Spending too much time everyday trying to decide what outfit to wear, while juggling three kids and life's daily chores, was the driving force behind Founder and Creative Director, Shiv Rennie, to create The One Six.
Rennie's attention was drawn to how she could create effortless, durable and elevated pieces for women everywhere. With a growing frustration towards the excess waste of the fast fashion industry, Rennie created a business that works exclusively with local makers and mills, supporting Australian small businesses and ethical manufacturing. Each capsule purposefully builds on from the one before, using responsibly sourced natural fibres and 'deadstock' materials.
A capsule of high rotation pieces, with a functional approach to modern style, and a deep respect for ethical practices and the environment.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Shiv: I find inspiration in many different places. It could be a rock pool or hue of the water (I'm lucky enough to live near the beach), or a piece of beautiful architecture I spot. I'm also forever looking through my collection of design and art books, the Prada archives are a particular fave but I also find inspiration in street-style fashion and photography.
Q: How would you describe your creative style?
Shiv: I'd love to say that it all happens organically, and I give myself time and space to create, however juggling 3 young kids (and a regular 'day job' at the moment) it's really important I carve out time to be creative. At the same time, I tend to think about designs and ideas that I want to bring to life all the time - late at night, or early in the morning while walking or doing pilates. I capture everything on my phone and keep really detailed notes - because attention to detail in my designs, ethos and branding is really important to me.
Creatively, my design ethos is a reflection of my personal style - it's very often about monochromatic and minimal tones and styles, but at the same time when I use colour or patterns they really pop.
Q: How did you start your career? Was this always the dream?
Shiv: No, I'm new to the fashion world. I've been in marketing and communications for 20+ years, and juggle a role as a CMO along with running the label. However, I grew up loving beautiful fabrics as my mum was a seamstress in her spare time. When I was young I was fascinated with how I could dream up an outfit and my mum could 'just' create it. Pretty sure I drove her absolutely crazy with my demands.
A few years ago, during COVID, I found myself wanting a creative outlet and dreaming of starting a label with a clear point of difference. My dad passed away and it had a huge effect on my ambitions - I found myself not wanting any regrets. So I decided to really lean into that, and started studying fashion design and textiles part time. Juggling a busy life, I couldn't find a conscious, considered label that would help me solve the 'decision fatigue' I felt each day when trying to choose the right look. I was searching for effortless, durable and elevated pieces in natural or certified fabrics, a capsule of high rotation pieces that would help solve that challenge. So, I set about creating it - an all Australian made trans-seasonal and functional approach to understated modern luxury, with a deep respect for ethical practices and the environment. An antidote to fast fashion.
Q: What is your process, from concept to final product?
Shiv: I'm currently designing my third collection, and so far each collection has come together in completely different ways. This one has been living in my head for a while, partly inspired by European street style and old school fashion shows I consumed during COVID lockdowns, and also by a long trip to New York at the end of last year.
Generally speaking, for each capsule I'm drawn to key silhouettes while at the same time sourcing and being inspired by a range of fabric. A deep love of fabric is where it all started, so a lot of my process continues to be informed by the types of fabrics I want to use. Exploration of different textures, and what's available in 'deadstock' warehouses is key.
From there I sit down to design on my computer and work with my local manufacturer on samples - my manufacturer is a small, family run business, and are renowned for their ethics, quality and attention to detail (this is really important to me). They're also expert cutters which means any waste created from production is very minimal - another thing that's important in minimising the impact the brand has on the environment. As the samples come together I keep building on the fabric selections and colour palettes, trialling looks and searching for creative campaign inspiration. Sometimes pieces don't fit with the rest of the capsule and that's all part of the process. Then the creative starts which is always a lot to pull together but amazing to see it all click into a cohesive collection.
Q: As a new brand on the market, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone trying to start in the fashion industry?
Shiv: There can be a lot of hype about what you 'should' be doing as a label, particularly with influencer culture and constant pressure to produce new and more. Just focus on yourself, your ethos, your vision and all the bits you can control at that moment in time - the rest will come, you'll keep chipping away at it.
Q: For the upcoming Resort 23/24 collection, do you have a favourite piece? Why?
Shiv: It would have to be the new Oversized Back Vent Shirt - which I managed to source a really unique Apple red linen for. It's a really versatile piece - floaty, effortless perfection. It will also come in a new fabric that I've designed myself - a juxtaposition of blue and white check, and watermelon.
Q: Are there particular tones you're gravitating towards for the next season?
Shiv: Cobalt blue will feature, as it was the sold out colourway from my first capsule, as will Apple. Contrasting hues and stand out checks. There will be paired back tones also - a beautiful black crinkle silk, and white summer suiting.
While I think a focus on a 'capsule wardrobe' is key, to help with that decision fatigue many women face, a capsule wardrobe doesn't have to be boring or minimalist. For my brand, 'capsule' means a less is more, quality over quantity approach to everyday style. We advocate for women to invest in quality essentials that will stand the test of time, a high-rotation wardrobe that includes both monochrome and colour/patterns for when the mood strikes.
Q: What would be your dream piece to design? No limitations.
Shiv: I'm designing it! So it's a secret. It's very European-inspired but it's not couture or bridal - that is definitely not me or my brand.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far in this career?
Shiv: It can be a challenging industry to work in - sometimes you feel like it's 2 steps forward, 5 steps back. There is always something to work on, and more to do, however prioritising yourself and your wellness is essential. I've learnt to take time out to breathe, reflect and reconnect.
Q: What is one thing about you that few people know?
Shiv: I'm a huge introvert. While I love being around people, I also find it drains me. I need quiet time in between, to recalibrate.
Suzanne, thank you for your lovely comment about our article on The One Six, I agree and do think it is the way forward with a lot of brands to create long lasting staple pieces. Do not limit yourself, you do not need to be a size 6 to wear these items, The One Six is designed for the everyday women, and their sizing is very generous – their Silk Watercolour Shirt is a size 1-2 which comfortably fits anyone up to size 12, with their next size up 2-3 fitting up to size 16 xx
It’s a watch this space Jugganort that Shiv has invented. I’m still getting used to her first capsule, and I really loved it, especially the muted tones blurred floral silk suit. If only I was size 6! I also love the capsule wardrobe idea of not having clothes all over the place, taking up valuable space. I’m still wearing a 20-year-old black silk velvet jacket. I can’t part with it. I think Shiv is going to be making clothes like that — ones that you just love and you just cannot part with. More power to you, Shiv. xxx