The Woolmark-Winning Aussie Brand You Need to Know
When a new fashion label comes onto the scene, it can sometimes feel like an overnight sensation. The reality, though, is often much more of a slow burn. Emerging Melbourne-based Strateas.Carlucci is certainly a name to know right now. The brainchild of Mario-Luca Carlucci and Peter Strateas took the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize Australia regional final a couple of weeks ago in both the menswear and womenswear categories, just months after winning the Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award at the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
While all those judges can’t be wrong, the real story here is of a collaboration that has stretched more than 10 years (they met in high school art class) and a partnership the duo describes like that of “brothers,” where they “carry the good and the bad.” The raw emotion they displayed when accepting the Woolmark Prize was a refreshing reminder of the heartache it takes to pursue such a dream.
“Yes, a little embarrassing, looking over it now,” said Carlucci, reflecting on the tears. “It was just such an overwhelming moment; that emotion completely took over. You work so hard, and put in so many hours and dedicate so much of your life to this cause, that when winning an accolade as great as this, it makes all the hard work worth it.
“Being an emerging designer has many challenges, and you make many sacrifices—mentally, financially, and emotionally,” he continued. “A prize like this means the absolute world to us. We are so very grateful—words cannot describe.”
The label, which runs on a Northern Hemisphere timetable, launched two years ago in a Paris showroom in January during the F/W 2012-2013 menswear season. After encouraging support, the designers followed with a womenswear collection, also presented in Paris, just two months later. This international focus has seen them widely stocked internationally, and now with Woolmark’s $50,000 investment toward their next collection, their sites are firmly set on the world.
But who are Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci? Here’s a moment to get to know them better.
I always wanted to be… an artist.
People don’t know I… live in a converted workshop inside an old prison.
The reason I started the label is… creative fulfillment.
My biggest achievement to date… winning both the men’s and women’s awards at the International Woolmark Prize this year.
My favorite artist… Salvador Dalí.
I am the most comfortable… in a buttoned-up collared shirt.
My most exciting collaboration to date… is that with my business partner. The last ten years have been a series of collaborations in various mediums.
My favorite concert I ever attended was… Björk.
My favorite food to eat is… French pastries.
Currently I am really into… Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
People don’t know I… love to paint.
The first thing I do when I wake up is… feed my child.
The reason I started the label is… creative expression.
My favorite artist… Picasso.
I wish I dressed like… the male version of Tilda Swinton.
My biggest achievement to date… my son.
I cannot live without… my family.
My idea of happiness is… balance of work and life.
My favorite city in the world is… Melbourne.
I always wanted to be… an artist.
For more information, visit strateascarlucci.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Strateas.Carlucci