Perfect Pekho with Buffy Murray

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So tonight’s the night! Fremantle’s best and brightest design stars will take to the runway as part of the Fremantle Fashion Collective. But just before they grace the stage, I managed to sneak in one last interview with Buffy Murray, from another wonder of the West, Pekho.

Can you tell us a bit about your label and how it all started?

I’ve been designing for years and have actually had a few labels. i.sixseven started straight out of college when I was naive and idealistic, then I was the design half of Mabu.

We had a couple boutiques- the one on High St is still going, selling Mabu clothes to essentially a larger, older market than i.sixseven. It was great because it was a market that was largely untapped and a bit more of a challenge for me ‘designwise’.

I left Mabu in 2009 and started what is now Pekho!

After a few seasons, I was looking for a new studio and came across a shop space on Wray Ave and decided to open a small boutique with the studio within the space. That’s when I rebranded Pekho: wear + wares. Pekho has a very European flavour, lots of linens and natural fibres in earthy tones and comfort driven styles. I cater for sizes 10 – 20 so I design with a fuller figure in mind.

It’s not theme or concept based fashion, it’s about designing clothes women want to wear and want to come back for, because they love how they feel when they wear them. After pumping out 45 piece collections twice a year for 6 years based on themes and concepts for i.sixseven, the Pekho approach feels very natural and real in comparison. It’s also more of a challenge because every style really needs to work, rather than purely satisfying some abstract thought or trend whim.

What do you think makes Fremantle unique and such a creative hub?

Fremantle is great because the people who live and have businesses in the area have such a strong love for the place. This makes for many passionate souls who are doing things that make them happy. There is a ‘devil may care’ attitude to trying new things. From my perspective of being a business owner in the area, I love that there is an attitude of supporting those who are making a go of something in Freo.

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From your perspective, why is it so important to support homegrown and local fashion?

I think even more important than just supporting homegrown fashion, is supporting homegrown and produced fashion. Clothing has become this throwaway product with places like Supre pumping out ‘on trend’ pieces at stupidly low cost.

Apart from the environmental cost of producing clothing like this, the cost to our local manufacturing is devastating. If we have no local production companies, it makes it really hard for young designers to start out too.

Pekho is all made here in Perth. I have set up a work+shop recently to do inhouse production as well. I like to keep production runs short and frequent and my customers know they’ll be buying something that is not everywhere, is well made and is supporting the local industry.

What can we expect from you in the runway show?

There are some beautiful prints with fresh pops of colour in the new season’s range. The signature Pekho vibe will there too with lots of linen and simple shapes. And some fun accessorising from the shop too!

Images: Pekho

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