The height of fashion

We take five with STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, the Aussie designers tipped as 'ones to watch' by those in the know

Photography by Ribal – Superteam Studios

Australia’s fashionati recently descended on the Sydney Opera House to celebrate the nation’s most coveted accessory – the shapely statuette that is an Australian Fashion Laureate Award. Former Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief and Condé Nast veteran Nancy Pilcher bagged the prestigious prize, joining a glittering pool of previous winners including Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, Collette Dinnigan and Carla Zampatti.

“Risk is an interesting term,” Nancy told us, reflecting on her 40-year career as one of fashion’s most formidable authorities. “One doesn’t succeed unless you take a risk. It’s a bit like ‘jumping off the bridge’ – you either survive or you die. The most important aspect of risk taking is to be prepared to accept the consequences, either way.”

Across the categories, Maticevski took out Best Australian Womenswear, Calibre won Best Australian Menswear, Best Australian Retailer went to Scanlan and Theodore while Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci, the design-duo behind STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, collected the award for Best Australian Emerging Designer.

Having caught up with Peter and Mario-Luca just before they debuted on the Paris Menswear Ready-to-Wear schedule earlier this year, here’s what fashion’s hottest new things had to say now…


Firstly, how do you score a golden ticket to Paris?

The Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers and Créateurs de Mode, is the governing body of the Paris Fashion Week Calendar. The Federation determines which designers will show on schedule. For us, it was a slow process, of meeting with the Federation on a number of occasions during our time spent in Paris. After following our brand and seeing growth, we were honoured to be officially invited to show on the Men’s calendar.


What was the biggest challenge of showing on the Paris Menswear Ready-to-Wear schedule?

Time and location. Being based on the other side of the world proves to make even the smallest task a huge challenge. The way we overcame this was by working with a production team based in London, who helped us manage these tasks on the ground. The costs of a show in Paris are also substantially greater than a show locally, so the support of sponsors is imperative for an emerging brand like ours, and we are fortunate to work with some amazing partners.


What’s keeping you awake at the moment?

Our biggest challenge to date is the fact we are an extremely small team. Fashion is not only creative, but also a business, so for us, we need to grow both sides [at] a steady pace that we can manage, both operationally and financially. It’s a fine balance, and timing is certainly an important factor when it comes to business growth.


What are you both currently working on?

It’s pretty hectic in our studio at the moment. Working on closing off all our orders and beginning production, as well as developing our next FW collection for Paris in January. There are a few other side projects happening which is exciting, but also adds to the perpetual workload. Unfortunately for us, this is the busiest time of the year, so there is no slowing down as the holiday period approaches.


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