BY: VANESSA ROBERTS
We caught up with the inspiring Olivia Babarczy, founder of newly-launched resort wear label, The Plunge Collective. This summer-ready brand (launched in 2015), offers kaftans, tops and resort wear which is made and designed in Australia. Olivia previously worked in finance and climbed the corporate ladder while also becoming a mother of four children.
As you’ll soon discover, Olivia (pictured below left) is gorgeous, talented and inspiring…
Having spent the majority of your career working in finance, what was it that drove you to start your own fashion label?
I was itching to do something more creative. My outlet had been a number of interior design projects on the side, but it left me wanting more! I have always loved fashion and design and had reached the point in my finance career where I had achieved everything I wanted to; it was time to turn things on their head, so to speak. And to be honest, I haven’t looked back.
What has been the most surprising part of running your own start up for you?
One of the things that has surprised me is just how collaborative the design and fashion industry is. I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful, wonderful people.
Who is the Plunge Collective girl/woman?
She is a modern, fashion forward woman who is elegant, timeless and fun. And she’s a go-getter!
Where did the name The Plunge Collective spring from?
Being a resort wear label, a nod to the ocean/water was a must, hence the word Plunge. But from an emotional perspective, the name also symbolises ‘taking the plunge’ in life and not being afraid to challenge the status quo and try something new.
Your beautiful style is so consistent across fashion and interiors, do you have a particular style icon who combines both?
Thank you! And no, I don’t actually have one icon that I look up to, to be honest. On the interiors front, Christian Liagre is a wonderful inspiration. I also love Joseph Dirand. Closer to home, Justine Hugh Jones has also done some beautiful interior design work. In terms of style icons, Elle McPherson is a wonderful role model and I love that she is still so Australian. Blake Lively and Olivia Palmero take great fashion risks and execute them seamlessly and I think Andrea Diaconu is exquisitely beautiful.
You have 4 young children, your own company and a house to run, where do you fit ‘me’ time in?
What I have learnt is that my children’s happiness stems from the happiness of my husband and I… everything flows from there. I make it a priority to schedule in ‘me’ time, even if it’s a little as 10 minutes a day to meditate or 1 hour for a yoga class. We also do a weekly date night together and we look forward to more that immensely.
What do you do to relax?
Dinner with friends, exercise, a swim at the beach, a massage, morning cuddles with my cherubs. The simple things in life are the best.
Most of the names of garments in your collection come from places all over the world – do you have a favourite place you’ve visited?
Ohh so hard to answer that one! Europe generally just rocks my world – the history, the elegance, the beauty.. so incredibly inspiring. But I was lucky enough to travel to Brazil a while ago and the vibrancy of the place was completely overwhelming. Lord Howe Island is another destination that blows my mind.
Where are you wanderlusting over the most at the moment?
Sicily… and the islands off Rome and Naples – Ponza, Ischia and Prodica. The real Italy!
Do you find that your own lifestyle here in Sydney is as much an inspiration for your brand as the places you’ve visited over seas?
Absolutely. I am a Melbourne girl originally but have lived in Sydney for the last 14 years. Every year that goes by, Sydney steals a piece of my heart. It really is the ultimate city and I pinch myself daily that I live in such a beautiful part of the world.
What is the next exciting thing coming up for The Plunge Collective?
We are just warming up. There are plans in the pipeline. Watch this space.
With 4 children, your own fashion brand and a house straight from the pages of many interiors authors, is there anything else on the cards for Olivia Babarczy?