Fashion had been an undercurrent in Hannah Burnard and Robyn Pelvin’s lives for years until it finally burst to the forefront and inspired them to create their workwear line Issue Clothing. After choosing a Bachelor of Laws over a Bachelor of Fashion Design, Pelvin noticed a gap in the market for fashionable, good quality workwear for women and was inspired to fill the gap. Burnard had been making her own clothing for years and working in sales and marketing - often for fashion clients. This experience gave her an uncanny insight into the success or downfall of many fashion brands and illustrated how the correct business model underpinnings could cause a creative endeavour like a fashion line to sink or swim. Their capsule collection approach is designed to best cater to the needs of working women. Instead of having expansive seasonal collections, Issue Clothing is curated - offering a few simple designs which consumers will be able to wear day-in, day-out at the office. New collections act as a top up, supplementing the work wardrobe and styling effortlessly in with the previous season’s designs.
Despite a lack of formal fashion training, Burnard and Pelvin’s collaborative abilities and strong visions allow them to bring their designs to life effectively. At Issue Clothing, Burnard is in charge of marketing and sales, and Pelvin is responsible for production management, finance and logistics, while they work together on all designs. Working with local manufacturers has enabled Issue Clothing to be produced with a significant amount of control still in Burnard and Pelvin’s hands, which has meant that the design duo can oversee everything and achieve the quality they want.
Burnard and Pelvin are passionate about customer service and have noticed that consumer focus is changing. No longer are consumers focused on flashy or big brands, the focus is falling increasingly on smaller, authentic brands which can have a conversation with the customer. Additionally, Issue Clothing’s consumers have also increasingly been interested in the ethics and sustainability of their designs.
Future plans for Issue Clothing involve bricks and mortar stores, which will complement their online presence. Burnard and Pelvin have toyed with the idea of a pop-up store, but are also interested in widening their stockists, as their market is made up of consumers who enjoy shopping online for convenience, and consumers who prefer to touch and try on garments before purchase.