All that is weird and wonderful – The Adelaidian got the chance to catch up with Laura Vogt, owner and founder of the unique Lucid8 Boutique. Being an online boutique stocking strictly exclusive, inaccessible and underground designer collections, Lucid8 is definitely one of-a-kind both locally and nationally. Not only that, Laura strives to exclude all fur, leather and mass produced products in her endeavour to grow her boutique as a completely ethical business. We think that’s pretty neat!
Hey Laura! We’re a big fan of your unique boutique! Tell us, why did you decide to start up your own boutique?
Hey guys! Well, I’ve always been a quirky person and I always used to buy things from eBay that were sort of like ‘collectors items’ from designers that you couldn’t access here in Australia. People would often ask me, ‘Where did you get that?’ or, ‘Can I get one?’ and I would have to tell them; ‘No, it’s not available anymore’, or ‘ You can’t get it here,’ or, ‘Shipping costs like 20 or 30 odd dollars.’ So, in 2013, I began Lucid8 Boutique. The inspiration behind this was to bring all those different designers that I love here to Australia and stock them here so Australians could have easy access to them as well as access to all of the limited collections and exclusive garments.
I base every piece of clothing I buy on whether or not I will be the exclusive stockist of this designer in Adelaide and in some cases Australia-wide. What this means is, whenever a contact a designer I’ll ask them, ‘Who else do you stock to in Australia?’ and if they say no one or very few stockists, I’ll implement that designer’s stock into my boutique.
Which designers do you stock and how many?
At the moment there’s only a few, I can give a brief run-through of most of them:
SHOOP: SHOOP is the first brand that I brought in from Spain, but I’m starting to phase them out a little because they are focused on sportswear and I want my boutique to be more casual to dressy, even.
Shi Jen: Shi does all unicorn and holographic type of garments which she gets manufactured in Taiwan.
The End Is Near: This collection includes a lot of the visually trippy clothing I stock.
Never Monday: Aimee is the designer for Never Monday. She makes her makes all her clothing in her own house and sews it all herself!
Daniel Palillo: This designer is from Finland and does a lot of quirky, space-age stuff. I’m obsessed with his designs. In fact, I’ve been buying it for years… it’s good quality; whenever I buy it I wear it 100 times and I know that people will like it too.
To read more about the Lucid8 designers, click here.
What is the inspiration behind the kind of clothing that you stock?
I was pretty much sick of seeing the same thing day-to-day: same brands, same colours, I feel I had to bring something in that’s different because I know there are other people out there who are like me who will like it too.Sure, maybe Adelaide’s a little bit conservative, but I know that it’s definitely coming up in a scale like Melbourne. It’s a boutique city. Also, younger generations are starting to grow up a little bit more and are starting to explore themselves. That all really inspired me.
What do you look for when you are purchasing stock – are there any particular styles?
Basically just stuff that’s trendy before its trendy… if that makes sense. With people on Instagram, I will look at what’s trending under a certain hashtag; if there is popularity for that item and it’s unavailable in Australia, I’ll probably look into ordering it in and finding out more about that designer to see what other things they have and browse previous collections. I also avoid mass production and fur/leather.
Do you have any expansion plans for the future? Perhaps a brick-and-mortar business? Maybe begin stocking shoes and accessories?
I’ve actually already started making my own accessories recently – they seem to be taking off a little bit! People like it. I get my inspiration from other accessories out there and add my own take on it. I want to do shoes but money is the main issue because with shoes you need to buy a lot of sizes.
I want to eventually have a brick-and-mortar. That’s the goal, that’s the dream. Maybe I’d have it somewhere on Rundle Street, or even Melbourne, but I do think Adelaide is good to start with because we don’t have anything like it here. I also believe that here, in Adelaide, if someone from Adelaide does well then everyone here supports them. We really are such a big community that people are proud of you if you start something, especially something that expands interstate. It’s a nice feeling.
Kristen Byass and Mel Zahorujko in Daniel Palillo
Do you ever plan designing your own clothes?
Yes. Like I said, I’ve started designing my own accessories and I’m also going to start upcycling vintagewear. I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve for upcycling vintage plaid shirts. I’ll start with these shirts and then work my way up from there, just adding little things and selling them as festival wear, stuff like that. I really want to focus on that first and then later on doing my own thing… sewing my own garments or even hiring someone to do it.
What accessories are you currently designing?
Just little chokers and things because we all know chokers are back in fashion now. I know Australia has seen some 90’s resurgence but not as much as America and the UK have had over their last summer. Because it’s coming into summer here now, we’re starting to get all that inspiration from the UK and America’s previous summers overseas and we’re seeing a lot of the 90’s stuff coming back in. I think that is going to be prevalent towards the end of the year as well – into 2016, we’re going to see a fair bit of 90’s inspiration which is why I’m focusing on these chokers and other grungy stuff, too.
What is your favourite piece that you currently stock and how do you wear it?
That’s too hard! Probably some of the Daniel Palillo garments that I got from last season, like the ‘blah jumper’ and the ‘musical notes skirt.’ I sold out of the skirt but I managed to buy myself a couple of things from that collection before selling out. I do wear a lot of big T-shirt dresses and cool stuff that you can style with different things which is like a lot of the stuff in that particular collection. Palillo is probably my favourite designer of all of them – he’s the one I always go to.
Also, you’ve been involved in previous fashion shows in the past from what we’ve seen. Can you elaborate on your experiences with these fashion shows?
I was a part of the Boutique runway show for the Adelaide Fashion Festival, 2014, and this was actually my very first fashion show. I got in contact with Filip With An F, who was involved in organising that particular fashion show, about participating and he was really interested in my business. I guess he really saw it as unique so he asked me to come along. I was lucky to have the wonderful Teo Magazine on board, being involved in the styling of my runway show. I got quite a good response from that runway show, too. It was a really great first experience.
And we’ve heard a little bit about your initiative to raise money for your business, would you like to give us a run down of what that’s all about?
So, it’s just on GoFundMe.com and you can find it on my Facebook page. Anyone who’s interested in my idea can donate as much as they want to help raise funds for my business. I want to make all of my packaging ethical as well as my clothing range, so I’m looking to buy recycled materials for things like business cards, packaging boxes, ribbon, paper etc. I just thought I’d get it out there and get a donation page up and running for the ‘ethical business’ I hope to run; it’s worth a try to just do whatever I can to get my name out there.