Catering for a customer is always a tricky job but when the customer is a bride? You’ve got to have your wits about you.
With her designs in five countries (and counting), Australian Shannon Pitt and her bridal label Bo & Luca, is more than catering to her clientele. Having raced up the bridal-scene aisle with the launch of her Australian boutique in 2012, Shannon Pitt of bridal brand Bo and Luca was the only Australian designer to be selected by New York Magazine for their seasonal bridal issue (alongside the likes of Oscar De La Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Zac Posen). The Fortitude Valley-based designer has a legion of local fans but her bohemian bridal designs are stocked in several cities across the US as well as boutiques in the UK and the Netherlands. She also recently opened the doors of her second studio in Cape Town.
“It’s one of my favourite cities in the world,” she says of the South African capital, and it just happens to be the homeland of her fiancé. “It’s so cosmopolitan, and very similar to Australia in lifestyle. A lot of the girls there want a beach wedding or understated, not-so-traditional wedding.”
At 21, she moved to the Middle East and worked for an international airline, travelling to “exotic places” week after week for seven years while calling Dubai home.
Shannon was transfixed by the tailors she found on every corner. “It’s very interesting,” she ponders. “It’s mostly, well actually, it’s all males doing it. There was a man there – an Indian tailor – and I asked him if he could train me. So for about a year-and-a-half on my days off, he would teach me.
Although the city sparked her passion for handmade fashion, bridal wear has long been running through her veins. “My grandmother was a wedding dress designer, and she had her own studio,” says Shannon. “She was very, very stylish, and quite ahead of her time.”
Like many fashion businesses currently creating their foundations, Shannon pays tribute to the force of social media. “Instagram and Facebook – that’s how we really got out there in the beginning,” she says. “I just post things that I love and are true to our brand. If you sit within your aesthetic, the people that believe in your brand – the people that really love your style and love what you do – will really follow you.”
While she continues to pepper those 65,000+ fans with ‘70s nostalgia and bohemian spirit, Shannon is busy in the background, working on global expansion.
With her sights set on new territory, what words of wisdom are coming along for the ride? “The biggest thing for me was to stop listening to people’s negative comments,” she says. “Or people telling me I couldn’t do it. That held me back for a little bit.”
“That’s the biggest thing for me in business,” she adds. “Just believe in yourself and don’t worry what other people are saying. Always believe in your own ability.”