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May 28, 2015

Simple sophistication: TY-LR launches

As Australian Fashion Labels launches new brand TY-LR, the company once more proves its ability to innovate, access new markets and attract talent to South Australia.

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  • Words: Farrin Foster

When new fashion line TY-LR launches in August, it will introduce a whole new demographic to the Australian Fashion Labels stable, which already houses highly successful brands Finders Keepers, C/meo Collective, Keepsake and The Fifth.


Ahead of TY-LR’s August launch, check in on the brand at its website for more details. Here at CityMag, we’re particularly about the prospect of a good quality, well-cut white shirt finally finding its way into the market.

Designed for an older audience than the fast-fashion consuming target of the existing labels, TY-LR’s debut collection is defined by a confidence and sophistication that expresses itself in classic silhouettes cut from high quality materials.

Head designer Chris Kontos was lured home from years spent interstate in the fashion industry to take up the role.

“TY-LR is something that has always been in my mind,” he says. “I’m lucky Mel and Dean [Flintoft – the owners of Australian Fashion Labels] have articulated that for me.”

The aesthetic of TY-LR is inspired by women Chris has admired throughout his life.

“Mum is a really cool chick and she always dressed beautifully and had a very specific way to dress. My older sister is the same and they’ve always influenced me so I’ve always just wanted to give someone that moment, if that makes sense.”

“Mel is the kind of woman I want to dress, Lisa Wilkinson is the kind of person I want to dress, Amal Clooney is the kind of person I want to dress. And that’s where it kind of started for me – thinking of a classic, chic, elegant, Hollywood glamour idea.”

Pre-launch, the brand is already gaining traction in the market. It has had strong uptake from boutiques across Australia, and has been very popular at US trade shows – with several “majors” showing interest and large orders being placed for specific items.

Dresses from the line have also been worn by Lindy Klim and Rebecca Morse at large public events, while Kendall Jenner has been spotted in an airport with a TY-LR jacket over her shoulders.

Achieving this appeal across the age spectrum, Chris says, is important in developing a brand which has impact.

“People wear it differently – that’s what TY-LR is, you take it and you do what you want with it and it becomes part of your own persona but also brings something of its own,” he says.

“I don’t want to dictate how you wear it, there’s no wrong way to wear it – if you want to wear a pair of Chucks with it then you should go and knock yourself out.’

To be fair, the silks and heavier fabrics of the first collection – Metropolis – might more easily lend themselves to a brogue or simple stiletto, but the sneaker option is there. Alongside the more mature cuts and patterns demonstrated in TY-LR, the material and manufacture are other major points that differentiate the label from its brand mates.

Using super high-quality fabrics and with some pieces manufactured locally, TY-LR sells at a higher price point, but Chris says it is still accessible.

“There’s entry-level pieces and there’s more statement type pieces in every collection, so that everybody can access TY-LR,” he says.

“But it’s so important to bring it back home and build that manufacturing business again. For a long time the Australian industry has been going offshore so it’s really important to slice back into the Australian-made, Australian-owned, Australian-designed idea.”

In this way, and many others, TY-LR is yet another product from Australian Fashion Labels that is set to change and evolve the local fashion scene.


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