Ahead of her debut at MBFWA, Couturing interview Suboo founder Sue Di Chio to find out what we can expect from her exciting 360 degree runway show at The Summit, why she decided to start Suboo and what her plans are for her label.
1. Suboo started because you couldn’t find a fashionable beach umbrella so decided to design your own. With a background in Fine Arts, have you always had a passion for design and fashion?
My love of design and fashion started early. I spent my high school years skipping classes so I could hang out in the art rooms, my friends had posters of bands up on their bedroom walls, whereas I had posters of supermodels and stacks of fashion magazines piled up high next to my bed. I ended up working in other fields like marketing and it wasn’t until my thirties that I decided to follow my passion.
2. Your collections have a lot of amazing prints and beautiful silhouettes. Explain the process you undertake creating a collection, from the initial inspirations to the final product?
Our collections are driven by our signature prints; once I have a theme the prints are the first things I develop. I will spend a few weeks re-colouring and adjusting to get the print to the perfect scale. The style of print will indicate the shapes that I design – a soft, feminine print will suggest flowing lines and a more geometric pattern would naturally lend itself to more constructed shapes, such as pants. It is essential to consider the female form in the design process, to ensure that the cuts are flattering and work with the body to create a great fitted garment.
3. With fashion being a very competitive industry, what have been some of the challenges you’ve faced since launching your label in 2007?
Suboo’s journey has been a little unusual because we started out with cool umbrellas, so we really had no competition in our market. We were featured in fashion bible, Harpers Bazaar, as the “must have” fashion accessory and rapidly grew a fan base from this exposure. We began to expand introducing new lines every year. Now in our sixth year we are excited to debut our ready to wear and swimwear ranges at this years Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week.
4. What are the inspirations behind your SS12/13 collection?
This collection was inspired by the exquisite photography of the famous, Slim Aarons. His photographs featured bright, brilliant skies and beaming light, capture a glimpse of a lifestyle that embodies the Suboo philosophy. He portrays timeless elegance that transcends trends and celebrates a lifestyle of dressing for pleasure and leisure.
5. What can we expect from your runway show at MBFWA?
Wide leg printed pants, fitted tops with peplums, bright bursts of chartreuse, lots of sorbet colours and beautiful pleating. For hair and make-up, we’re working with the industries best brands involving Liz Kelsh from Max Factor and Robert Ham from Morrocanoil who will be creating some stunning beauty looks.
6. Why do you think it’s important for Suboo to be a part of Fashion Week?
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia puts the international spotlight on Australian designers. It’s a chance to showcase not only your latest collection, but also the brand as a whole. We are taking everyone on a journey and showcasing the collection at The Summit in Australia’s first ever 360 degree runway show, this is all part of the wonderful experience we have in store.
7. What makes Suboo stand out from other resort labels?
Suboo offers something to the style makers, the minimalists and vintage devotees. It’s essentially a brand for women who have moved beyond the surf labels of their teens and seek a more sophisticated, stylish label to love. United by a common theme of timeless elegance that transcends trends instead, Suboo celebrates a lifestyle of relaxed femininity. Our collections are fresh, uncomplicated yet special.
8. Since starting, you’ve already expanded your label to include kaftans, dresses, cover-ups and accessories, and Suboo is stocked not only in Australia, but in stores overseas. What exciting things do you have planned for Suboo over the next few years?
Designing my first range of umbrellas started as a hobby. It’s funny how quickly it all took off and how fast the Suboo brand has evolved. It hasn’t been easy but I’m glad I followed my passion it has been so fulfilling. We will be showcasing our range at Miami Swim Fashion Week in July and look forward to expanding further in the USA and beyond. Suboo will continue to evolve in terms of products and we look forward to taking our fans on that journey with us.
Thanks to Sue for taking the time to answer our questions. All the best for MBFWA and the future!