Tigermist: the local 'click bait fashion' challenging Zara, Topshop and H&M

An Australian fashion label that started in a Melbourne garage is now disrupting the fast fashion industry.

Tigermist – a label aimed at young women – has eight new product arrivals landing on its online store a day, whereas traditional retailers like Zara, Topshop and H&M usually refresh stock every week.

The Tigermist dress Zhivago claims is a copy. The Tigermist dress Zhivago claims is a copy. Photo: Instagram

Launched by sisters Stevie and Alana Pallister nine years ago as a boutique, it has grown to become a successful online and social media moneymaker.

"The store was doing well but it was Facebook where things were taking off. We'd take photos of me wearing the products then upload them and by Thursday, Friday and Saturday we'd be getting calls asking about the dresses and things online," Stevie said.

At the time the sisters were travelling to Indonesia to design, before Stevie was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and had to step away from the business for two years. She thought Tigermist would be wrapped up but Alana took the reins, during which time Instagram arrived and revolutionised their business.

"From Instagram in the early days Alana was selling 100 dresses a day," she said.

A combination of hyperactive social media engagement with its 1 million-strong audience, accessible prices, Chinese manufacturing and on-trend styles has seen Tigermist boom like iron ore once did.

Wholesale contracts with Myer, ASOS, Forever 21 followed as did an internationally-acclaimed ORIA award this year for Best Social Commerce Initiative, which has since given Tigermist more traction in the United States where Alana is now based.

Phoebe Dahl (far left) wearing the Eye of Horus dress by Australian label, Zhivago and the Tigermist offering (right). Phoebe Dahl (far left) wearing the Eye of Horus dress by Australian label, Zhivago and the Tigermist offering (right). 

Tigermist is the sartorial version of the new "it girls" like Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner, two identities the brand credits with inspiration.

"They are so much more powerful than traditional celebrities as their social media reach is so huge. Our market is the party girl, the young, vibrant girls who are 16 to 30 who are going to festivals, these are the celebrities that these girls look up to."

However some other Australian labels aren't impressed with the Tigermist story.

Earlier this year a dress retailing for about $90 being marketed as Lady Gaga-inspired caught the attention of Zhivago designers Lara Kovacevich and Lydia Tsvetnenko, wife of Perth internet millionaire Zhenya Tsvetnenko who was last week charged with fraud by US prosecutors.

"This is a direct copy of our dress, expect to hear from our lawyers," the pair posted to the Tigermist Instagram account, claiming it was a direct copy of their dress.The dress in question, which retails for hundreds of dollars, was the same gown worn by Phoebe Dahl, ex-girlfriend of Ruby Rose, to the GQ Men of the Year awards last year.

Stevie denied any legal action had been taken.

"We haven't come close enough to ruffle any feathers in the industry. We're not out there to rip off major brands, we are just drawing inspiration," Stevie said.

Amal's bestie returns to the nest

Jul 31, Sun Herald, The Goss, Jenna Clarke, Jennifer Robinson with her client Julian Assange and friend Amal Clooney. Photo: Getty

Jennifer Robinson, centre, with her client Julian Assange and friend Amal Clooney. Photo: Getty Images

Australian lawyer Jennifer Robinson is heading back to join her best friend Amal Clooney at the esteemed Doughty Street Chambers.

Robinson caught the attention of the fashion press back in 2014 when she wore a black, beaded Johanna Johnson gown to carry out her bridesmaid's duties at the Clooney's star-studded Venetian wedding.

For the past five years the Sydney-raised barrister has been working for the Bertha Foundation – a firm she helped build which specialises in social activism.

"We have built a program which supports over 100 fellowship positions every two years in 16 different countries and has invested millions in the next generation of human rights lawyers," she said.

Robinson, who also represents Julian Assange, heads back to practise law amid rumours Clooney is pregnant and looking to hang up her silks for a career in fashion, as reported by tabloids last week.

According to Grazia she is "in talks" with Oscar de la Renta, the same brand that designed one of her many wedding gowns for her wedding.

"Amal has long been obsessed with clothes, but she never considered working in the fashion industry. Since finding herself in the spotlight, she's collaborated with designers who have created custom-made pieces, and had a very hands-on role," the fashion magazine gushed.

If anyone can juggle a design career while in residence at Columbia Law School as a visiting professor who regularly trains judges and UN investigators in criminal law and human rights, Clooney can.


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