Adelaide fashion designer Tanouk moves to Perth
What comes first, the label or the hype? In the case of Adelaide fashion designer Tanouk, orders were being made before there was even a label to speak of.
It all started when Perth blogger Elle Giles asked her bestie Nikeisha Coulter to make a few pieces for her to wear to Australian Fashion Week in March this year.
Coulter, who had been designing for fun since she was 16, packed a few outfits for Elle, sent her off, and neither girl thought anything of it. That was until a host of buyers approached Elle to ask how they could stock the clothing on her back, including Nasty Gal.
"There was an overwhelming response from retail buyers," says Coulter, whose label initially relied entirely from the street style of a single fashion blogger. "So basically I applied for my business name and went from there. "
The past six months have been a sharp turn of events for the professional diversional therapist, who never intended to foray into fashion.
"I know it's a very competitive industry. I never had any intention to go into fashion designing for that exact reason."
In fact, Coulter's designing habit was entirely for herself.
"I was never satisfied with what I could find in the shops for myself so up until now it's always just been designing and sketching and having garments made for myself just so I could have something different."
While Coulter claims she isn't expecting too much from the label, her fast moves divulge that she's more than ready to make hay while the sun shines. Since my interview with her last month, she's already relocated to Perth amid preparations to outsource production to Bali.
But how does a young diversional therapist with no formal training take such a huge leap? With a bucketload of audacity, but more importantly with the wisdom to leave the dressmaking work to the professionals.
"Initially i'm trying to keep everything exclusive and small so i can balance everything. I'm going to try to find a studio in (Perth) and work from there and I'm just going to keep it part-time as a diversional therapist and focus as much as I can on my label.
"I think my lack of training definitely does give me an advantage in the sense that I didn't learn to the book, so that I can try to do what everyone says I can't do."
Tanouk's first collection was launched last week at Loft Oyster & Wine Bar as part of The September Collection. I'm looking forward to checking in with Coulter as time passes to talk about the big Perth move and the experience of outsourcing to Bali, but in the mean time, you can see her Australian-made collection online.