Arthur Galan, or AG for short, is a label that many Australian men and women have come to familiarise themselves with.
For fourteen years, the AG label has – in its own way – led a unique charge with a classic aesthetic toward fine men’s and womenswear that are suited to the Australian way of life.
With the quality of the fabric and its unique look being of utmost importance, designer Arthur Galan takes collections and their presentation to a whole new level, while seldom straying from the typical clean AG silhouettewith distinct structured lines.
Curious to know how the man behind the label works, The Trendspotter sat down with AG and got a slight glimpse into just that.
You’ve been designing for 14 years. Where will we see AG go to from here?
Looking upon that time the brand has evolved somewhat to include many new categories, my proudest of which is women’s wear. The future growth of the business will be the launch of our eStore in March 2013, which will mean we can begin to market our products on an international level.
You’ve commanded a sterling reputation in your time and developed a loyal brand of followers that worship the AG look and label. How does that feel?
It still feels very surreal that my label is sold nationally through 22 of my own stores. I still get excited when I see people in the street wearing my designs. It gives me the desire to take the brand further.
Your collections are always quite influenced by the colours of the season. Why is this the way you design?
My main inspiration is textiles that I source in Europe and develop with the textile mills. I feel that the expression is derived from the fabric first and the style second. I sometimes feel if I wasn’t designing garments I would be designing textiles. It’s so inspiring to travel around the world visiting fabric mills that families have had for generations and the passion for design and quality is paramount.
Melbourne Spring Fashion Week showcased some of your best and most popular pieces featuring lots of colour, print and both male and female pieces. How was it to again draw so much attention?
To see the collection as a whole really showcases the ideas, silhouettes and colour palette for the season. Customers have a great overview of the vision. In terms of media, we are privileged to have such continual support since the beginning.
Is it safe to say menswear is where your heart is? Why?
Menswear is very important to me and definitely close to my heart especially since it is what I wear. Womenswear however, is just as exciting and creatively as much fun especially since the womenswear collection changes quite significantly every season.
Bold and active prints are akin with your womens’ collections. From where do you find the inspiration for the prints?
I work with several amazing mills and print houses to develop prints, which are always a staple in the collection. Even when block colour is important in a season you still have to have a balance of prints as they add life to a collection.
Your focus is so heavy on fabrics and their quality, which is very notable in fashion design. What’s the importance of fabrication?
My brand integrity means everything to me. A client database can only build if you provide a product that reflects core values of quality, fit and integrity. I only source from the best mills that reflect the importance that I place on each garment in the collection.
What’s the benefit of working in close collaboration with Myer?
Myer house our concession store, this means that we have our own boutiques within the Myer store. The benefit of this is that my brand is exposed to a wider market through Myer promoting my brand to their consumer base.
What is your design process? How do you work from concept to construction?
Before I head overseas to the fabric fairs, I have in mind a key look for each gender that is the essence of the season. Then while I am at the fairs I see amazing fabrics that suit the look and from there the collection takes shape.
Your ability to produce your collections in-house is something quite admirable in an Australian label as large as yours. Why is this benefit?
The benefit is in the control and hands on approach to ensure a range is as precise as it can be. However due to the shrinking labour force in the garment manufacturing sector we have had to move a portion of our production overseas. We now have an office overseas to oversee production and quality to the standard I produce in Australia. The benefit of this is the whole production chain is managed and supervised by the AG team.
Article by James Banham