Simple and stylish womenswear from Bri Cheesman and Andrew Prince.
View recent Secret South collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Secret South is a womenswear fashion label known for creating simple, stylish contemporary and highly covetable pieces. The boutique Australian brand was founded in 2006 at the infamous Sydney’s weekend markets by Bri Cheeseman and Andrew Prince, originally under the brand name Secret Squirrel – making and printing all of the garments themselves it didn’t take long before the business grew, gaining cult status throughout Australia.
In 2012, the continued evolution and growth of the label led to a re-branding – with Secret Squirrel emerging under it’s new name, Secret South. With a concise re-imagining of the brand’s core design values, the label builds on its reputation for creating collections that women love to wear.
Recently* we were lucky enough to have a chat with one of the co-founders of Secret South, Bri Cheesman, to find out all their is to know about his eponymous label.
Where did it all begin for Secret South? How did the label come about?
The label started about 6 years ago at Sydney’s weekend markets. We made and printed everything ourselves and gradually built the business up from there.
You recently changed your name from Secret Squirrel, relaunching as Secret South, what was the reasoning behind this big decision?
The name change was something we had been thinking about for a while now; while we loved the cute nostalgia of our old name, we felt it wasn’t quite right for the type of label we have grown to be. The label has really evolved since its beginnings to be known for beautiful, simple wardrobe essentials emphasized by our bold signature prints. We wanted a name that sat a little more comfortably with that.
What are the future hopes for Secret South? What is the ultimate dream?
We love what we do and love the clothes we make so the future plans are for carrying on doing that. Ultimate dream would be to work for half of the year and holiday for the other half!
Who are you favourite designers an what about them inspires you? Where else do you draw influence from?
Some of the fashion labels I love are Proenza Schouler, Celine, Dries Van Noten, Marni, Isabel Marant. Non-fashion related inspiration come from many different sources- music, art, books, nature, my friends and family, my dogs, yoga, cooking eating and so on. Music has always been an important inspiration for us though, my partner Andrew is a very talented musician who lives and breathes music so the office is always full of old and new sound to keep us inspired.
If you could pick a person (famous or otherwise), object or concept that best represents Secret South style, who or what would it be?
We are a label who make clothes for women who like to keep things simple, beautiful and long-lasting. Like us, our girl wears Secret South to work and then out for drinks afterwards, or on the weekend spending time with friends. Our pieces are beautifully made, classic and easy to wear in any occasion. This is our design brief each season and the women who wear our clothes are the inspiration.
Tell us about the Secret South design aesthetic?
Our aesthetic is simple and modern. Our clothes are beautifully made, with an emphasis on quiet details and unique prints.
Complete the following sentence Secret South is unique because…
We collaborate with artists and designers to create our very own prints each season. This season we worked with Sydney Jewellery and Graphic Designer Elke Kramer to produce a photo-realistic kilim textile print on silk and a beautiful, hand worked vintage floral design.
*Interview took place in November 2012.