90s runway meets laid-back glamor at RQ The Label in Canberra

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Glamour, durability and a feminine form: that’s what the Canberra-based brand RQ Label wants to bring to the fashion industry.

RQ Label was founded by local Rachel Quach in 2020. With no fashion education or work experience – aside from retail jobs in high school, college and university – she decided to start designing clothes as a fun creative outlet.

“I actually studied economics and marketing in college,” says Rachel. “After college I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I joined a consulting firm because all my friends were applying and I was just going with the flow.”

“I just needed something on the side as a creative outlet and I think I always had in mind that it would be cool to start a clothing brand.”

Launching RQ from home and doing everything herself – from taking photos to creating the website and researching products – three years later, Rachel’s fashion label is bringing models’ soft glamor to life. 90s and vintage-inspired looks.

Creating classic corsets with a slightly modern twist, it’s an homage to the vintage, high-end fashion that Rachel has always loved.

“I’ve always been obsessed with vintage fashion,” she says. “I used to find a lot of amazing products in the exploitation stores, but obviously there’s not a lot of choice.”

“There was a void in the market because I don’t really want to support fast fashion…and there’s also the other end of the spectrum where you can have some nice designer pieces, but they’re not always in everyone’s price range.”

Deciding to fill the void with durable, vintage-inspired clothing, Rachels’ collections are designed to be worn in multiple ways, extending the longevity of each garment.

“I really want to promote sustainability and slow fashion,” she says. “I also try to work with neutral colors, so it’s easier for the consumer to style in different ways.”

“Obviously corsets are a huge trend now, but they’ve been around for ages. I honestly think they’re here to stay for a long time and are pretty timeless in that sense. And they definitely help accentuate the shape. feminine.

Taking months to design each item before selecting the fabric, fitting it to the body and sending the final design to an overseas manufacturer, the RQ collections are small but visually stunning, catching the eye of the UK magazine. Vanity Fair London.

Describing it as her biggest “pinch” moment, Rachel is still reeling from the three features of the iconic styling pages.

“They emailed me and I honestly thought it was a scammer contacting me, but I replied, and it turned out to be legit,” she laughs. “That was really cool. They posted a bit about us in there… That’s probably one of the highlights so far.

With her new collection officially launching earlier this week (drawing inspiration from Bridgerton, lace and whatever else catches her eye), Rachel’s hope is to one day open a storefront, improve her sustainability and helping Canberra’s fashion industry thrive.

“Shooting locations…I always travel for those and work with models that are interstate because I feel like I don’t have enough resources here yet to be able to represent the brand in a way as I could, in Sydney or Melbourne or the Gold Coast.”

“It can be a little isolating, but that’s not a big deal… It would be great if there were more people doing what I do who are in a similar position, because it would be great to connect with d others in the industry.”

But for now, still doing it all herself, Rachel wants to continue designing unique, vintage-inspired items, satisfying our desire for glamorous, durable and feminine clothing.

Images courtesy of RQ The Label.

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