When Alana Smith launched her “crazy” idea for a business it had a very raunchy name – Sex Kitten – but it wasn’t for what people might think and it attracted the likes of celebrities such as Britney Spears.
Instead, the Brisbane woman was inspired to create a fashion label by her great, great, great grandmother, who had created a brand called Kitten D’Amour in Paris in 1889.
Back in the early 2000s, Ms Smith was working as buyer and designer for a national retailer travelling to places like Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles to suss out what was trending overseas.
The fashion entrepreneur can credit some her success to this first shop which was located next to the former Versace Hotel where celebrities used to stay.
“One was Britney Spears and I remember she came in with her huge big bodyguards and she had bought up the whole shop practically but one of the items she brought was a denim jacket that had ‘sex kitten’ embroidered on it,” she said.
“She went back to LA and there were pictures in magazines of her wearing the jacket and she had given it to Bijou Phillips, who was also photographed wearing the product. And that was the advantage of the position – it was like a billboard without having to spend a lot in advertising.
“It got us quite well known relatively quickly.”
In 2008, Ms Smith decided to change the brand’s name from Sex Kitten to her family legacy of Kitten D’Amour and now garments have also been seen on the likes of Lady Gaga, Pink and the Pussycat Dolls.
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