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									                                                                     City News
                                                                     Thursday 25/2/2010                         Brief: SHARPPR
                                                                     Page: 1                                    Page 1 of 4
                                                                     Section: General News
                                                                     Region: Brisbane Circulation: 49,747
                                                                     Type: Suburban
                                                                     Size: 1,984.31 sq.cms.
                                                                     Frequency: ---T---

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                                                                 Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy             Ref: 65233371
                             City News
                             Thursday 25/2/2010                                        Brief: SHARPPR
                             Page: 1                                                   Page 2 of 4
                             Section: General News
                             Region: Brisbane Circulation: 49,747
                             Type: Suburban
                             Size: 1,984.31 sq.cms.
                             Frequency: ---T---

Fashion's shining
 NAMED after the brightest star in the night sky, edgy local fashion
 label Dogstar will shortly open its fourth Brisbane boutique and
 its first in Melbourne. Here, Dogstar's talented creator Masayo
 Yasuki shares how her label conquered the fickle fashion market.

     N AN industry where young, rising stars 13/99 Elizabeth St, City; and at Shop
     often facie and burn out quickly, talented 9/1 b Little Stanley St, South Bank.
 I   veteran Dogstar creator, fashion cle- Aside from its strong Brisbane market,
 signer Masayo Yasuki is in a league of her Dogstar has 75 stockists across Australia
 own.                                             and New Zealand. What's more, it has a
  She's Brisbane fashion's quiet achiever huge following in Melbourne, where
 who has achieved extraordinary success - Masayo is currently investigating sites for
 not that you'd know it.                  her first interstate boutique.
  The stunningly beautiful, softly spoken  So how was Dogstar born? Masayo cre-
 and humble Japanese-born Masayo, 42, ated the label 10 years ago after emigrating
 rarely gives media interviews, not because from her native Fukui, Japan, to Australia
 she doesn't appreciate the publicity - she's to study.
 just not one to blow her own trumpet.          While completing a marketing degree at
   But consider this: While countless other QUT in 1998, she started to export Aust-
 local fashion labels struggled for survival ralian clothes to Japan on a small scale to
 and/or folded during the recent global make an income while at university.
 financial crisis, Dogstar actually flourished.    After developing a strong local following
  In 2009, Dogstar's sales increased by more for her signature clothing in Clark, moody
 than 40 per cent, production increased by colours, which can be worn in multiple
 30 per cent, and 25 more stockists in ways - reversible vests and aprons, with
 Australia and NZ came on board. In ad- plain black fabric on one side and a print
 clition, Dogstar has experienced an average on the other - Masayo took the plunge and
 of 30 per cent growth in the past five years. set up her own label, signing a lease at her
   This success has allowed Masayo to add first store at Fortitude Valley.
 a fourth store to her burgeoning Brisbane In the three years following, she worked
 empire - she'll open a second CBD with Japanese fashion lecturer Akiko
 boutique in Edward St this April.             Kataoka to develop the current Dogstar
  The designer already has thriving retail look.
 stores at 71 3 Ann St, Fortitude Valley; Shop

                         Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                            Ref: 65233371
                          City News
                          Thursday 25/2/2010                                         Brief: SHARPPR
                          Page: 1                                                    Page 3 of 4
                          Section: General News
                          Region: Brisbane Circulation: 49,747
                          Type: Suburban
                          Size: 1,984.31 sq.cms.
                          Frequency: ---T---

