Founded virtually on the sands of Bondi Beach, a world famous surfer’s paradise in New South Wales, Australia, Banjo & Matilda’s initial mission sounded sublimely simple: To take the Australian beach-lifestyle, described by Daily Vogue as “sun-kissed, athletic and effortless,” to the world.
Creating a line of iconic apparel embodying the style, beauty and casually elegant culture of what is frequently called the “quintessential Australian beach” was not, by a record-breaking Bomb A wave shot, as simple as it sounded. The young company’s co-founders, Belynda and Ben Macpherson, knew they had to do more than simply produce an alternative to expensive-but-still-ordinary clothing. They had to “encapsulate the freedom and uncomplicated, yet discreetly luxurious, Australian Bondi Beach lifestyle” in their designs, and execute them with topnotch quality and integrity.
Opulent, sensual, hand-crafted sweaters, they believed, were the perfect product line with which to launch the new venture. Sweaters did more than just “capture the freedom of the beach lifestyle — the freshness of the ocean, warmth of the sand, and soulfulness of the surf.” They could also be made of the finest natural, organic, and sustainable materials — elegant multi-ply cashmere from Mongolia, premium silk, and organic cotton. All selected, the Macphersons said, to be the opposite of “fast-fashion in sustainability, longevity, endurance, and lovability.”
“Cashmere keeps you cool [in summer] and warm in the winter months,” Belynda Macpherson says. “It will brighten up any day.”
Not to mention the electrifying effect it can have on a graph or spreadsheet. Now offering a full line of predominately cashmere pants, tops, dresses, sleepwear, hoodies, and accessories as well as their ever-expanding line of “beachy statement” fun-fashion sweaters, Banjo & Matilda revenues jumped 81.3 percent to $1,724,181 in fiscal 2013.
By mid-2013, having reached the outer limits of what they could achieve as a private firm, the Macphersons decided to go public in the United States to, the company said, “fund expansion and growth, and position us to benefit from current and future opportunities.”
Company CEO Ben Macpherson, a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” has also indicated that one of his key goals in bringing Banjo & Matilda to the market is to position the company for an APO (Alternative Public Offering), which could potentially offer significant timeline and equity-building advantages relative to a traditional IPO.
“As we celebrate our public listing and welcome new investors into the Banjo & Matilda family,” Macpherson continued, “it’s important to note that I believe this is just the beginning … by combining our unique designs and Australian beach-lifestyle heritage, and our approach to making beautiful products from the best materials and as sustainably as possible, we believe Banjo & Matilda fulfills a unique and very large segment of the global fashion and lifestyle market. Certainly to date our success is a very strong indicator that this is true.”
Already carried in stores and online by important international retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols London, Stanley Korshaks, Net-a-Porter, Intermix New York, David Jones Australia, and major department and specialty stores in the U.S., UK, Europe, Middle East, and Australia, B&M increased the number of retail outlets carrying its garments by 122 percent in Q1. Based upon forward wholesale orders received, it expects to expand that number by more than 400 percent by the end of Q3.
In June 2014, the company appointed HATCh, Inc., a leading US West Coast based fashion sales showroom to help the company manage and expand its distribution in the North American market.
For more information about Banjo & Matilda, please visit: www.banjoandmatilda.com
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