Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand

Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand

Ever heard of the fashion label, The Astral Plane? Us neither. Believe it or not, this label was Damien Horen and Daniel Oliver’s first shaky step into the world of Australian fashion. That label may have failed but what they gained from this training exercise was invaluable – market knowledge, hands-on experience and a solid business plan. All this knowledge (and new-found confidence) was the basis for their in-demand lifestyle brand, Assembly Label. Read on as we chat to Damien, one-half of the clever duo about startup fails, the importance of brand unity and understanding your customer.

Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
  1. TELL US ABOUT ASSEMBLY LABEL AND HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT, GIVE US A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON:
    Assembly Label was created in 2011 by myself and Daniel Oliver. It was the evolution of a small boutique fashion label called ‘The Astral Plane’, which we had been working on since 2009. At our first attempt at business, we were young and naïve, though the label was not successful it was a great experience and an integral part of our journey. We discontinued ‘The Astral Plane’, took all learnings and applied them to a well-oiled business model. Assembly Label was born.
  2. WHAT WAS YOUR VISION WHEN YOU FIRST SET OUT TO CREATE ASSEMBLY LABEL? HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
    The original vision was to celebrate uncompromising simplicity through highly-considered, aspirational clothing and design at attainable prices, indulgent products that appeal to a wide audience. Aside from slight evolutions, this foundation remains true to this day.
  3. YOU’VE NOW GOT A FEW SHOWROOMS AROUND SYDNEY, TELL US ABOUT THE DIFFERENT AND SIMILAR AUDIENCES YOU CATER TO:
    Our customer is quite diverse, we have a youthful, coastal loving audience as well as a more mature audience who value sophistication. What unifies them is an underlying appreciation for quality, simplicity and practicality.
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
  1. WE LOVE THE SHOP FIT OUTS, THEY ARE ALL UNIQUELY DIFFERENT BUT STILL CONVEY THE ASSEMBLY LABEL VIBE, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DESIGNING YOUR SPACES AND KEEPING THEM COHESIVE?
    The store fit-out process reflects our core design values, brand ethos and our customer – Through minimalist design, we create stores that are unequivocally timeless. We constantly strive to make our customer feel at home within our stores, we are challenging what a retail space should be by avoiding industry standards. The result is a uniquely comfortable shopping environment and experience for the customer.
  2. TELL US ABOUT THE ROLE COLOURS AND TEXTURES PLAY IN YOUR SPACES:
    Colours and textures are used with great consideration to further portray the brand principles of minimalist design and simplicity, the light and airy tones throughout our stores reflect a love and appreciation of coastal living shared by many Australians.
  3. HOW DO YOU WANT SOMEONE TO FEEL WHEN THEY WALK INTO ONE OF YOUR STORES?
    Relaxed, comfortable and at home within the space. Our focus is creating a ‘homely’ environment that continues to inspire and connect with our audience along with their everyday desires and needs.
  4. YOU WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH LOTS OF DIFFERENT CREATIVES AND OTHER LABELS, ST AGNI COMES TO MIND, WAS THIS SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS SAW AS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF YOUR BUSINESS?
    Absolutely. We created Assembly Label with the hope that we could partner with some amazing people and have been lucky enough to do so. We truly value relationships and aligning with like-minded local talent.
  5. ANY TIPS ON MANAGING AND NURTURING A TEAM?
    Build a team whose values align and ensure open, transparent communication.
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand

“Ideas can’t be forced, they often come when you least expect.”

  1. WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO REMEDY WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A CREATIVE RUT?
    Time – step away and disconnect for a while. Ideas can’t be forced, they often come when you least expect.
  2. HOW DO YOU START YOUR WEEK?
    Coffee, emails and writing a checklist for the week.
  3. WHAT ABOUT ENDING THE WEEK?
    Assess checklist and breathe.
  4. TELL US ABOUT A PROJECT YOU’VE LOVED SO FAR THIS YEAR?
    A new store is in the making, I feel like we’re progressing with each new space. Details to come shortly.
  5. WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WOULD SAY TO SOMEONE ABOUT TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
    I’d encourage them to have a clear vision, an innate understanding of what you would like to achieve, it’s your purpose that provides motivation day in day out.
  6. NEXT ADVENTURE?
    We are looking to expand new product categories and further evolve the Assembly Label brand story.
  7. WHAT IS ONE LESSON YOUR BUSINESS HAS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE?
    To enjoy the day, today, it’s important to have goals and dreams but it’s equally important to enjoy the journey.

To shop the Assembly Label range and follow along on Damien and Dan’s journey, head to the Assembly Label website.

Photos by Kendall Hubbard.

Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand
Assembly label co-founder, Damien Horan talks about building his brand

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