We spoke to her ahead of One Mile’s AAFW ’22 debut.
May 12, 2022 7:17 am
Sammy Robinson is used to having a lot of eyes on her, but that feeling was likely tenfold today, when her fashion label, One Mile made her debut at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022.
While the weather was nothing short of gloomy, guests made their way from the rain-soaked streets into the quiet, upstairs oasis of Beta in Sydney’s CBD. Unsurprisingly, her 653,000 Instagram followers couldn’t all be there in support, but the room quickly found itself packed with fellow designers, media, friends and family.
Backstage, the vibes were high and the atmosphere electric, as models rushed to-and-fro getting their final touch ups before hitting the runway. Speaking of the runway, the design team decided to construct a wooden boardwalk complete with sand to emphasize the laid back, Australian ethos of the brand.
Then, as a few stray flecks of sand were swept away and everyone had found their seats, the show began to tune of Groove Armada’s Super styling‘. Donna Summer’s I Feel Love was the second song of choice, with the show closing out to Cutting Crew’s Died In Your Arms.
An oversized silk shirt and matching trousers in a beautiful burnt dusk color made for an eye-catching ensemble, while mesh skirts and tops felt like they belonged at a beachside bash, keeping in tune with the sandy backdrop. Floral prints were reminiscent of a Hawaiian holiday, seen on the bodies of plus-sized models and a male shirt / short combination.
Floaty silhouettes were expertly offset with minidress styles in deep ocean blues and mossy greens paying tribute to the natural landscape, with black and white designs in similar styles boasting a timeless appeal. Some models appeared in tan leather sandals, while others went entirely barefoot.
At the end, Robinson appeared for a mere moment to smile for the cameras and wave to the audience, wearing a chocolate brown floor-length dress. Heading back downstairs to celebrate with her team, the excitement in the air was physically palpable. ELLE Australia caught up with the influencer backstage, post-show to see how she was feeling after smashing one of her biggest milestones to date.
“I thought it would take me a little longer,” Robinson said when asked if she had anticipated making it to Fashion Week so early in her career.
“When the opportunity presented itself, we had the team and the support and the backing to get it done, so I thought, why not just jump straight in and see how it goes? I feel like we were prepared and capable. I’m so glad that we did it. We are so young and we just thrive off the challenges so it’s like, what’s next? New York? Milan? “
Given her stronghold in the influencer space, Robinson already had a solid fanbase who were keen to support her. The launch of One Mile, however, has seen her develop an entirely new fanbase – one who has a keen sense of style and a desire to nail the crossover between comfortability and chicness.
“I was very privileged to already have an amazing support network through social media, everyone was so supportive in the launch of my brand,” Sammy explained, when asked how important it was for One Mile to stand on its own, separate to her influencer career.
“It was important to me that it wasn’t a” one off launch “so I made sure I planned a year in advance so the brand would have timely drops, consistent launches, cohesive collections. This way we were able to retain our customer base and ultimately build it to be bigger than just an “influencer brand”. I wanted it to be strong enough on its own that people came back, not just for me, but because they loved the product. “
While the brand may still technically be in its infant stage, there’s no denying that One Mile is already fast-tracked for bigger things. Robinson’s drive to see it succeed and her ability to sell an aspirational aesthetic have proven invaluable in her business journey so far, and it’s only up from here.
Below, our full interview with Sammy as she takes a look back at One Mile’s journey to date, with her sights set firmly on the future.
When did you realize you wanted to create a fashion label? Was there a big eureka moment?
I had just collaborated with another brand on a collection and I fell in love with the process. I didn’t learn the ins and outs of business, but I gave me enough of a tease for me to realize it was definitely something I wanted to do myself.
Did you have any prior experience in this space at all? If not, who did you lean on to get the idea from concept to creation?
I didn’t have any other prior experience, my dad has been a great mentor in regards to the logistics behind a business model and how to map out the main components necessary to run a business. All the boring financial things like P & Ls, Balance sheets, budgets, logistics etc. He is amazing. I then met an amazing production manager that gave me a great set of skills the production side, tech packs, suppliers etc. I had one employee already who worked for me across my other company in social media, she was an amazing asset as she had studied the e-commerce space and coding in uni, so we were able to research and set up the best online store for the brand. The designs, creative direction, branding was all the really fun stuff that was years in the making, sketching, planning, brainstorming. It was chaos, but it was worth every sleepless night.
Were you intimidated entering the market, given how many Aussie labels you were going to be competing with? How did you find a point of difference?
Definitely, it was extremely important to me that I invest in the best quality, sustainable products with sustainable packaging, and attention to detail. It isn’t enough to rely on my followers to support me, you need the quality there and the drive to be as sustainable as possible in order to stand among the market. I initially launched the brand for tall girls, as I am 6 ft so nothing ever fit me. Now that we have the capacity to invest in more product, we are about to launch our cropped bottoms, so that everyone is able to find their perfect fit.
Sustainability is super important for shoppers as we look to buy more consciously. How important is this to you and what commitments are you making in this space?
We always look to find the most sustainable options in all our styles. Whether that using raw materials like cotton or linen, or implementing components of traceable viscose, recycled fabrics etc. We use all sustainable / recyclable packaging in all elements of our production. We also design beautiful quality timeless pieces that are staples and wont go to waste after one use. It is always something we will continue to focus on and try to improve on.
What’s your favorite piece in the collection right now and why?
I love our trench, it is such a staple and the perfect tan. We are coming out with the same style in khaki too which is gorgeous. But it is impossible for me to choose, it changes every day. I also love our Elsa frames, they are perfect sunglasses.
What are you most proud of to date with One Mile?
I am so proud that I have a powerhouse female lead team of 7 full time people now. One Mile is only 2 years old and has grown exponentially. It is only the beginning, we were a “start up” last year and now we are already a “scale up.” Ready to take on global expansion.
Congratulations on your AAFW show, that’s major. What are your thoughts / feelings / hopes?
I am just so excited. I have attended so many shows and have a new found respect for all the designers. I didn’t quite realize how much time, money, blood sweat and tears went into producing a show! I am so ready for it to release, I cant wait. It will be a great opportunity for us to legitimize the brand as one of Australians boutique fashion labels, not just ‘Sammy Robinson’s brand.’
Do you have anything in the works after AAFW? What’s your next big dream for the brand?
We are focusing on our global logistics solutions and US expansion. We have a big team now so we have more hands on deck. We have the capacity to elevate every element of the brand and branding and really establish ourselves in the industry.