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Beloved local label Saint Augustine Academy is calling it quits at the end of this season. Founder and designer Alvin Manalo, who championed among other things, dressing Aussie men who weren’t rugby players, had this to say about the sad closure of rock and roll’s favourite sartorial destination.

It’s been nearly 9 years. 15 collections. 10 countries.

I’ve met and dressed countless of our heroes. The Drums, The Horrors, Interpol, Black Lips and Nick Cave for God’s sake!

What they don’t tell you and what you can’t prepare yourself for is how hard this game really is. When you’re small, independent and don’t have all the resources in the world; it feels like a million full time jobs rolled into one. Production Manager, Fabric and Accessories Sourcer, Store Manager, Merchandise Planner, Store Buyer, Wholesale Account Executive, Graphic Designer, Photo Retoucher, Event Manager, Interior Decorator, Stylist, Shoot Co-ordinator, Dispatcher, and Money Chaser. Designing takes up maybe 10% of what actually happens in the scheme of things.

Burn out was imminent. It’s time to take a break.

The lease on our Bourke St store has ended and it’s been hard getting the right space and location right for the next phase of Saint Augustine Academy retail, which of course we bank on for production numbers. We are taking this junction as an opportunity to take a hiatus to re-evaluate our internal organisation and make it more robust and efficient.

In the mean time I am also taking time to take advantage of different creative opportunities and projects that I have not had time for whilst running SAA full time. I am travelling to explore new artisans and manufacturers in the U.S., Peru and Argentina. I am strengthening contacts and networks in New York, London and Stockholm. I am going to life drawing classes. And finally, I am picking up that dusty old guitar.

Thank you immensely for your support all these years, and please know that the next phase of the project is just around the corner.

Much love,

An exclusive look at the Saint Augustine Academy – ‘Crystal Ballroom’ – ‘Room for the memory’ – Spring/Summer 2010/11 Campaign.

Photography: Bridget Mac.

Full collection currently available online at For-Tomorrow.

Designers featured: Featuring: Dion Lee, Ellery, Friedrich Gray, Gail Sorronda, Konstantina Mittas, Lui Hon, Romance Was Born, Saint Augustine Academy, Seventh Wonderland, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Therese Rawsthorne. There are very few mens looks, of which one Lui Hon look was in with Friedrich Gray and visa vera.

Filmed on Saturday 28th August 2010 at 8:30pm, by For-Tomorrow.

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