Sass & Bide On Their Struggle To Crack The US Market

It’s been a steady rise to the top of the Australian fashion food chain for sass & bide, the brainchild of Brisbane-raised Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, from their origins flogging customised stovepipe jeans (the revival of which they’re partly responsible for) in London’s Portobello Road Markets to the oft-repeated story of their chance encounter with Sarah Jessica Parker on the New York set of Sex And The City which provided the exposure they needed to raise an international profile. While the sass & bide brand has enjoyed great success locally (including a Myer contract complete with a spinoff lingerie line) and a following in London where they showcase their Ready-To-Wear collections each season, the brand is yet to make a significant dent in the US market.

In a recent feature titled “Sass & Bide: The Aussie Label Trying to Make It in America” Sarah-Jane Clarke told New York Magazine’s style blog The Cut that sass & bide is aiming to open its first US flagship store in New York, but according to Clarke the project has not necessarily been an easy one:

The Cut: You’ve been looking for a location for your New York store — how’s that going? Sarah-Jane Clarke: Over the last six months we’ve come so close to signing stores, and then something happens to break the deal. But the three of us — Heidi and our CEO [David Briskin] and I — are all really confident about this latest site. It’s in Soho, near Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang, so we’d have really great neighbours. We’ve been so far down the line with other premises, so we shouldn’t get excited until we’ve signed, but we’re really feeling it.

And what next, once that’s open? If it’s successful then we’ll roll out more stores in New York, L.A., and some of the other major hubs of the U.S., and in the U.K. too. To date I don’t think there’s been an Australian brand that has succeeded in taking on the U.S., so it is a challenge for us, but one that we feel confident about.

And why not feel confident after a series of strong, well-received collections at London Fashion Week and high profile fans like Pixie Lott, Olivia Palermo and Poppy Delevigne? By making the move into the US market sass & bide will follow in the footsteps of other local labels who’ve made the jump across international waters – like Zimmermann which now has stores in Los Angeles and New York.

Read the full interview here.
Image by: Stuart Wilson via Getty