Womenswear from the Levis Faminly Since 1968
Bridging the Gap Between Highstreet and Designer
Check out Cue Fashion collections on the Australian Fashion Blog
An Introduction to the Cue Fashion Label
The Cue story began back in the 1960’s when Rod Levis found himself stuck in an enormous traffic jam in British holiday town, Blackpool, while on a break from his law studies in Sydney. The cause of that traffic jam was the legendary British pop group The Beatles touring in the early days of their career. From that day, the band made an impression on Levis and a few months later back in Sydney, he noticed they were starting to make an impression on the Australian airwaves. Levis talked his haberdashery-owning parents to make Beatles t-shirts to capitalize on the rising interest.
Thanks to massive amounts of cheap radio advertising, there was soon a huge furore surrounding the Beatles t-shirts. Levis left university to dedicate his time to the fledgling clothing business and within a few years, he a built up quite a reputation. Levis’ new-found fan base was the perfect starting point to set up a clothing business of his own. Inspired by the Biba boutique in London, he opened his first store ‘Levis’s’ on Sydney’s Elizabeth Street, selling the most up-to-date fashions. Between 1964 and 1968, Levis’s gained a substantial following for its locally manufactured clothing designed not only by Levis himself, but also by young designers including Thomas Wardle, Prue Acton and Kenneth Pirie.
In 1968, Levis realised it was time to capitalise on the Elizabeth Street boutique’s success and set up his own fashion label, ‘Cue’. The name came from an entertainment guide Levis read while he was travelling in America, he says “It means to be on cue, to take your cue, to be on the ball, to be ready to take the initiative”. The first Cue store was opened in the same year in Sydney’s Strand Arcade. Three months later, a second store was opened directly across from the first. Within a year, the brand had four stand-alone stores with two additional stores in Sydney’s Centrepoint.
Over time, successive generations of the Levis family became involved in the label and as of 2011, Cue is still run by the family that started it all back in 1968 and remains 100% Australian owned. A true Australian brand, all designs originate in the Sydney head office and the majority of the Cue collections are made locally in Australia. This means that the label can add up to 20 new styles each week in response to current trends and customer needs. The brand’s dedication to quality and to their customers has helped drive expansion with Cue stores in all major cities throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Cue Clothing Label: Important Dates
- 1968: Womenswear label, Cue, is founded and the first store opens in Sydney’s Strand Arcade.
- 2007: Cue receives the Readers Choice Award for Best Australian Fashion Brand at the Prix de Marie Claire Awards.
- 2008: Cue celebrates 40 years in fashion with the release of the book You & Cue, which featured images of customers past and present in their favourite Cue outfits.
- 2010: Cue were announced as the winner of the ‘Community Services Award’ at the Myer Supplier of the Year Award, for their contribution to charitable causes, including the Myer Community Fund, the Starlight Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Variety for Children and emergency funds for the Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods.
- 2011: Cue are once again named winners of the ‘Best Australian Fashion Brand – Readers Choice’ at the Prix de Marie Claire Awards. Additionally, Cue also receives the ‘Favourite Overall High Street Chain’ in the Grazia Shopping Awards. Also this year Cue is one of the seven top Australian fashion labels to team up with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer to contribute to a monochrome collection of womenswear and accessories. Also contributing are: Cotton on Body, Metalicus, Peeptoe, Seafolly, Secrets and Seduce.
Cue and Dion Lee : A collaboration
In November of 2010, contemporary Australian designer Dion Lee approached Cue with the idea of working together. The resultant collaboration was released in March of 2011 to instant critical acclaim, featuring in Grazia and Vogue Australia. Using fine woven wools, leather, jersey and crisp cottons from Italy to Japan, the line collection centres around the quest for the perfect shirt, a well tailored jacket and a transitional coat. The Autumn/Winter 2011 collection featured deconstructed trench coats, blazers and shirts, which were paired with soft black leather pieces and structured dresses with feminine silhouettes. With signature Dion Lee structured simplicity; the collection still manages to celebrate the design philosophy behind both brands.
Cue’s 2011 Collaboration with Australian Fashion Designer Dion Lee
Visit the official Cue website, here.