Reflecting the sophisticated yet playful style of its founder, Natalie De’Banco, chic women’s fashion label Bronx and Banco is strutting the runway to success.
Born in a clothing shop in Sydney’s Bondi Beach, Bronx and Banco has become a wardrobe staple for an impressive list of celebrities and socialites, including The Pussycat Dolls, Shelley Craft, Sonia Kruger, Tammin Sursok and Kylie Gillies.
The label aims to fill the gap in the market for affordable, high-end clothing capable of being transformed from officewear to partywear with the simple addition of a designer heel.
NSS Editor, Michelle Larin, recently pinned down the talented De’Banco for a lowdown on the label every fashionista is talking about!
Q: Natalie, tell me about yourself and your love for fashion!
A: I have had an enduring love affair with fashion. I practically grew up on the changing room floor of designer clothing stores in Russia, which was a great way for me to familiarise and fall in fall in love with fashion, shoes, accessories and anything beautiful from a very young age.
At the age of 16, I moved from Russia to Australia where I entrenched myself in the fashion scene. I worked behind the scenes at David Jones and at the makeup house of Chanel. I then moved into fashion PR where I worked for Fashion TV.
In 2009, I made the decision to start my own clothing brand, Bronx and Banco. A label that’s sophisticated, sexy, eclectic and reflective of my personal style!
Q: What influences your designs?
A: My interior design background. I prefer using simple lines and shapes to create really special pieces. Also, when studying interior design you learn that things should be both beautiful and functional, so I try to translate that principle into my fashion pieces.
Q: What types of fabrics do you like to play with in creating your pieces?
A: I like to use luxury fabrics, such as leather, silk, wool and Italian spandex. The spandex does wonders for sculpting the female body and is primarily used in Bronx and Banco’s signature bodycon dresses.
Q: Tell me about the theme behind your current collection.
A: The theme is “The Transit”. It’s based on architectural influences; keeping the overall look elevated using volume, lines and graphics to create more structured, complex pieces. The "Transit" silhouette is heavily tailored, with this range including backless dresses, sophisticated separates and stylised jumpsuits.
Q: What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
A: Seeing a woman look absolutely amazing, and then realising she is wearing one of my creations!
Q: Describe your personal style.
A: It changes all the time depending on my mood and the country I’m based in. I definitely like timeless, classic pieces and am obsessed with beautifully tailored blazers, leather pants, lots of accessories and Valentino rockstuds!
Q: On an average summer's day we would find you wearing...
A: …cut off denim shorts paired with a silk tee and white summer blazer/vest. Of course, such an outfit would be accessorised with a stunning Chanel clutch!
Q: Who are your style icons and what do you love most about the way they dress?
A: Karl Lagerfeld has to be the most stylish man alive. He always stays true to his style – you would never see him wearing shorts, ever! Rachel Zoe is also amazing. Her sense of style and ability to mix vintage and modern pieces to create a stylish look is impeccable.
Q: Name your favourite fashion designers?
A: There are so many, and everyone is fabulous in their own way, but three of my favourites are Alexander Wang, Tom Ford and Roland Mouret.
Q: What is the one fashion piece every girl should have stocked in their wardrobe?
A: A little black dress! Never underestimate the power of an LBD; it can change your mood in an instant!
Q: What’s next for your label?
A: I’m looking forward to participating in MBFW S/S2015 in April and breaking into the overseas market, especially the US and Europe, in the not too distant future!
To browse or purchase pieces from Bronx and Banco’s collections online, visit: www.bronxandbanco.com.au
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