Each month we feature a new or emerging Australian designer. This month we meet the women behind Adelaide label Don’t Do Pretty. Story & photos by Jacqueline Miholos.
Two best friends who met over 20 years ago in Adelaide, Rebel and Eloise say they were destined to take on the world together. The women behind new label Don’t Do Pretty tell us about their tribe and the message behind it: “Do powerful. Do smart.”
They have very mixed and broad backgrounds – Rebel’s as a vet nurse with various leadership & sales roles and Eloise owning her own martial arts club and currently serving as a captain in the army.
The designers say they’ve never complied with social norms when it comes to their thoughts and the way they dress. “We’ve always challenged the shell of being a woman and the social impacts and demands that we be pretty in order to be valued.” Their goals are to challenge the notion of just being pretty and create an opportunity for all women to be a part of their tribe. They want women to be able to express themselves as all that they are – powerful and extraordinary.
Rebel and Eloise see the fashion industry as being notoriously focused on women being pretty. So it’s also the best place for Rebel and Eloise to make a difference in the world. “We simply ask people to stop, think and ask themselves – what do they value? Where is their integrity? Don’t Do Pretty promotes and recognizes women as being powerful, smart and extraordinary, not simplified by just being pretty.”
They work closely together to ensure their vision is captured in the creative design process of their collections. Eloise focuses on business and production while Rebel leads sales, branding and marketing.
Don’t Do Pretty sets out to be more than a fashion label. It’s also a culture that Rebel and Eloise are building along with their community and “tribe”. They are a movement of women with integrity and social conscience who want to harness excellence.
Don’t Do Pretty has partnered with the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation for their second collection. Rebel and Eloise can’t hide their excitement. The project involves developing a program that “empowers the most vulnerable girls in our country whilst still respecting their traditional indigenous education system. In particular, we are very excited about doing some skill sharing workshops to learn more about aboriginal art skills,” says Rebel. The Dancing Spirit print designs in their new range – Collection 2.0 – will contribute towards the empowering girls program through to the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation.
These are two designers who are very excited about the possibilities for Don’t Do Pretty and how well their brand has already been received in such a short amount of time. It also keeps Rebel and Eloise inspired and motivated when things get tough.
Their dreams for Don’t Do Pretty are ever-expanding. “We dream big so we have lots of ideas and plans for the future with endless possibilities. The other night I had a dream we opened a Don’t Do Pretty Store on 5th Avenue, NYC,” said Eloise.
Rebel and Eloise are two designers with all the chutzpah to make it happen. After all, Don’t do Pretty is more than just a new fashion label, it’s a tribe! Don’t Do Pretty.