photo-icon Claudia Fischer

Adelaide fashion hits the New York catwalk

People of Adelaide At Work

When the email arrived informing Abby Potter that she’d been invited to showcase her House of Campbell label at September's New York Fashion Week, the city-based designer very humbly thought it was a hoax. Thankfully, a little investigation quickly confirmed that the news of this unexpected and incredible opportunity was very real.

So exactly how does a relatively new label from Adelaide, launched less than a year ago, get the attention of ‘those in the New York know’?

“To be honest, it was infamous ‘Adelaide connection’”, said Abby. “We showed Heroine – our debut collection – on a runway in Adelaide, which then was tagged by someone on Instagram, who tagged someone else and tagged by others in the industry – and the rest, as they say, is history. Fashion Palette, an agency that supports and promotes emerging Australian designers, got in touch and offered us an opportunity as a part of their New York show.”

On 8 September, House of Campbell will show Heroine as a part of Fashion Palette’s runway at Pier 59 Studios in Chelsea.

“We’re taking the opportunity to network and explore export conventions, which run as a part of New York Fashion Week,” said Abby. “To let in you on a secret, we’re also working away on a few little projects in the Big Apple and we can’t wait to share them with our following back home!”

Abby’s relationship with clothing and design was “love at first thread”, starting over 20 years ago when, as a young girl, she was taught how to sew by her grandmother Annie Campbell – who her label honours.

Migrating to Australia from Glasgow, Scotland, our Nan settled in Adelaide where she worked as the local neighbourhood seamstress in her spare time. She had the original side-hustle!” said Abby.

“Annie’s migration story, and the solace she found in using raw Australian materials to recreate the glamour she so missed about Glasgow, is a huge inspiration to me. She has been, and remains, an incredible mentor and support for House of Campbell.”

Abby potter house of campbell creative director
photo-icon Claudia Fischer

Abby Potter, House of Campbell Creative Director.

Launching her own label in late 2018 was anything but an overnight decision for Abby.

Throughout my teens, I threw myself into work experience – working with a range of designers with various specialities, before completing my diploma with TAFE SA a few years ago. From there, I was fortunate to land a role at Australian Fashion Labels, working with brands including C/MEO Collective and The Fifth Label.

“There’s no doubt I was very lucky to be working in the industry, especially in Adelaide. But, increasingly, I couldn’t shake this niggling feeling which would eventually become House of Campbell.

"I can honestly say there’s no convenient time to go it alone! It was a huge leap. However, after a year of preparation, we pre-launched our first collection, Heroine, last November – and I haven’t looked back since!”

Abby describes the House of Campbell look as “bold, playful and powerful” and inspired by iconic innovators like Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel and Christian Dior, whose designs celebrate women and embrace their form.

“We firmly believe in striking but accessible designs, which are crafted to suit diverse women of different shapes and lifestyles. If it makes a statement and fits like a glove, it’s House of Campbell.”

The New York opportunity is easily a dream come true for Abby, but one she has earned through determination and innovation.

“Being able to show my clothes amongst the best in the business is an incredible honour. Australian designers, and South Australians in particular, have a proud history on the international stage. To be able to walk in the steps of designers I adore, like Adelaide’s own Paolo Sebastian, is a huge deal for me. I’m consistently pinching myself – I’ve got the bruises to prove it!”

Shop the House of Campbell collection online at the label’s website and follow their New York adventure on their Facebook page.

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is Adelaide Living's main driving force. She is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.