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Oroton, australian luxury brand

by pascal iakovou
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Blending contemporary elegance with understated luxury, Oroton remains one of the most talked about brands in Australian fashion today, complete with innovative collections that are rivalled only by the history of the brand itself.

Founded in 1938, pioneering businessman Boyd Lane rapidly established himself at the forefront of his field importing and wholesaling quality textiles from Europe, including ladies handbag frames from a supplier in Belgium, one of which arrived with a sample material that would eventually play a pivotal part in the future rise of Boyd’s company: mesh.

Curious to discover other designs that could potentially be crafted from the metal material, Boyd travelled to a West German factory where it was revealed everything from coin purses to wallets could be produced, in addition to spectacle cases, card holders and more.

In his quest of refining the trademark of the brand, a logo was designed and patented and the first-ever Oroton product emerged in 1951 in the form of a gold mesh powder compact. Manufacturers were contacted and so began the retail endeavour of the brand name which takes its cue from a combination of ‘oro’ which translates as the Latin word for gold, and ‘ton’ implying a tonne of gold or fortune.

From its best-selling French purse model to the ever-popular brush, comb and mirror sets, whatever the season Oroton consistently remained a retail phenomenon across Australia and became known as the brand with a cult-following. The mesh evening bags were so in-demand the brand was even asked to produce a limited-edition purse especially for the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Not surprisingly, it went on to become a definite “must-have” for women across the nation.

As the collections continued to develop mixing timeless style with sophistication, Oroton reached American shores in the late 1980s and early 1990s as stockists included US department stores Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.

Intent on continual growth in Australia and New Zealand as well as international markets, in 1987 the OrotonGroup commenced operating as a public company upon the Australian Stock Exchange. Playing a major role in the brand’s decision to further explore product expansion, whilst inadvertently cementing the seductive appeal of the brand and reinstating its focus on affordable luxury, in 2000 Oroton introduced an intimate apparel collection for both men and women.

Whilst successfully managing to reinvent itself whilst staying true to its core, Oroton now prepares to enter yet another époque: one that will reflect the spirit of the brand and its company philosophy in the midst of gaining recognition from a new generation, simply by a single lettered logo: ‘O.’

The signature logo is featured prominently throughout the collections, and even provided the perfect inspiration last year when the brand collaborated with Vogue Australia to create a limited-edition bag for its 50th Anniversary Celebration. As well as being the mainstay template of Oroton boutiques and departments across Australia and New Zealand with its sleek metallic design and wood finish, the iconic “O” signifies a sophisticated step forward into the future according to one of the last remaining, Australian-owned luxury brands in existence.

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