Peri Ridge has been around fashion for 16 years and shows no sign of stopping. From humble beginnings on the shop floor to working her way up the corporate ladder to Head Office, Ridge has been at every level. A valuable experience, Ridge credited it as key in her professional development. “Learning from your customers is something I truly believe in and was a big part of how I approach my role today,” revealed Ridge.
Her current position at Husk has been 10 years in the making. “On completion of my studies the CEO of Husk offered me my absolute dream role of Head Women’s Apparel Buyer,” reminisced Ridge, but the role has been more than dreamy. The department was developed under Ridge in the first 12 months of her tenure, an undertaking that saw it take on more than ever. “In the current iteration of my role I travel twice a year to NYC, Paris and Milan” she added.
Though she has worked hard at expansion, the client is always Ridge’s focus. “Husk is made for the woman living a life less ordinary” she maintained, and with that mantra in mind, she keeps her vision clear. In addition to carrying the Husk eponymous brand, the boutique also curates products that compliment their apparel, creating a cohesive experience. You won’t find then same-old in Husk, because they strive to be as unique as their clients. “I would say we work more holistically with trends, ensuring we are not following what the market is doing instead nodding to particular aspects and aligning with our target market” explained Ridge.
The target market is about to get bigger for Husk. In addition to the 12 stores across Australia, New Zealand will see it’s first store in Westfield Newmarket. It will be a welcome addition to the mall with its diverse selection of apparel, accessories, and homewares. Though it is not a mass department store, Ridge insists that boutiques can be just as valuable for designers, and that’s all thanks to the relationships they foster. “We work incredibly closely with our brands and have a constant feedback loop. We are highly collaborative and want to ensure that the relationship is successful and impactful for both parties,” notes Ridge. The Newmarket location will aid Husk’s idea of “attainable luxury”, with prices ranging from $99 to $899 AUD.
Strength is a key philosophy with Ridge, from her vision of her client to the designers that she looks for. Being able to hold your own is important in the digital age is important, and nothing stands like strength according to Ridge. “[the] ability to tell their brand story is key, their narrative needs to be emotive,” offered Ridge. With Husk’s aesthetic being described as “dynamic” and “unique” it is no surprise that Ridge wants designers to pop online. “Clients are better educated on the offer that is out there and expects a quality product at a competitive and obtainable price.
Looking to the future, Ridge has her eye on the upcoming seasons, with trends to draw from in mind. Headbands, crossbody bags, and bright metallic leathers are her picks for the accessories while snake, pastels and fuchsia are the picks for apparel. On the decline, Ridge predicts we will be saying goodbye to the insta-famous dad sneaker and PVC. Where Ridge decides to include these will remain to be seen but the discovery and a desire for something new will definitely be in Husk’s fashion forecast.