Fashion forward menswear and womenswear from Ben Woodcock and Kat Grace
View recent Illionare Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog
Perth design duo Ben Woodcock and Kat Grace joined forces in 2006 to launch their boutique fashion label Illionaire – a career in fashion design was a natural progression for the pair with Ben having a background in industrial design, while Kat having a long time passion for photography, fashion and all things vintage.
With Ben taking the lead with the menswear line and Kat at the head of the womenswear line, the Illionaire brand launched itself onto the Australian fashion scene on 2007 at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week with their debut collection as part of the New Generation showcase. The critically acclaimed collection featured boat-neck printed tees, over-sized hoodies, low-cut singlets and re-worked denim mini-skirts.
Illionaire were back at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week the following year with their Spring/Summer 2008 collection, this time adding a hint of haute couture to their aesthetic, for their first solo runway show. Gaining the attention of the international industry, with boutiques across Europe and the far east, eager to pick up the brand.
Just when things were going well for Illionaire, gaining a strong domestic and international following, things fell apart for the brand when, in August 2010, Ben Woodcock found himself in trouble. The co-founder of Illionaire was arrested and charged with possession of methylamphetamines with intent to sell or supply after he was caught with more than half a kilogram of the drug, with an estimated street value of $800,000. Things went from bad to worse in October, when Ben failed to appear for a court appearance, being alleged to have fled the country sparking an international man-hunt from Interpol. It was to mark the end of Illionaire.
Illionaire Fashion Label: Key Dates
- 2006: Boutique fashion label Illionaire is launched by design duo Ben Woodcock and Kat Grace.
- 2007: Illionaire lands firmly on the fashion scene with its debt runway showing at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week as part of the New Generation showcase.
- 2008: The Illionaire fashion label makes a return to Rosemount Fashion Week, this time presenting a critically acclaimed solo show.
- 2010: Things come to a sad end for Illionaire when co-founder Ben, is arrested on drugs charges and then fails to show up for the subsequent court appearances.
Illionaire Fashion Label: Design Aesthetic
The signature Illionaire aesthetic was all about given a modern contemporary twist to old school favourites. Each of the brand’s collections offer urban street wear appeal, combining the relaxed casual Australian look with a tailored formal edge. There was a third member of the Illionaire fashion team, Noosa boy and graphic designer Matty B, who created some of the vibrant prints and designs that featured on the label’s garments.
Illionaire Fashion Designers: Where Are They Now?
In 2011, Kitty Grace went on to form her self-titled womenswear fashion label, which has been highly acclaimed by fashion critics in the first few seasons, thanks to lashings of personality and heaps of sex appeal.