David Jones to stock Mackay milliner
EXCLUSIVE: The shop floor of the Bourke Street David Jones is where Mackay milliner Danica Erard learnt about and eventually grew to love Aussie fashion.
So, it seems only suitable that 21 years later, her one of a kind designs will now be stocked on that very same shop-floor.
Mrs Erard, who operates d.e Millinery from Mackay, was approached by the David Jones brand four months ago to design a capsule collection which will be stocked in store and online during the spring racing season.
And there's no guessing why. Her one-of-a-kind creations have been worn on the noggins of the likes of Bec Judd, Carrie Bickmore, granddaughter of the Queen Zara Phillips and even Lady GaGa.
Since being approached by the department store, Mrs Erard said initially it was daunting to go into the meeting but the offer came at the perfect time.
"I flew out to Melbourne to meet with the team, and when I flew down I took with me a selection of 12 pieces. From those 12 pieces, they have chosen nine designs," Mrs Erard said.
"You go into these big opportunities and it's very daunting. They reached out to me which when you get to this point in your career is pretty exciting.
Mrs Erard said David Jones reached out to her as her demographic filled a gap in their millinery market.
"David Jones are really focusing on the ethically designed and made pieces by artisans."
"I'm based here in Mackay making all my pieces, I am trying to keep the dollar local... so to design headwear here in Australia by hand, it is a really sought-after product."
Growing up in regional New South Wales in the small town of Deniliquin and eventually ending up in Mackay, her high-end fashion career is a world away from her humble beginnings.
For the deal, Mrs Erard will initially make more than 100 hats, with more to come if they sell well.
Her handmade headpieces available on her website range in price from $189 to $1199.