Interview with Chantelle Cox: Haut Boheme
Lucinda Bayly | On 05, Sep 2013
Tucked away in Fortitude Valleyâ€™s very own treasure trove, Winn Lane lays the freethinking Chantelle Cox, owner of avant-garde boutique Haut Boheme, and designer of new Brisbane label, Farron.
Yearning to empower women through their clothing, Chantelle started Farron with a picture of the modern day warrior in mind, embellished in all sorts of armour, and equipped with weapons of fashion.
We sat down with Chantelle to talk about all things Farron and Haut Boheme, to really find out what made it all tick.
CD: What inspired you to start Farron and open Haut Boheme?Â How are you enjoying owning the boutique?
Chantelle:Â Opening up Haut Boheme and starting Farron was really a natural progression for me. Since I was 4 years old, I remember telling people I was going to be a designer. After school, I learnt the basics, and entered the world that I felt destined to be apart of. I worked hard, and very closely with my previous employer and learnt as much as I could in the time that I was there.Â From there, it only seemed natural to me that I could grow no further in that company, and thus it was now time to work even harder, and so Farron was born. On Nov 28 2012, the doors of Haut Boheme opened for everyone to see.
I honestly feel so blessed that I get to go to work every day doing something that I love. Having my own business has been the biggest learning curve for me. It means constant dedication and working around the clock and sometimes can be quite stressful, but doing something for myself and watching it develop and grow gives me a greater satisfaction then I’ve experienced before.
CD: What makes Haut Boheme so special?Â Â Tell us about some of the brands that you stock?
Chantelle:Â Haut Boheme is special because itâ€™s a space Iâ€™ve created that portrays what home feels like to me. I wanted to give my customer an experience and to be able to feel something from the moment they step inside the store. The brands really are a compliment to the space and so what you will find is things that I feel represent what Haut Boheme means to me. Farron is my in house label that fills majority of the store, but alongside it there is my best friends label Gold Ordon, I have Aje, from Sydney which I’m lucky enough to have the exclusivity to in Brisbane & another well known label NLP (formerly known as ATG) which is the neoprene swimwear thatâ€™s been seen on the likes of Lara Bingle and other famous faces.
CD: So youâ€™re the only boutique in Brisbane to stock Aje?Â Â Thatâ€™s awesome! Are there any other brands that are exclusive to Haut Boheme?
Chantelle: Yes, apart from Aje, I have Gold Ordon, Kym Toussaint custom denim, and a jewellery label from New York called PDB.Â There is still a few more to come though, so watch this space!
CD: What is the process of choosing the designs that you stock?
Chantelle: It really has to do with the aesthetic I am creating through Haut Boheme. Things with textural or interesting elements are what draw pieces to me.
CD: Tell us about your aesthetic inspiration behind your in-store brand Farron.
Chantelle: For me, it was about creating a wearable label with pieces that could be interpreted through many peopleâ€™s diverse wardrobes. I myself have always been fashion conscious but never really conformed to trends.Â I wouldn’t say my style is anything too crazy or left of center, but my style is what works for me. It was the things that I wanted but couldn’t always find that got me designing.
A Farron girl in my eyes is a modern day warrior; she is strong, empowered, confident and her beauty, be it imperfect or not, is her greatest weapon. Â She is drawn to fit and form tailoring, delicate fabric, interesting texture and natural palettes with opulent, luxe accessories being her greatest addiction.
Farron really is an extension of me.
CD: What gap in the Brisbane market were you looking to fill?
Chantelle: To be honest, I wasn’t actually trying to fill any gap. Brisbane is my home so it just made sense to start here. I have been really lucky to have the instant local support that I have & in the short 9 months it has existed, Farron has grown & is nowÂ on the backs of babes on the other side of the world like Moscow, Spain, Croatia to name a few places.
CD: Winn Lane has a very Melbourne-esque vibe to it â€¦ how do you think the fashion scene in Brisbane is going in shaping up to our East Coast neighbours like Sydney and Melbourne?
Chantelle: I think we are getting there slowly, but there is always room for improvement. The Melbourne and Sydney laneways are what makes shopping there so special. Â I feel really lucky that Haut Boheme has had such a great following since opening, and supporting local business is so important as in this time in retail there are too many little boutiques closing down, which is really sad to see.
CD: What are some of my favourite “trends”?
Chantelle: Monochrome.Â Dressing in Black & white is me on the regs & plays a heavy role in Haut Boheme right now.
To check out the threads at Haut Boheme, head to 5C Winn Street, Fortitude Valley.
See what inspires Chantelle at www.thehautboheme.tumblr.com