 And the rest, as they say, is history.       what you don't see that creates individual
  "Dogstar's traditional Brisbane retail base beauty."
has been continually growing as more Masayo says the label is extremely popular
people embrace our design ethic," Masayo among arty Brisbane women aged 30 to
says. "This is on top of our Australian and 60-plus.
New Zealand wholesale growth of more "Dogstar women are very creative people
than 60 per cent in the last couple of years. who have an appreciation of clesign and
 "I believe a close relationship with cus- function working in synchronicity. Some
tomers has propelled the label forward. We     people see Dogstar as having a very edgy
also regularly conduct events and showings     look, but I hope more women can discover
with our regular customers and VIPs just to    it,   and in doing so realise that there is
gauge their thoughts, requests and             another way of wearing and styling that
feedback. It is invaluable information that allows them to find themselves through
we cannot be so arrogant as to not take expressing their creativity and individuality.
notice of."                                   "We create the garment, and they (cus-
  Interestingly, Masayo's clesigns do not tomers) create the look. One of the most
conform to stereotypical perceptions of exciting things for me as a designer is to
beauty - there's no barely-there flesh-fests see a customer walking down the street
like those favoured by today's national and wearing one of our garments in a unique
international celebrities.                   way. You think, Is that our clothes?'
  Instead, Masayo's sharp and unique sil-     "Last season we created this vest, which
houettes are inevitably influenced by her have seen local women wearing upside-

Japanese heritage and love of strong shapes clown. It was totally different and a big
that are not overtly sexual.             surprise - just wonderful to see.
  "If you look at the Japanese kimono, it "Our customers are professionals, who
is not sexy or revealing," she explains.  know what they like and dislike. I'm always
 "It's about hidden beauty. In the sane seeking to create something new and fresh
way, our clothes aren't sexy or with which to excite them.
stereotypically glamorous.                     "I'm inspired by Yohji Yamamoto and
  "Dogstar fashion isn't about exposing; it's Comme des Garcons. Both are incredibly

                                              ( REATIVE PATTERN: 1),--, E.j.,LEI

                      Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                             Ref: 65233371
                             City News
                             Thursday 25/2/2010                                                Brief: SHARPPR
                             Page: 1                                                           Page 4 of 4
                             Section: General News
                             Region: Brisbane Circulation: 49,747
                             Type: Suburban
                             Size: 1,984.31 sq.cms.
                             Frequency: ---T---

artistic, and each collection brings a sur-                linen and cotton. Reuse and recycling is
prise; creative energy is evident in each              an important aspect of the label's pro-
outfit. I get goosebumps whenever I see their          duction methods; even the cardboard and
new collections."                                      paper patterns are used for compost in
 With great success comes sacrifice - this             Masayo's garden.
year Masayo is intent on striking more of                   The label has recently introduced online
a work-life balance so she can spend more              pattern-making, rather than solely relying on
time at home with her husband, musician                the more labour-intensive pattern-making by
River Petein, who composes the sound-                  hand needed for intricate garments, which
tracks for her fashion shows, and their two            has dramatically sped up the output process.
young children Naima and Taishi.                            In addition, from a production perspec-
  And she's hoping her staff will follow suit.         tive, the fashion market is moving very
 "Personally, I want my team and myself                quickly, and consumers want "the next
to feel passionate and excited about coming            thing" with greater urgency than in the past,
to work each clay and have our work sit                so Dogstar will be creating smaller, more
well in our personal lifestyles. That comes            regular collections to fulfil this need.
through in our creativity and ability to                    Masayo is also keeping an eye out for
design well," Masayo says.                             cheap knock-offs- in 2008, she won a legal
 "Dogstar got so big so quickly. We also               battle against a Sydney company that
have two diffusion labels, Luika and Es-               shamelessly ripped off one of her shirt
sence. This year we all have to strike a               designs.
balance to ensure everyone is happy and                 "It was so stressful at the time. Especially
mentally healthy."                                     as the copies are such bad quality. But now
 Another challenge for Masayo and her                  I try to see the compliment in people
18-strong team this year is streamlining the           copying our clothes," she says.
business at Dogstar's HQ at 42 Manning                      "Thankfully our customers are so support-
St, South Brisbane.                                    ive of what we clo, as are other local
 Dogstar fashions are designed and manu-               designers such as Deanne Mayocchi and
factured there using predominantly envir-              Sacha Drake. It's such a gift."
onmentally friendly fabrics such as silk,                Visit

                                        (Left) LOOK
                                        SHARP, Masayo
                                        Vasuki fai'ours
                                        srmng shapes
                                        and A hQUettes itl

                                        {Right) COLOU R
                                        COOS Qo tar i9,
                                        popu]ar dawn
                                        souih For iL
                                        strong use of dark

                        Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                                     Ref: 65233371

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