Aussie Fashion Industry Guru Striving For Cure For Debilitating Disease

We recently sat down with Phoebes Garland, to discuss her advice for upcoming fashionistas, her current charity work and what it’s like to have your fingers in quite so many (fashionable) pies.

Phoebes Garland (1)

If you consider yourself a lover of Australian fashion then you should probably know the name Phoebes Garland. Phoebes is at the head of a fashion family that has brought you the likes of Cameo, Finders Keepers, Jaggar, Fifth Label and Keepsake.

We recently sat down with Phoebes Garland, to discuss her advice for upcoming fashionistas and her current charity work as an Ambassador for Shake It Up Australia’s campaign Pause 4 Parkinson’s.

When we asked Phoebes what she was up to lately, we should have guessed the answer wouldn’t be short. Her expertise in the fashion world has lead her to exploring so many different aspects of the Australian fashion scene. What we at Glam found most interesting is the strong drive Phoebes has for passing on her wealth of knowledge and educating the wider community, and not just in regards to fashion.

She has recently gotten on board as an Ambassador with the Shake It Up Australia Foundation’s project Pause 4 Parkinson’s. She has been no stranger to charity involvement in the past, but this partnership is a little closer to the heart.

Phoebes’ husband Robert was unfortunately diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over two years ago. For Robert, who is such a driven man, not working is not an option. She told us that unfortunately the medications available still do not really relieve the symptoms of this disease adequately. ‘We also have a young daughter and my husband is fit and healthy in other ways, so it’s really important to me we find a cure for this disease which can ensure he can live life to the fullest.’

It is now her mission through the Pause 4 Parkinson’s campaign to take the stigma out of this disease. Parkinson’s is so commonly associated with old people that many do not realise that this disease can affect people of any age; in fact the youngest person to ever be diagnosed with Parkinson’s was a shocking 2 years old.

Phoebes told us ‘Many Parkinson’s sufferers become very self conscious, and they shouldn’t.’ Through education and awareness she hopes to be able to remove this self-consciousness.

Her choice to be involved with the Shake It Up Australia Foundation is because she has seen first-hand that 100% of the proceeds go to research. The foundation is also partnered with Michael J. Fox Foundation, who have been incredibly active in research in to the disease and to finding a cure, with over $450M currently raised.

‘These charities have brought great comfort to me and my family and have given us so much hope they are actively finding a cure’ she said.

Phoebes is encouraging the public to get behind the Pause 4 Parkinson’s campaign, with particular focus on April 11th, which is Parkinson’s awareness day.

Phoebe’s husband Robert not only runs Garland and Garland with her, but is also father to Melanie Flintoft and Rebecca Hoffman, who are both SA ladies. You may not know their names but their companies The Birdcage Boutique and Australian Fashion Labels (which encompasses Cameo, Finders Keepers, Jaggar, Fifth LabelKeepsake and flagship store BNKR) should definitely be on your radar.

Secondary to her passion for her family, comes her love for fashion. Luckily the two come together so often as their family is driving the direction of Australian fashion on a global scale and in turn educating the masses on the ins and outs of the industry.

Phoebes is extremely active in this community spends her time passing on her expertise to other aspiring fashion lovers. Phoebes does this through a variety of outlets. Aside from her fashion agency Garland and Garland she also runs the website Fashion Initiative. For those interested in fashion, this site is an incredible resource. Fashion Initiative offers straight up fashion, the business of fashion and educated opinions from an industry insider.

In addition to this Phoebes is also a regular Features Writer for Exposed Online; a publication of Fashion Exposed which is distributed to 40,000 subscribers in the fashion industry. If you’re interested in the fashion industry you can subscribe for yourself here.

As if she didn’t have enough on her plate with all of that, she is also on the advisory board for Fashion Design Studio at Sydney TAFE to help guide educators and students with the new course; AND she’s a mentor to designers through the Australian Fashion Chamber which strives to educate people on what buyers are looking for, what the industry is lacking and what will get you ahead. Phew, she sure makes us bums look lazy!

With all this wide spread knowledge in mind, we figure she was the perfect person to ask for hot tips for upcoming designers and people who are interested in the fashion industry (you’re welcome fashionistas.)

‘Firstly, get experience!’ she told us. ‘There is SO much to learn in this business. And nothing is guaranteed.’ She recommends NOT setting up your own label straight from college and said instead, to surround yourself with as much fashion involvement as you can. ‘Immerse yourself in the industry and educate yourself with as many aspects as possible. You aren’t above an internship. Get a job in a great retail store that you’re passionate about.’ The secret to longevity is to first educate yourself.

So there you go, some strong but real advice for those looking to achieve greatness in a highly competitive industry.

For a woman of such dedication it seems one would struggle to find time to relax. As such, Phoebes told us that this year she will be missing Fashion Week (I know, we were shocked too) in order to travel with her family and take some much needed time off. Well deserved by the sounds of things.

The break won’t last long though, as Phoebes and her husband are planning to launch their own fashion line in the near future. With such a wealth of knowledge in the industry they have become aware of the gaps in the market, and intend to expertly fill them. They plan to launch their line slowly as to ensure they get everything perfect. She told us they are quite critical on themselves.

We didn’t think their fashion web could spread much further, evidently we were wrong. We at Glam can’t wait to see the future Garland and Garland line hit our Adelaide stores. It will undoubtedly be a collection of fashion perfection.


To find out more about Pause 4 Parkinson’s click here.

To learn more about Garland and Garland click here.

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