Designer Women’s Clothing by Susien Chong and Nic Briand
View recent Lover Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Introduction to the Lover Fashion Label
Australian designers, Nic Briand and Susien Chong, launched their womenswear fashion label ‘Lover’ in the humble surroundings of a beach-side Bondi market stall. The brand started out with a small-run, 10-piece collection of separates, which included amongst others a lace Picnic at Hanging Rock-style blouse. Before launching their label the pair made sure they had the necessary experience needed to make Lover a success – Susien had previously worked as a design assistant at Zimmerman and Nic learned about marketing through mentors such as Modular Records boss, Steve Pavlovic.
The market stall collection was immediately popular and soon attracted the attention of some of Sydney’s finest boutiques. Within just two months, Nic and Susien were wholesaling their collections to several boutiques, including Paddington’s The Cornet Shop. It wasn’t long before the fashion press followed, with editorial features in the likes of UK, US and Australian Vogue, Vice Magazine, Nylon, Harpers Baazar, Style.com, Lula, Rolling Stone, Yen and WWD.
As of early 2012, the Lover fashion label had an impressive domestic presence with boutique stockists throughout Australia, including New South Wales’ Blood Orange, Entity and Naked Labels; Victoria’s Green With Envy, Fame Agenda and Salt; and Queensland’s Blonde Venus and Violet Green. Additionally, the brand’s collections are stocked through David Jones department stores throughout the country, as well as, through Lover’s first stand-alone boutique that opened in Sydney’s Strand Arcade in March 2012.
The brand also has an increasing international presence, with Lover collections being sold though a growing number of boutiques in New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United Emirates. A full list of stockists can be found on the official Lover website.
Lover Fashion Label: Key Dates
- 2001: The ‘Lover’ fashion label is launched by Australian designers Susien Chong and Nic Briand as a weekend stall at Bondi markets.
- 2004: The Lover label launches its website, the brand’s blog debuts a few years later in 2007.
- 2005: Lover collaborates with iconic denim label Levi’s to create the limited edition ‘Lover Loves Levi’s’ jean, the popularity of which far exceeded the 1,000 pair production run.
- 2006: Lover lands firmly on the international fashion radar, when influential US Vogue stylist, Grace Coddington, who called in several lace dresses for a photo shoot.
- 2008: The Lover online boutique is launched.
- 2011: The Lover fashion label celebrates its 10 year anniversary, with a spectacular retrospective runway show at the Sydney Opera House. Also this year, after years of wooing, Australian department store giant, David Jones finally secures the Lover fashion label for stockist in their stores throughout the country. Additionally, Lover add another string to their bow with the release of their first candles, entitled ‘White Magick’ and ‘Black Rose’.
- 2012: In March, Lover open their first stand-alone boutique in Sydney’s Strand Arcade – the store’s interior will reflect the brand’s unique aesthetic and will stock the latest collections, along with a selection of exclusive pieces.
Aesthetic of the Lover Fashion Label
“Same album, different songs.” – Lover
The Lover collections are inspired by everything Susien and Nic see, read, hear think and do – from Pre-Raphelites to Charlotte Rampling, their influences are evident in the themes and commentary of the collection. The dynamic duo have mixed their individual design tastes, one for the romantic and ethereal and the other for the loud and irreverent to create a unique aesthetic that is easily recognisable as Lover. The idea of contrast is also a key element of the Lover aesthetic – black lace meets white silk and soft silhouettes are juxtaposed against sharp tailoring.
The unique Lover style has gained the brand a cult-like status and following, with fans, known as ‘The Black Rose Army’ popping up in every corner of the globe. Celebrity fans of the brand include, Alexa Chung, Abbie Cornish, Kate Hudson, Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst, Joanna Newsom and Michelle Williams.
Visit the official Lover website, here.