Brisbane friends, Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson, established the label in 1988.Neither had formal training in fashion design, yet the pair decided to collaborate.”We were both in the fashion industry already,” Pearson said.
“I had my own label and Pam had been working for Sportsgirl and she came back to Brisbane after a long stint … in Melbourne and was going to start her label.”
Their first retail outlet was in the front of their workroom in Brisbane, where their now recognisable eclectic, colourful, patterned and embellished designs were created.
“We started out just making dresses and we were making dresses because Pam had the very vital information that Queensland ladies liked dresses and there weren’t very many around,” Pearson said.
“So I think that was about as big as our ambition was.”The designers’ big break came at Australian Fashion Week where the label graced the catwalk for the first time in 1997.”Joan Burstein from Browns in London bought our collection, as did Joyce Ma from Joyce in Hong Kong,” Easton said.
The fashion world summonsed the pair to Paris next before they were invited to participate in parades in New York, the Middle East, India, and Japan.Italy was Easton Pearson’s biggest export market.”The Middle East was also quite big, but we had a really great market in Japan as well,” Pearson said.
Brisbane remained home
The renowned fashion designers travelled the world, but chose to retain their Brisbane base.”We have an enormous support base here — family and friends and amazing clients,” Easton said.”But also it’s just a good place to live and to come back to.”
An exhibition of their work was displayed at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane in 2009.It was one of the first Australian fashion shows in an art gallery and attracted more than 80,000 visitors.Their decision to release a final collection was based around family commitments and new individual ventures.
“We’ve been talking about it and working towards it for a while. And I think we wanted to go out on a very positive note and we’re doing that,” Easton said.Pearson said it was difficult decision to make.
“We have had an absolutely amazing time. We’ve met so many incredible people, we’ve been able to travel, we’ve worked with artisans we would never have had access to had we not been doing what we’re doing,” she said.