May 31, 2021

Women With GRITT: Rebecca Vallance On Celebrating 10 Years Of Her Label, Her Career Highlights And Why She Always Trusts Her Instincts

“The biggest mistakes I’ve made in the business over the last 10 years is when I haven’t followed my gut. I’ve learnt from that.”

Welcome to Women With GRITT: a series where we interview the resilient, hardworking women who have kicked in the glass ceiling and inspire us to do the same.

Becoming a fashion designer is all Rebecca Vallance ever wanted. “I remember doing my graduate assignment on Gianni Versace,” she says. “I was totally obsessed with Gianni as a person and a brand. I don’t think anyone I went to school with had any idea who he was.” The Ballarat-born creative followed her heart into fashion, becoming a fashion publicist before launching her eponymous label, Rebecca Vallance, in 2011.

“I launched my brand in London and in the first season we picked up two Harvey Nichols accounts—that gave me a strong idea that I was onto something,” she remembers. “Four years later we picked up Net-A-Porter and after that everything rolled on from there.”

Today, the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Hailey Bieber, Halle Berry and Sofia Vergara call themselves fans of the brand, as well as countless Australian women who know they can go to Rebecca Vallance and come home with something to wear—be it one of her ultra-cool feminine dresses or perfectly-tailored suits. 

Here, Vallance talks about celebrating 10 years of her brand, what to expect from her show at Fashion Week this year and why she always follows her gut.

 

Hi, Rebecca! Congratulations on 10 years of your brand. Let’s go back to the start: where did you grow up? What are some of your fondest childhood memories that you think have shaped you into the woman you are today?

I grew up in the country in Ballarat. My fondest memories are laughing with my two brothers, and spending time with my grandparents—I was lucky enough to grow up with all four. I’ve always had a strong sense of family and even more so today. Growing up in the country meant I was brought up with my feet on the ground. I developed a strong understanding that you have to work hard for the life you want to achieve.

What was your first ever job?
My first job was working at a milk bar. That definitely didn’t shape my professional life as I think I ate more ice-cream than I served. I started modelling when I was 13 and that was eye-opening for someone from the country. That definitely shaped my understanding of the fashion world from a young age.

What is your most memorable career highlight to date?

Walking into Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City to find a sign in the lift with Rebecca Vallance – Level 3. Then walking out of the lift and seeing a fabulous area of the store reserved exclusively for Rebecca Vallance. It was an amazing moment. Also the first time I saw Rebecca Vallance on Net-A-Porter and within 24 hours everything had sold through. I thought it must have been a mistake, and then I found out that it was true. That was pretty exciting.

Your brand is celebrating 10 years with your show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. What has been the hardest thing about your business journey to date?

Growing a business is hard, that’s something people don’t tell you. It’s not just the process of building a brand from the ground up, it’s scaling and all the growing pains that come with that. Now I’m so proud of my team, we run like a well-oiled machine.

Tell us more about the collection you’re showing at Fashion Week.

We’re showing our International ‘Holiday’ Collection at Fashion Week. It’s a milestone moment for the brand as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. This collection best represents the brand aesthetic—we wanted to show the collection that encapsulates Rebecca Vallance.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Work hard, stay focused, and it will happen.

What about the juggle of your personal life—are there specific habits you’ve put in place to ensure you’re not working around the clock?

At the moment my team and I are working around the clock. Once the show is over, I’m going to go back to spending a lot more time with my family, exercising and having a much healthier and more balanced existence.

What role does beauty play in your personal life?

I love beauty products in general, it’s an area I am so invested in. There is nothing better than trying a new product and seeing the results. From skin products to make up I love it all. Last year I had eyebrow misting by Amy Jean Eyebrow Couture— that was unreal. Permanent natural eyebrows every day. I definitely recommend!

What is your signature makeup look?

As I have two young children I don’t have time for a lot of makeup each day. For a normal week day I’m more interested in my skin routine which I use a lot of La Prairie products. Then I’ll use a Lancôme foundation and mascara. I also love popping into Mecca and trying out the new products they have.

If you could only pick five beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?

I literally can’t live without La Prairie dry oil. My skin is so dry, I use it as a moisturiser. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation. My favourite fragrance is Louis Vuitton at the moment. I use Amy Jean Brow Lacquer religiously for texturised volume eyebrows. La Prairie three minute mask—I use it weekly without fail, or if my skin is looking tired.

