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It was the moment that kicked started their international success story - but it seems hard to believe it was only twelve years ago burgeoning designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke made the impulsive, and serendipitous decision to take off the customised denim jackets they were wearing, and give it to Sarah Jessica Parker, who was filming 'Sex and The City' on site in New York.
Now, it appears that sass & bide have come full circle - returning to the Big Apple to open their first international flag ship store.
"Sass & bide is in a really great spot at the moment and I'm really proud of what we are doing and achieving,” one half of sass & bide, Sarah-Jane Clarke told Fairfax. “We are about to open our first flagship store in New York, which will be incredible.”
For sass & bide devotees, it might come as some surprise the duo chose the US - after all, they’ve shown at London Fashion Week for years and even first started their line of customised jeans 15 years ago at Portobello Market in London. But while their fashion roots may belong to London, the bulk of their international sales are in the States.
“We felt like we had to open in New York, London or Paris,” Sarah-Jane explained. “Since we opened our online e-boutique we have noticed a lot of the international sales are coming from the US.”
The New York flagship store will be one of their network of 18 boutiques in Australia and New Zealand selling their range of women’s read to wear, denim and accounterment collections. sass & bide is currently stocked in over 20 countries. Recently, they joined the International Trade Centre's Ethical Fashion Initiative, which sees part of their range manufactured in the slums of Nairobi.
Since that which eventually saw Carrie Bradshaw sauntering down Madison Avenue showcasing their outfit to thousands of faithful fashion devotees, their pair have seen a steady stream of international celebs coveting their range – and front row seats of their fashion shows – including Madonna, Kim Kardashian to Beyonce, Kate Moss and Nicole Richie.
“We have been really lucky that celebrities have wanted to wear the product because we don't actively send too many parcels out,” Sarah adds. “We always like the girls who wear it in a unique way.”
But for the label that can safely be hailed as one of Australia’s most successful, triumph in the notoriously tough fashion game takes more than a few celebrity endorsements.
“I think the brand really has to have a strong identity and you have to stay focused on that and be original. It has to have the heart. And I think all those things combined makes it into something people want to be part of and belong to.”
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