Tuesday, 21 October 2014

An Interview with Kylie Zerbst - Obus

I've said it many times before - I am really passionate about our local industry. I've always been an avid supporter of independent Australian labels. Back when I was 19, just starting out in PR, I introduced myself to the ksubi boys (way back when it was tsubi) and offered to do their PR for contra. It was a crazy time, but awesome to cut my teeth on an iconic brand. I love being part of that creativity, that buzz. Nothing's changed since then.

It's a passion that feeds into my wardrobe where most of my clothes are mostly vintage, or locally designed. I don't really pay much attention to what's happening on the world stage of fashion (except to marvel at the couture catwalks) because we have SO much awesome talent right here. 

So this Frocktober I aimed to work with local brands that really resonated with me. I almost didn't approach Obus because - let's be honest, they are ridiculously cool. Then I decided to throw caution to the wind and approached. 

I am so happy I did - I got to work with a super cool, quality label - that's locally made, and I got to learn more about Kylie, founder of the label. 

Describe Obus in 10 words

Quality threads for the modern adventuring woman... 

Life before Obus. What was it? 

I was a graphic Designer. I studied at RMIT, then did my masters as well as taught Design... They are broad skills to have and although I've ended up in a different place those design skills are part of my everyday way of working.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Well it just pops out at you whenever it feels like it and sometimes not when I need it - but the idea of Obus is to take our ladies on a journey each season... So travel, the places I visit on my holidays… But also in very ordinary everyday things... Broken umbrellas, flowers, people, small moments and films.

What's the design process for new collections?  

Going around in circles it feels like sometimes… But we get there (somewhere!) in the end.

If you had to choose just one - what is your favourite piece from the Obus collection? 

Ha ha I can never just choose one - The Nathalie Mesh top in citrine... The Spots skirt... The Kachina tee...

Best part of your job? 

I love working on the prints for each collection. On a different level though it feels so good to roll into the Obus studio (which is on top of the Obus store in Northcote) and work with such an amazingly creative and strong bunch of women each day!

Is there a worst bit? 

Of course. Retail can be very tough sometimes, and that's hard on the whole team. It's hard to know how to keep everyone feeling good about what they are working on - because no matter how hard you try sometimes things just don't work. 

What's your career highlight to date? 

Obus opened the show for the Ford Supermodel of the World awards in New York many moons ago. That was such an amazing moment waiting with all of the aspiring young ladies backstage for the announcements, I will never forget the atmosphere! 

What was your creative outlet as a child? 

Knitting, drawing, sewing, writing.

Did you have a dream job when you were growing up? What was it? 

Archaeologist, writer of GRUG books.

Got a song on repeat? What is it? 

Ha ha sorry I can't think of one right now... But something by The Knife maybe.

All time favourite movie? 

Any period drama will do me.

Early worm or night owl? 

A bit of both, probably not always in the best order. Orlo was in bed with me VERY early this morning, around 4.30... So I was regretting staying up until late reading, but I wouldn't give up the cuddles for anything!

Champagne or cocktails? 

Champagne THEN cocktails...

Social butterfly or homebody?

Homebody! My partner Simon and my little 2yo man Orlo are always there... All the fun in the world!!! 

If you could only have one beauty product for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Does lavender oil count?

Last person you spoke to? 

Annie who works next to me in at the Obus studio.

Stripes or spots? 


Where to next? 

The next Obus journey is 'Memphis Dreaming'... Memphis inspired prints, colourful sandals and espadrilles, swimwear and loads of great dresses for a beautiful summer...


With special thanks to Kylie, Annie and Obus for supporting me this Frocktober.

Follow Obus on Facebook
Or maybe follow Kylie on Instagram? Her curatorship is tres magnifique! 
Or get inspired with their Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/obusclothing/ boards

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