Once encountered, it seems buyers never forget this Aussie menswear brand thanks to its quirky twists on classic pieces.
The recent invasion of the UK by Antipodean brands continues, with Australian forward-order label Vanishing Elephant leading the menswear contingent after debuting here in spring 11. Launched in Sydney in 2009 by friends Huw Bennett, Felix Chan and Arran Russell, the premium brand has scored some quick successes, opening its first store this October in Melbourne and winning Australian GQ magazine’s Designer of the Year award.
Designer Bennett explains that the original idea behind the brand was to offer great yet original staples in seasonal weights and fits, “a collection of classics made to love and last,” he says.
Each collection offers a modern take on a classic gentleman’s wardrobe, with a relaxed smartness that comes through on quality items featuring quirky Vanishing Elephant twists. “We try to cover what we consider to be a complete casual-cum-workable outfit, it’s all there,” says Bennett. This includes shirts, chinos and blazers, as well as socks, ties and footwear.
The spring 12 collection, called One and One, is the brand’s strongest to date and follows the concept that for every classic piece there is an edgier alter ego. Bennett explains: “The idea was to put together a collection that highlighted classic items mixed with stronger seasonal fashion pieces.” Among simple shirts and blazers in sandy tones and khaki shades there are chinos with unusual embroidering and shots of mint green, and shirts in floral prints and polka-dot chambray. Other key pieces include simple T-shirts with embroidered hems, printed boardshorts, a rope-toggle duffle coat and slick sb suits.
Stephen Monaghan, co-owner of premium menswear etailer The Great Divide, will stock Vanishing Elephant for spring 12. “We came across the brand through the buzz around it – it’s unusual for a company from Australia to generate that much hype,” he says. “The patterns, styling and colourways blew us away – it’s fresh and stands out. It’s a future classic if it maintains its existing design prowess.”
Other new stockists for spring 12 include Meet Bernard in Greenwich, Six Whiting Street in Bury St Edmunds, and etailer Asos.
Holly Hilden, sales manager at Vanishing Elephant’s UK sales agent Brand Progression, says: “Vanishing Elephant has a focus on quality while being easy to wear. We’re excited to be working with a brand whose aesthetic is so unusual and that has the ability to retail beautifully crafted clothing and footwear so well.”
Wholesale prices range from £15 to £70, with a shirt jacket and chinos at £36, and board shorts for £28.
Vanishing Elephant 020 3411 7341 www.vanishingelephant.com