan & Theodore, Ksubi etc so ladies hold onto your wallets! Contracts need to be exchanged today before I leave and I’m also broadening our other Sydney store offer to act more of a Designer Co-op, a collaboration between Sydney’s top Designers to keep things really fresh and consistently moving forward. I’ll finish a bit later tonight and burn the midnight oil a bit I think. Plane leaves tomorrow at 5pm, still so much to do!


The girls have a great event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on tonight. The VIP list is huge and we are offering a one night only Pop Up Store. We have acquired so many new Twitter and Facebook friends I think they are all turning up AND bringing their friends! Everyone goes crazy when we have a sale, the ones we used to do at Head Office had them queuing outside the building at 8pm and got so manic we had to shut it down and move to store. Quite insane.”

Check out Hussy’s new range below!

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