By Johnny designer talks Resort 17 at MBFWA

In celebration of his 5th year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, we caught up with By Johnny designer, Johnny Schembri prior to his Resort 17 Collection showcase.

By Johnny designer interview on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collection

This year marks the fifth year that Australian fashion label By Johnny showcases at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA).

To celebrate, Fashion Weekly caught up with By Johnny designer, Johnny Schembri prior to his Resort 17 Collection showcase to find out a little bit more about the inspiration and process behind the collection.


As you are getting ready to showcase, how are you feeling?

JS: I'm feeling fine actually it's relaxing i'm ready it's good.

Can you give us an insight into what we are going to see on the runway?

JS: This collection is all about the ease of the season – Resort. Featuring tie back tops, pleats, miniature prints, oversized florals and metallic details... It's very easy and breezy.

Three words to describe the collection?

JS: White, bold and sculptural.

What is the inspiration behind the collection?

JS: The inspiration is very much inspired from polka dots, from which I created my prints. Eventually the collection evolves – there’s some bonded embroideries which is quite new for us and it is all about the fabrications. We also played around 3D frills and 2D cut-out’s.

Is there a hero-piece?

JS: The hero piece is without a doubt the oversized petal top with the petal shape skirt.

By Johnny designer interview on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collection

You've been showcasing at MBFWA for a while now, how are you finding it and how has this impacted the success of your business?

JS: MBFWA for us is a place where media, friends and influencers can come and experience the brand and see the vision and where we're headed and what we're doing for the season. We don't have any stores so it's all about coming here and experiencing what the brand is up to.

Tell me a little bit about the hair and makeup looks?

JS: We have Wella doing the hair; the look is soft waves over the face with these hidden cornrows that hide back behind the head and bring the volume out of the hair. The hair sweeps over her neck and hangs loose over the shoulders.

The makeup is by Maybelline and we are going for a very fresh faced look with the addition of glitter dust for a bit of a glisten.

With social media, there has been a massive shift in the ‘see now buy now concept’ – has this impacted your business?

JS: Every year we've done 'shop the runway' and it's done really well for us. This year we've done something really different as we're working with Myer. They've got an exclusive collection that hits stores today. While it's not the MBFWA collection exactly it is related to the Fashion Week pieces, in terms of the same type of fabrications. We’ve done this to get our customers involved in the brand and to celebrate the new collection.

How important is social media to your brand?

JS: It is incredibly important. We don't have a space where the customers can come and see the collections so having that platform where we can showcase our campaigns and what goes on behind the scenes is a way to get our consumers and everyone else involved in the brand.

Are there any new concepts or campaigns?

JS: We've just done collaboration with an illustrator – she is sketching some of the runway looks which we will be sharing.

What's next?

JS: Wrapping up this show then starting to the winter collection! It's a constant cycle.


Words: Frances van Eeden