Virtual Man caught up with design duo Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci, of Strateas Carlucci. 

How do you find that the Melbourne aesthetic differs from that in Sydney and how do you bridge these differences through your design approach?

The climate in each city plays a major role here in terms of the overall design aesthetic. Sydney is generally warmer and more of a beach culture city, therefore designs reflect that. Whereas in Melbourne, generally the climate is cooler, which also reflects the mood of how people dress. Being based in Melbourne, we favour more the moody aesthetic, however we approach design from a global perspective – our customer is no longer based in just Melbourne or Sydney, they can be in New York or Paris – so our design approach now needs to reflect this.

How does your approach to the menswear and womenswear components of the brand differ, if at all?

From a conceptual basis, they don’t differ. We design the collection as one. Each line is separate, in that there are Men’s and Women’s specific garments, yet the overall story is one and they feed off each other.

Between your success with the Woolmark Prize in Australia, the Tiffany & Co. National Design Award and being named GQ Designers of the Year, this past year has been a very big one for the brand. What are your plans for the label now, moving forward?

Our plan is to continually push forward and grow, both creatively and commercially. We are still only in our third year of business and have much more to learn and achieve.

Do you hope to expand into the international market over the coming seasons?

The international market has always been a key focus for the brand, so we are definitely making more strides to expand into different markets each season.

Can you give us a bit of insight into your upcoming collection as part of MBFWA? T

his collection is titled ‘ T R A N S P L A N T ’ and we were drawn to the stark contrast of chaos vs order. We explored the notion of displacement vs invasion in this collection by creating versions of ‘fabric weeds’ in the form elongated sleeves, exaggerated silhouettes and details which adorn garments in the unexpected.

What was the key inspiration behind your designs this season? 

The concept of ‘the urban weed’ and the vivid image of nature breaking through the manmade urban landscape.

Harrolds presented  your collection as part of MBFWA this year. What does that partnership mean for the brand? 

Harrolds has built it’s name globally as a Luxury powerhouse in Australia. To sit along brands such as Tom Ford, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, elevates our brand and gives us direct access into the world of luxury fashion.

Strateas.Carlucci is also stocked in the new Harrolds womenswear store, why do you think this is such an important market for the brand to be a part of right now? 

It seems that the luxury and higher end of the fashion market is going from strength to strength, and the consumer is becoming a lot more conscious and aware of what they are buying, from a quality and a design perspective. It is important for a brand like ours in it’s infancy stage, to be aligned with a store like Harrolds, as it helps us identify with that particular customer, and cements our position in the global market.

Also being stocked in David Jones on a national level, do you see the brand as being quite directional for the retailer, or a shift in the market place to be included? 

David Jones is a large department store, therefore cater to a larger audience, including the higher end of the market. We feel they are also consciously growing this side of their business, as there is an obvious shift in the market.

Finally, why do you think it is so important to support the local fashion industry in Australia and to participate in industry events here such as MBFWA? 

Australia is an emerging market, and it’s important for the industry and consumers alike to support designers so they are able to sustain their business and compete on a global stage. Participating in events like MBFWA is a way to give back to the industry, to showcase your work – which in effect will help garner the support you need to grow. Like anything, it’s a cycle, and we all need to support one another to show strength as a whole.

Interview – Rosie Dalton , Images – Ryan Peter