WA designer Shannon Malone is pushing back on traditional fashion concepts
"Universal daywear that's made to last."
Local WA designers continue to take spotlight on the site as we talk to more young Perth inviduals who are starting their own fashion labels.
By Shannon Malone only started in June this year, but it's already made its lasting impression in Perth for its interesting concepts and flattering designs. Through her work we explore her ideas on the modern "fit" of clothing versus traditional sizing. The cuts are versatile, generous and "easy-to-wear", made to endure a life time.
Can you describe Shannon Malone in 2 words?
Tell us about your pop up space "The Living Room".
The Living Room was the beginning of a personal project where fashion and culture meet, showcasing the current By Shannon Malone collection alongside an edit of emerging Australian makers. The series of pop-up shops is a chance to experiment with retail and collaborate with artists I adore. Each Room will pop-up for only two weeks at a time, so you have to be quick! They are installations with objects exclusively available to shop and discover for a very limited time. For The Living Room in October, I showcased ceramicist Peter Frank Milligan and furniture maker Liam Kennedy alongside the current collection and some unseen samples.
The creative series will continue with The Dressing Room where I’ll be presenting alongside four female Australian makers. It’s taking place late November on level one of the esteemed fashion retailer Periscope. There are more details on my website!
Is there a philosophy behind By Shannon Malone?
There are actually a lot of elements forming the backbone of the brand and I am very passionate about fulfilling all these requirements. "Universal Daywear" is the core concept behind By Shannon Malone. The clothes are made in one size and designed to be, what I believe is, universally appealing and flattering. I believe that clothes are reliable companions. Everyone has items ‘wardrobe staples’. I hope that people are drawn to By Shannon Malone and will find that signature or go-to piece in every collection, which are also long lasting companions. Which is why producing in small numbers locally is also integral to the brand. I also feel it’s important to involve people in what I’m doing, so I’ll continue to present my brand in non-traditional mediums like dinner parties and life drawing classes.
What point in your life were you when you started your label?
I graduated from studying fashion at University in December 2015. My time was spent studying included interning, working three jobs at once, travelling in-between semesters and studying interstate, with brief stints of starting a label and collaborating with existing brands. I began the new year feeling like I would burst from so many ideas after always being taught that anything is possible, and with a new found freedom without coursework the possibilities were endless. So, that’s where I began and I’m very fortunate to continue feeling this way today.
Who’s been involved in making this pursuit a reality?
Too many people to count. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to or asked advice from. Collaborators who have trusted me and seen potential in my ideas. My incredible mum for always telling me to go for it and work hard.
What does the creative process to make a piece for your label look like?
My creative process begins with profiling a character, where I imagine their life, their wardrobe, what they’re reading, what products they’re using. Then I look at fabric. I have a library of core shapes and fabrics that I always come back to, but I look to historical and contemporary designers and art for how culture is moving.
Is managing your label your only job?
No. And that’s the reality of small business.
What brands, artists or designers inspire you?
Jonathon Anderson for business strategy and creative vision. Constanin Bracusi for making for the sake of making. Issey Miyake for innovation and a strong identity. Every maker and their materials that are still unknown to me – clay, timber, nails, adhesive…
What has been the hardest moment you've faced during this experience and how did you overcome that?
I’ve understood that I work best autonomously but I’ve had uncomfortable and unproductive experiences to get to this where I am now. There is problem solving in every role I play and I would say it’s always a challenge but nothing is hard!
Does social media play a role in promoting your brand? How has it helped you?
Absolutely! Creating the brand identity on social media has been an integral part to my business. I can form relationships with communities outside of Perth, which is important when my shop front is digital.
What has been the proudest moment so far?
Every time I see someone wearing By Shannon Malone.
Where do you hope to see this go?
It’s a really exciting time for By Shannon Malone; I’m about to release everyone’s favourite style in a new Summer fabric just for the holiday season. I’m also working with Melbourne’s Ken the label for the first time in Perth – they’ve never been available here and I know everyone is going to love it as much as I do. Their lingerie and loungewear are understated, comfortable and confident and will quickly become foundation pieces to a Universal Daywear wardrobe. This will be available at The Dressing Room, and you’ll have to go to my website to find out who the other three makers are in this series! I’m also building a community of my customers and I’m calling it Universal Daywear Club. Everyone has the chance to tell me about themselves and their wardrobe and we’ll be profiling club members on the website.
What advice would you give to other young creatives looking to pursue a similar path in the fashion industry?
Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Build relationships with those around you whose strengths are your weaknesses. Work for others. When you start, challenge yourself to get as much done as you can for free. Talk to people outside of your industry bubble. Discipline yourself to get shit done. When it’s happening, look after yourself as your number one employee. Understand businesses you admire and are drawn to and ask what makes them so special – because you can create something just as special.