SYDNEY — After nearly a quarter of a century covering luxury goods through various roles at Australian fashion magazines, Australian editor Kellie Hush is taking aim at the fast-fashion arena via her own accessibly priced accessories line.
On May 24, nine months after the former Harper’s Bazaar Australia editor in chief revealed she was quitting after six years to start her own business, Hush will launch a line of handbags and jewelry called The Way via an e-commerce site, with plans to open five freestanding 800- to 1,100-square-foot brick-and-mortar stores in the Sydney region by the end of the year and 50 stores across Australia within five years.
The store concept has been created by Australian interior designer Rebecca Vulic, a former senior director of global store design for Kate Spade New York.
Theway.com.au will launch with 800 stockkeeping units. Handbags, which account for 60 percent of the brand’s offer and are all made from fabric or polyurethane, range from 40 to 120 Australian dollars, or $28 to $84 at current exchange, while jewelry ranges from 15 to 50 Australian dollars, or $10 to $35.
Hush, the brand’s cofounder, creative director and marketing manager, is funding the launch with an undisclosed Australian business partner, who has experience in international fashion retail.
“I’d been planning to get out of the media — I knew I wanted a new challenge,” said Hush, who has been developing the brand in her spare time for the past three years.
“My mission is to bring great accessories and fashion to Australian women. I’ve lived in the fashion world for 25 years, so it’s bringing these trends to Australian women at an accessible price. A small percentage [of the handbag range] will be a runway collection — hot off the runway, very seasonal and changing constantly,” she added.
“Having my fashion credentials in launching a brand, I think it gives it authenticity immediately. But baby steps. I’m doing everything from packing bags to talking to joiners, I’ve created all the branding, I‘m writing literally all of the content for the web site, it’s all hands on deck. I’m not dipping my toe in and out.”