There’s big news in the Australian fashion industry today with Collette Dinnigan announcing she’s shutting down her business after 24 years.
It turns out she has spent two years looking for someone to take over the company and run it for her but couldn’t find the right person.
So what’s happened is one of Australia’s internationally-known fashion brands is shuttering because of an inability to attract and secure talent.
Some of the candidates apparently turned up their noses at her presence in David Jones, which sells her Collette by Collette Dinnigan brand.
Katrina Strickland reports in the AFR today:
“If they’ve been international they haven’t understood the domestic market, and we’ve even brought people out from Paris or London and they’ve kind of written off David Jones and what we do here, and I think, ‘hang on a minute, you have to understand this is a huge part of our business and is very important to me.’ Or they’re Australian and haven’t understood the international side of the business, which is why it’s so important to show in Paris. ”
It’s commendable Dinnigan has made the tough decision to get out of the game to spend more time with her family.
But it’s also a loss to the Australian fashion industry that appears caused in part by the subtleties of the local not being grasped by top talent in the global fashion industry.
It’s something for Australia’s next Collette Dinnigan to keep in mind when building the empire. Getting top management to Australia isn’t easy.
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