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Kookai launches new collection, working to unify international business

Kookai managing director Rob Cromb.

Australian-owned, Paris-born fashion label Kookai celebrated the launch of its spring and summer collection in Sydney this week, holding an exclusive runway show at Campbell’s Stores in Circular Quay. 

Kookai’s latest collection was designed by way of a partnership between the brand’s Melbourne and Paris design studios – a process which managing director Rob Cromb believes gives Kookai something special. 

“There are certainly differences in local trends and aesthetics that add a level of complication, but the introduction of more styles allow us to broaden the offering of differing markets throughout the world,” Cromb told Inside Retail.

“It certainly has been a great experience for myself and the Australian team experiencing some of the things Paris has introduced in terms of new product lines – and I imagine vice versa for the French team.”

Cromb, along with co-owner Danielle Vagner, acquired the European Kookai business in 2017 to create a more focused, singular global brand.

According to Cromb, understanding these cultural differences has been one of the key learnings across the team over the past two years. However, moving forward the business will put a bit more focus on the Australian style. 

“We’ve spent much of the last 12 months with a big focus on the French business, and I feel it’s time we acknowledge the importance of the Australian designs,” Cromb said. 

“We’re currently working on unifying the brand, design, and buying to create a more global collection.”

Over the last year, Kookai has focused on reorganising its logistics, IT, sourcing, brand and buying platforms in France to better align with its Australian business, with the intention of combining its Melbourne and Paris designs to present a unified collection moving forward. 

“Paris is a very artistic culture and it seeps into many aspects of French culture,” Cromb said. 

“We think this injection to Kookai globally will be a key asset in our future.”

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