50% of Kathmandu, the clothing company, has just been sold by the founder, Jan Cameron. It made me ponder, in fashion week, just how snobby the fashion press is. Fashion week press is usually accompanied by articles about how Australian designers are just about to make it overseas, and isn’t it great that those Parisians and Londoners are starting to notice us. Usually, there’s an article about how some new name is being stocked in Browns, as if that proves how smart and sophisticated we are.
Meanwhile, Billabong, Rip Curl, Quicksilver, and even Mambo, make good money and export real original Australian style (not copycat European fashion) around the world. But they’re generally only noticed in the business press.
Kathmandu, of course, is a New Zealand company (even though crikey, which alerted me to the sale, failed to mention it), but it’s founded by someone born in Australia, who now spends half her time here, so as usual, that makes it an Australian company if you’re writing in the Australian press.