It was announced earlier this week that iconic Australian fashion label Lisa Ho was closing its doors forever. A bastion of the local fashion landscape for the last 30 years, Ho had built her brand up from a market stall in the Sydney suburb of Paddington into one that has been dressing Australian women through many memorable events in their lives, from school formals to work days, cocktail parties and weddings.
To celebrate her contribution to the Australian fashion landscape, we look back at some of the facts that you may not know about Lisa Ho, the fashion label and the woman herself.
- Lisa Ho was born in Albury, on the NSW and Victorian border and was taught how to sew at the age of four by her grandmother, a tailor of African descent. By age 10 she was making patterns from newspaper and sewing designs for her dolls, herself and her four sisters.
- Did you know Lisa Ho was known as a swimwear designer first? After graduating from the East Sydney Technical College in 1981, Ho launched her eponymous label after working for only one year in the industry. She began with a stall at the Paddington markets selling hand painted bikinis and garments. Soon she was selling Lisa Ho swimwear in David Jones and Myer before being locked down in an exclusive contact with DJs in 2004.
- Like the Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of US Vogue, Lisa Ho plays tennis five times a week before a full day of work. That’s commitment!
- An avid collector of vintage clothing and fabrics since she was 15, Ho reportedly has close to 18,000 pieces in her private antique collection with pieces including rare Fendi bags and a Andy Warhol screen print of Coco Chanel – though some of her illustrious collection was auctioned off a few years ago.
- Lisa Ho designed a series of costumes for a segment featuring Australian fashion designers during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Her designs appeared alongside the likes of Jenny Kee, Norma Moriceau and Peter Morrissey.
- In 1989, just seven years after she launched her label in 1982, Lisa Ho was recognised with a Fashion Industries of Australia Award.
- Lisa Ho was given the prestigious task of opening Australian Fashion Week in 2010, an honour that is only bestowed to industry stalwarts.
- Though she is rather old school in how the brand strived to connect with a new and younger audience, Lisa Ho has collaborated with the likes eBay Fashion Gallery on a charity t-shirt design.
- Lisa Ho the company has nurtured many Australian fashion designers over the years with the likes of Rachel Gilbert honing her skills within the design team and the now defunct Mad Cortes by Mira Vukovic was backed by Ho up until 2008.
- Lisa Ho’s designs have been worn by many stylish women, including but not limited to: Florence Welch, Maria Sharapova, Carly Rae Jepsen, Miranda Otto, Nina Dobrev, Fergie, Kelly Osbourne, Jennifer Lopez, Delta Goodrem, Sarah Wynter, Elle Macpherson, Lea Michelle, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Olivia Newton-John and Jessica Alba.
What are some of your favourite Lisa Ho moments?
One of our memorable moments was her show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia last year. Set in the beautiful Art Gallery of NSW, it drew quite a fashionable crowd for a 9am show and the lush green print was a hot print for the season.
Don’t miss out on getting a Lisa Ho design
For all Lisa Ho fans out there, her beautiful designs are now up for grabs at a steal – both online and in her soon-to-be-closed boutiques. Snap up your very own pieces of Lisa Ho now!