Karla Spetic Fashion Label

Designer Clothing for Women

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Introduction to the Karla Spetic Fashion Label

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In 1993, eleven-year-old Karla Spetic arrived in Australia with her mother, as a Croatian refugee after fleeing the civil war that broke out in 1991. It was around this time that the young Karla first became interested in a career in fashion – she had long since had a love of making things, drawing and painting, so a career in fashion and design seemed like a natural progression. Following high school, Karla enrolled on a two-year fashion course at the Sunshine Institute of TAFE, where she learned not only the basics of sewing and pattern making, but also that the Sunshine Coast wasn’t the place for her.

Karla relocated to Sydney and went on to study at the prestigious East Sydney Fashion Design School, from where she graduated in 2005. Just a single year following her graduation, she founded her namesake womenswear fashion label, ‘Karla Spetic’, creating small range for a boutique, which she co-owned with some other designers.

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Karla joined forces with fellow graduates Andrea Cainero, Toby MacLean, Michael Lo Sordo, Melissa Polynkova, and Naomi Swalwell to found ‘The Graduate Store’ in Sydney’s Strand Arcade. The store provides an opportunity for Australian designers to display their fashion creations to the public, plus manage the business aspect of running the store. It also allows the budding fashion designers to be positioned amongst some of Australia’s top fashion labels that are housed within The Strand Arcade, including Alannah Hill, Zimmermann, Leona Edmiston, and Hussy.

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It wasn’t until 2008, that the brand gained the notice of the fashion industry, when the first full Karla Spetic collection made its debut at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, to instant critical acclaim. Things moved quickly for the brand after that, with the brand expanding quickly across Australia, including collaborations with the Alice Springs Beanie Festival, Redken, Napoleon Perdis, Orly and Caitlin Shearer.

As of early 2012, the Karla Spetic collections were available in 25 boutiques across Australia including New South Wales’ Blood Orange, The Corner Shop and Harlequin Market; Victoria’s Fat 4 and Green With Envy; Queensland Denim & Co and The Loft; and Western Australia’s Black Beret, Emporia and Periscope. Additionally, the brand is gradually being picked up by some of the world’s finest international boutiques including Singapore’s Lulu Rock, Jakarta’s Zoe’s Label, and Dubai’s S*uce and Symphony.

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Karla Spetic Fashion Label: Key Dates

  • 1993: Eleven-year-old Karla Spetic arrives in Australia with her mother, as a Croatian refugee, escaping the civil war that broke out in 1991.
  • 2005: Karla Spetic graduates from the prestigious East Sydney Fashion Design School.
  • 2006: Just a year after her graduation, Karla launches her namesake womenswear label, ‘Karla Spetic’.
  • 2008: The Karla Spetic fashion label makes its debut at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, with the label’s critically acclaimed first collection.
  • 2009: The brand adds swimwear to the product line with the Spring/Summer 2009-2010 collection, entitles ‘Blossoms Will Run Away’. Also this year, Karla was nominated as a finalist in the Best Up and Coming Designer category in the Prix de Marie Claire Awards.
  • 2010: The Karla Spetic product line is further expanded with the addition of footwear for the Spring/Summer 2010-2011 collection. Also this year, the Karla Spetic brand collaborates with fashion illustrator Caitlin Shearer to create a range of prints and pieces inspired by the films of Sophia Coppola.

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Aesthetic of the Karla Spetic Fashion Label

Each Karla Spetic seasonal offering is united by the common themes of innovative tailoring and femininity, with masculine silhouettes softened by fluid drapery and soft textiles. Each collection also features visually striking prints that have ranged from science molecules, to florals an stunning illustrations by Caitlin Shearer. Karla makes every effort to support the environment and Australian garment industry, with 95% of her product being produced locally and incorporates plenty of natural and organic fabrics within her collections.

Future of the Karla Spetic Fashion Label

The Karla Spetic fashion label has become known for its collaboration, and Karla certainly hasn’t ruled out the possibility of future collaborations with high street brands. Additionally, there is future potential for a the development of diffusion line, taking the Karla Spetic aesthetic to a wider audience, depending on what opportunities come Karla’s way.

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Visit the official Karla Spetic website, here.

If you like the look of Karla Spetic, why not check out fellow Australian fashion labels, Anna & Boy, Lover and Amy Kaehne.

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