We've been meaning to setup a Q+A with our long time friends VANISHING ELEPHANT (in particular Huw Bennett) for quite sometime. Too much joking around and not enough focus on work was the main reason for our tardiness. Sorry about that! Well it took VG store manager Rob to crack the whip and get things done, so here's what went down.
ROB GREEN: Hi Huw, how did Vanishing Elephant first start? Did you have a specific aesthetic you were going for?
HUW BENNETT: Yeah we started out wanting to do more structured clothing, something that we felt at the time was missing from the Australian market. The idea was to work with everyday classics like shirts and dress them down a little to suit a contemporary dress sense.
In your last couple of seasons, we’ve noticed a shift in your prints, for example your Gorilla Island print from this season. What was the reason for the change?
We have moved away from yardages to a point, and started making more photo based and digital style prints. These seem to suit the overall aesthetic much better.
Had you worked in the fashion industry before starting Vanishing Elephant?
Yeah I had a bunch of jobs within some great companies, learnt a lot and meet a lot of great people all of which has put me in good steed for where I currently find myself.
Your label has a huge following. Did you ever expect it to grow up the way it did?
Not really, our expectations have always been modest, makes us happy to know people enjoy our clothes.
Have you noticed a change in customers since you started back in 2008?
We’d like to think our customer has grown with us, there has been a swing of sorts but we still see some of the same guys from the early years chasing the new season ranges.
We’ve noticed in store your demographic is really wide spread. Anyone from teenagers to middle-aged professionals can find something they like. Is this intentional, or just the way the label received?
We try where possible to not be too trend driven, our idea is to be fun and practical which I guess leads it’s self to a varied customer.
You guys must travel a bit promoting the label, where in Australia is your favourite place to visit?
Probably not as much as we’d like. we go to Melbourne a lot to visit our shop and try and see all our stores when possible - wherever we are we love to eat, so if it’s greasy and has beer on tap you’ll find us there.
How about overseas?
I’d say LA is my pick at the minute. It’s a bigger, scarier, dirtier version of Sydney. Love it or hate it, it’s an incredible place and has some much history and energy.
What’s next for Vanishing Elephant? Anything in particular we should be watching out for?
There’s always a lot around the corner, at present we are introducing an everyday line to our existing range that offers complete basics in live-able and wearable fabrics - it’s a hit in the office so excited to see where it goes when it hits store.
Thanks a lot for taking the time Huw!
posted by robgreen