Chances are you’ve heard of LISA BROWN or White Sands’ designer, LEAH MADDEN but you probably don’t know the name JACQUI PORTER. Yet, this RAQ Award Winning designer boasts one of the State’s most successful labels. While most emerging brands struggle to get stocked in one or two retail stores, QUI QUI is in over thirty, and that’s just in Queensland.

The secret to her success could be that she’s found a niche in the market and sticks to it. This isn’t a young collection that flits with the ever-changing fashion trends. With it’s loose dresses and tops, in fairly conservative cuts, this brand appeals to a wider market. “I have two daughters and daughters-in-law and they wear my designs but I also wear my designs – so I’d say I cater for twenties to fifties” says the designer. “Lots of young mums buy it because they’ve got kids and as it’s suited to their lifestyle – it’s suited to everyday”. She describes her line as ‘Freedom clothing’, saying ” it’s free of zips and buttons. Nothing is fitted, everything is flowy”. Yet despite making every piece comfortable, she says she doesn’t compromise on style, “There’ve been a few duds, but I sew all the samples myself so I work them, I wear them, I make them for friends so I get an idea of what works and what doesn’t”.

So it’s not surprise this brand has taken off in leaps and bounds since it’s inception just two years ago. Jacqui started off sewing all the clothes herself, but it wasn’t long before the demand became too much and she moved the manufacturing to China. Since then she’s set up a showroom in Brisbane and, in addition to her numerous stockists, she’s also a regular at some local fashion markets.

Photos: Qui Qui

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