24 December 2010
Dressing the stars
Emma Gathercole, RMIT graduate and co-founder of Skin and Threads.
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From an RMIT University business prize to having celebrities such as Nikki Reed, Isla Fisher and Angelina Jolie wearing your products.
That's the journey Emma Gathercole and Penelope Forsyth, founders of fashion company Skin and Threads, have made in just seven years.
The $5,000 third prize in the 2003 RMIT Business Plan Competition, supplemented with a City of Melbourne business development grant, provided their start-up capital and they have not looked back.
In 2005 Skin and Threads were supplying to just five Australian stockists; they now have 150 stockists world-wide, including leading US stores such as Bloomingdales and Barneys, together with a very successful online portal.
In 2010 they opened their first retail store in High Street, Armadale.
Skin and Thread’s philosophy is to create edgy designer basics, concentrating on clean, soft silhouettes that can be worn as separates or layered for a more unconventional look.
“Our basics create your wardrobe staples – the pieces you throw on over and over again because they work,” Ms Gathercole said.
“It’s about making the basic work for you, understanding what it means to wear natural fabrics and incorporating them into your lifestyle.”
Speaking to RMIT Alumni at a forum organised by the Enterprise Group in the College of Business, Ms Gathercole and Ms Forsyth explained how they met while studying Marketing at RMIT.
Looking to the future, they see more growth and development for Skin and Threads.
"We hope to expand our retail presence nationally and open a new store in Melbourne’s CBD in 2011,” Ms Forsyth said.
Australian TV and film star, Isla Fisher, in Skin and Threads casuals.
Hollywood star, Nikki Reed, steps out in Skin and Threads.