Melbourne based sister duo, Jacinta and Mikhaela Lombardozzi and I spent time discussing their new clothing label, Texxcha. Prior to entering their amazing home, I did what all good writers should do, and researched the talent.
Guilty as charged, one bit of research led to another bit of research, and researching the talent soon becoming researching which Texxcha items would be appropriate for a complete overhaul of my wardrobe. Reaching a cart of $600 in a mere matter or minutes, I quickly exited my browser and continued to pursue more financially friendly activities. *True story* (story was not added in for effect). If you don't believe me, I challenge you to check their website or Instagram out for yourselves.
In any case, and moving on to more relevant details, thinking outside the box seems to be a talent of both sisters. The pair passionately discussed the versatility of not only their label, but items including a seatbelt, and industrial fabrics such as PVC. Texxcha represents an individual who is open to taking risks with fashion, which both Mikhaela and Jacinta are all about. Describing their brand as ‘luxe street minimal’, the production of clothing that is versatile remains a central element of their design process and outcome. According to the pair, everything has two functions, whether it be a jumper that can be worn backwards, or a bag that can be turned into, yes..another bag. That’s two for the price of one.
What’s more, Texxcha portrays an ideal which doesn't discriminate. In a world where judgement is presented at every turn, it seems refreshing the way the two describe the label as ‘neither feminine or masculine, we want it to remain very open like that’. Additionally, their sizing presents a non discriminatory 1, 2 and 3, I do not have to feel guilty for ordering that extra Mojito (or two) with a side of fries on the weekend, preach.
Talking design processes, the two outline the fact that their inspiration is ever occurring, allowing them to create garments according to their passions, rather than sticking to guided seasonal releases. The two discuss this with fervour, claiming “what’s the point of releasing something you love just because you have to release by a certain date?”. Truly deposing the idea of ‘fast fashion’ and demonstrating an authentic artistic flair which seems hard to come by in a world where every Tom, Dick and Harry are promoting themselves as some sort of artistic genius.
Eventually, one thing led to another, and the three of us began discussing the validity of tertiary study and the value that a completed degree presents when planning a start up business. According to the pair, “studying [covers] the more technical side of things”, which would seem a moot point if you are naturally gifted, which the two clearly are. Jacinta and Mikhaela’s artistic vision/direction speaks for itself through their refined and aesthetically pleasing product.
I must say, with such a validation from two artistic individuals with a bright future, it all seems so clear that I was born for more than living the life of a financially struggling university student. A start-up business is how I'm meant to live. What lead our conversation was a strong, week lasting urge to quit my degree, which, with a long six months to go, seems too painful to endure.
LM: Is one of you the business brain and one the creative brain? Or do you both dabble in both?
Texxcha: We have equal input into both the business and the creative aspects. However, it is easier to each prioritise our time on one aspect, so I (Mikhaela) attend to the business side of Texxcha and Jacinta deals with the production side. I have more knowledge when it comes to business and accounts and that side of things whereas Jacinta knows more about making samples and patterns for garments. But we both partake equally in making the decisions towards Texxcha as a whole.
LM: Who would you want to see in your pieces most?
Texxcha: We often imagine how incredible it would be to walk down the street and see complete strangers wearing our garments, especially in a way in which they have put their own twist on the piece. At this point in time we are still a small scale business, and the people who do know of our brand are people in our extended social circle. In terms of well known icons, it would be incredible if our pieces were to be seen on people like FKA Twigs, Dutch fashion blogger Ivania Carpio, other designers or people that are known for their adventurous and iconic style.
LM: Whose work really blew your mind recently?
Texxcha: We admire contemporary Australian designers. Dion Lee and Josh Goot continuously inspire and amaze us, as well as Melbourne designer Pai. In terms of visual art, the recent Viktor and Rolf exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria blew our minds.
LM: What’s next?
Texxcha: Next is another creative shoot! We hope that each shoot of ours is very different from the other, whilst still maintaining our aesthetic. We aim to do more of an outdoor shoot but take the colours of the environment out of context. If you know Richard Moss' work - that's where most of our inspiration will be derived from. Similar to our first shoot, we want the models to remain multicultural - different coloured skin, hair colour and facial features, which also tie into 'textures'.
LM: How have you found public response to your work so far?
Texxcha: Really good! People we know are really supportive and genuinely impressed by our work, and their support has been amazing. During our time spent travelling earlier this year, people in Europe were actually approaching us to comment on our pieces we were wearing. It showed us that our style seems to be well liked and received in other areas than Melbourne. Other cultures (especially Europe) have a different style when it comes to Fashion, as big name brands alter their style according to the likes of a particular culture. Knowing our work was appreciated in countries like Italy, Spain, France and London gave us confidence in hopefully taking our brand international in the future.
LM: Have you found it difficult to establish yourselves this far? How has this process been for you?
Texxcha: Yes, not going to lie it has been really difficult. While social media is a great platform, it is still hard to establish yourself on Instagram etc and create a genuine following whilst making sure you are not being too forceful on accumulating followers. I guess we want the business to grow organically and develop a genuine interest in our brand, instead of gaining followers by buying them, or other tactics some brands use. We feel this is more satisfying for us in the long run, it’s much more authentic! Jacinta and I are in no rush to get there, we want to do this well, and we want to do it slowly. We both live such busy lives and have a lot going on ,so moving slowly works well for us. We just hope that when we get there eventually, it's long lasting!
Holly Terry is a young lass from the 'burbs who enjoys painting and eating. You'll find her painting anything with an inch of available space, including her pet dog. When she is not cooped up at her job and favourite hobby, Davey Jones, she spends her days studying International Relations. She hopes to take on the world in future years and rewrite the entire series of Star Wars.