What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

There are so many, but mainly that you should always follow your gut instinct. The biggest mistakes I’ve made in the business over the last ten years is when I haven’t followed my gut. I’ve learnt from that.

Becoming a fashion designer is all Rebecca Vallance ever wanted. “I remember doing my graduate assignment on Gianni Versace,” she says. “I was totally obsessed with Gianni as a person and a brand. I don’t think anyone I went to school with had any idea who he was.” The Ballarat-born creative followed her heart into fashion, becoming a fashion publicist before launching her eponymous label, Rebecca Vallance, in 2011.

“I launched my brand in London and in the first season we picked up two Harvey Nichols accounts—that gave me a strong idea that I was onto something,” she remembers. “Four years later we picked up Net-A-Porter and after that everything rolled on from there.”

Today, the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Hailey Bieber, Halle Berry and Sofia Vergara call themselves fans of the brand, as well as countless Australian women who know they can go to Rebecca Vallance and come home with something to wear—be it one of her ultra-cool feminine dresses or perfectly-tailored suits. 

Here, Vallance talks about celebrating 10 years of her brand, what to expect from her show at Fashion Week this year and why she always follows her gut.

 

Hi, Rebecca! Congratulations on 10 years of your brand. Let’s go back to the start: where did you grow up? What are some of your fondest childhood memories that you think have shaped you into the woman you are today?

I grew up in the country in Ballarat. My fondest memories are laughing with my two brothers, and spending time with my grandparents—I was lucky enough to grow up with all four. I’ve always had a strong sense of family and even more so today. Growing up in the country meant I was brought up with my feet on the ground. I developed a strong understanding that you have to work hard for the life you want to achieve.

What was your first ever job?
My first job was working at a milk bar. That definitely didn’t shape my professional life as I think I ate more ice-cream than I served. I started modelling when I was 13 and that was eye-opening for someone from the country. That definitely shaped my understanding of the fashion world from a young age.

What is your most memorable career highlight to date?

Walking into Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City to find a sign in the lift with Rebecca Vallance – Level 3. Then walking out of the lift and seeing a fabulous area of the store reserved exclusively for Rebecca Vallance. It was an amazing moment. Also the first time I saw Rebecca Vallance on Net-A-Porter and within 24 hours everything had sold through. I thought it must have been a mistake, and then I found out that it was true. That was pretty exciting.

Your brand is celebrating 10 years with your show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. What has been the hardest thing about your business journey to date?

Growing a business is hard, that’s something people don’t tell you. It’s not just the process of building a brand from the ground up, it’s scaling and all the growing pains that come with that. Now I’m so proud of my team, we run like a well-oiled machine.

Tell us more about the collection you’re showing at Fashion Week.

We’re showing our International ‘Holiday’ Collection at Fashion Week. It’s a milestone moment for the brand as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. This collection best represents the brand aesthetic—we wanted to show the collection that encapsulates Rebecca Vallance.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Work hard, stay focused, and it will happen.

What about the juggle of your personal life—are there specific habits you’ve put in place to ensure you’re not working around the clock?

At the moment my team and I are working around the clock. Once the show is over, I’m going to go back to spending a lot more time with my family, exercising and having a much healthier and more balanced existence.

What role does beauty play in your personal life?

I love beauty products in general, it’s an area I am so invested in. There is nothing better than trying a new product and seeing the results. From skin products to make up I love it all. Last year I had eyebrow misting by Amy Jean Eyebrow Couture— that was unreal. Permanent natural eyebrows every day. I definitely recommend!

What is your signature makeup look?

As I have two young children I don’t have time for a lot of makeup each day. For a normal week day I’m more interested in my skin routine which I use a lot of La Prairie products. Then I’ll use a Lancôme foundation and mascara. I also love popping into Mecca and trying out the new products they have.

If you could only pick five beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?

I literally can’t live without La Prairie dry oil. My skin is so dry, I use it as a moisturiser. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation. My favourite fragrance is Louis Vuitton at the moment. I use Amy Jean Brow Lacquer religiously for texturised volume eyebrows. La Prairie three minute mask—I use it weekly without fail, or if my skin is looking tired.

What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

There are so many, but mainly that you should always follow your gut instinct. The biggest mistakes I’ve made in the business over the last ten years is when I haven’t followed my gut. I’ve learnt from that.

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