SYDNEY — Australia’s caftan queen Camilla Franks is branching out Stateside.
Already selling through over 100 U.S. doors, the designer’s psychedelic resort wear is available starting today via a dedicated U.S. Web store, camilla.com.au/us/.
The U.S. site is launching with the “My Wandering Heart” resort 2015 collection, which includes swimwear, ready-to-wear, accessories and homewares. Prices start at $80 for a printed canvas clutch and reach $800 for an embellished silk maxidress. The best-selling, round-neck, crystal-embellished silk caftans retail for $600.
The U.S. Web store is the first pillar of Franks’ American expansion strategy, with a brick-and-mortar boutique due to open in Los Angeles in April or May, a New York Fashion Week show planned for September and up to three additional freestanding Camilla stores earmarked for New York, Miami and Dallas for 2017.
“The L.A. girl is the Camilla girl,” said Camilla chief executive officer Paul Cherny, of the decision to launch first in L.A. “We believe there’s an opportunity for the U.S. business to be as big as our Australian business in the next five to seven years.”
Launched by Franks, an artist and former actor, in 2004, the brand now operates 15 stand-alone stores in Australia, in addition to an e-store, with 130 local wholesale stockists. International sales to 220 stockists in 48 countries account for 25 percent of the brand’s retail turnover, which Cherny expects will be 65 million Australian dollars in the 2015-16 financial year — or $46 million at current exchange.
The U.S. accounts for 50 percent of that international business and has been growing at 100 percent a year for the past three years, said Cherny.
Celebrity fans such as Beyoncé aren’t hurting the brand’s profile, with a romper and top-selling out in September after the pop star uploaded six separate Instagram images of herself wearing Camilla during a holiday in Cannes.
The U.S. site will feature both dedicated U.S. and global content, beginning with the new shoppable, social “Tash Oakley Tribe x Camilla” capsule photograped by Steven Chee and modeled by Australian swimwear model/blogger Natasha Oakley, who boasts 1.5 million Instagram fans. The campaign features Oakley, her mother, two sisters and two young nieces, all in Camilla resort 2015.