Gympie brand skyrockets to world stage
GYMPIE-born label Hampton and Harlow Equestrian is turning heads on the world stage.
The equestrian clothing label that is the brainchild of Gympie businesswoman Karen Bazzan fitted out all 50 competitors at the World Polo Championships this week.
The 10-day competition hosted by the Sydney Polo Club involves eight teams: Australia, New Zealand, England, United States, Spain, Argentina, Chile and India.
Mrs Bazzan said the label supplied the official embroidered riding jeans for each team and it was very well received.
"The number one comment that we're hearing from the riders is that they're the most comfortable jeans that they've ever ridden in,” Mrs Bazzan said from the event.
She said competitors had praised the ease of movement they had in the design. They also liked the classy look.
She produced the jeans to fit her four children with practical and durable riding wear that had the tailoring and detail of adult wear.
To do that, Mrs Bazzan set her sights on India, where she helped design a fabric with stretchiness that has come to be a major selling point for the brand.
"We made the fabric composition from scratch,” she said.
The keen horsewoman, who has been in the saddle since she could sit up, said she put time and effort into getting the fabric right.
"Getting it right is a process. It's just something you have to learn from the ground up.”
The brand has steadily been growing and is now stocked by 38 stores across Australia, 11 in New Zealand and is labelled the preferred jean of the Australian polo team.
"Most of the parents in the first year of trading said it was a brand their kids couldn't live without,” Mrs Bazzan said.
"The polo community themselves are really loving it.”
The brand is also expanding to cater for off-the-field wear, Mrs Bazzan said, with its launch of equestrian-inspired summer wear that includes resort-style shorts, board shorts and everyday wear.
With international riders giving the brand the seal of approval, now attention is turned to where the talked-about clothing line will move to next.
"It's my creation from the get-go and I'm very passionate about it,” the designer said.
"Hopefully this will launch this globally.”