Christine Metcalfe

THE MENTORS

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Christine Metcalfe

Co-Founder & Former Director The Ark Clothing Co.

Christine is one of the founding directors of The Ark Clothing Co, established in 1990.

After completing a diploma in fashion, Chris headed up the Fashion Design department at Footscray Secondary College, before establishing a small childrens wear label, Le Kids. The label took off and during this time, a chance meeting with another creative spirit Jenny Layton resulted in the founding of Oz Ark, (children’s label) later to become The Ark Clothing label, (womens wear).

Chris’s expertise and acumen in developing a highly successful product resulted in the Ark becoming one of the few 100% Australia made fashion success stories in recent years, while establishing itself as an iconic brand.

During this time Chris was a member of the advisory board for  RMIT’s fashion courses. Chris also had a key role in developing a paper for submission to the government providing recommendations for ensuring the ongoing survival of the Australian fashion industry, an area she still remains passionate about.

Other achievements while a co-director of The Ark, include establishing a strong social enterprise arm of the company, an internship program for local and international students and project opportunities for final year fashion graduates.

The Ark grew through strong organic growth, no bank loans and a freedom to create the rules. The Ark developed a culture considered to be unique for its forward thinking, flexibility and love of operating outside the “square”. Its operations included everything from design, manufacture, wholesale, retail and a successful e-com division.

After selling the company earlier in 2016, Chris continues to be involved in the fashion industry and is part of a steering committee for the Council of Fashion and Textiles in establishing the “Curated” pop up concept ,launching in 2017, providing emerging fashion designers with ongoing mentoring and a platform to build their brand.


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