Meet The Creative Director Behind This Cool Aussie Brand
Meet The Creative Director Behind This Cool Aussie Brand

Meet The Creative Director Behind This Cool Aussie Brand

Loved by fashion girls everywhere, CAMILLA AND MARC’s contemporary silhouettes have made the brand a beacon of modern minimalism. One of the creative brains behind the Aussie export is Camilla Freeman-Topper – along with her brother Marc – who has shared the secrets to great style, her creative inspiration and the designers she admires most with us…
By Emma Bigger

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I was asked to show my graduate collection at Australian Fashion Week  the morning after I presented it. It was a moment I will never forget. The first call I made was to my brother Marc who encouraged me to embrace the opportunity. By the end of the call, we’d decided to launch the brand together. 

Going down a creative path was always my goal. I grew up on the North Shore of Sydney and was very lucky to travel a lot growing up. This, combined with my family’s love for the arts, really developed my interest in design and style. My earliest fashion memory has to be spending hours rummaging through my grandmother’s wardrobe. She had impeccable taste; she was sophisticated, elegant and had a razor-sharp wit, so I loved spending time with her. She taught me the importance of creating timeless pieces – I still own and treasure some of her things today. 

Travel, films, museums, or even conversations inspire me, and I ENJOY TRANSLATING DIFFERENT MOODS into our collections.

Being a creative director requires a constant stream of inspiration. That can come from anywhere, any time – but the key is to apply it to the design process. It’s about taking a mood, a concept, a feeling, an essence of something, and using that to create a vision. Travel, films, museums, or even conversations inspire me, and I enjoy translating different moods into our collections. I think clothing plays such a pivotal role in how a woman feels about herself each day, so I don’t take this responsibility lightly. 

My litmus test is asking myself, would I wear it? Would a woman appreciate this piece in her life? Does she need this in her wardrobe? How can this item add to her wardrobe? The list goes on. Mood boards, fabrics and textures are very important to me – anything that will make me think a little differently or consider the world in a different way.

The concept of success is so subjective. I remember very early on we secured our first large account – a major department store in Australia, as well as Selfridges in London – which was such a blessing and a bit of a turning point. But we’ve continued to evolve since then. Our 15-year anniversary show was another career highlight. We opened Australian Fashion Week, transporting our audience to Mars through a grandiose set and soundtrack. I’ll never forget the magical energy I felt on that day.

It’s such an honour seeing a woman walking down the street wearing our designs. It will never get old for me – I love that she walked into our store, loved one of our pieces, and it’s now being worn. Margot Robbie, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Pamela Anderson have all worn the brand. After 20 years, I still get such a rush. It doesn’t matter how many years go by, or how many people wear your brand, it always feels very humbling.

Marc and I launched a campaign called ‘Ovaries. Talk About Them’  in 2020. It’s in honour of our mother who passed away from ovarian cancer when we were just 11 and 13. Now, even though 30 years have passed since my mother’s death, the statistics remain unchanged. There still isn’t a test, which is something I desperately want to change. 

My personal style is best described as timeless, classic, comfortable and thoughtful. There are probably equal parts androgyny and femininity. I like comfort, I like to feel confident, and I like to feel this sense of intelligent sensuality. Two of my favourite pieces are my Bottega Veneta platform heels and my Asics sneakers. I always have a pair of Celine, Gucci or L.G.R sunglasses on me, too. I like Eres swimsuits for their quality and classic shapes, and I wear vintage jewellery that’s been passed down from mother and grandmother. 

The secret to great style is trusting your instincts. We live in a world where Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest dictate our style choices, and everything can feel homogeneous. We are all so distinctly unique in how we express ourselves – if we can own what makes us truly special, and nurture that, style will naturally evolve.

Different places in the world have a piece of my heart for different reasons. We’re so fortunate in Australia to have this sense of ease in our lifestyle, set against extraordinarily beautiful landscapes that inspire what we do. The Australian fashion industry really fosters collaboration and camaraderie, too. I admire the creative direction of designers Jordan Dalah, David Caon, Henry Wilson and Louise Olsen. However, fashion is a competitive and rather crowded space. Without drive, and an authentic brand identity, it’s difficult to cut through. Marc and I defined our purpose very early on and have remained true to that ever since.

Without drive, and an AUTHENTIC BRAND IDENTITY, it’s difficult to cut through.

Challenges are an important part of any successful business. It’s an inherent part of the human condition. A challenge always brings a lesson, and it’s that mindset that keeps you going through the hard times. I also think too much knowledge breeds fear – not knowing the ins and outs of the industry when we started out fuelled us to make bolder decisions.

Running a responsible business at every level is key for us. Our design conversations are centred around creativity and responsibility. We always choose the path with the lowest environmental impact. We still have a long way to go, but we are on our journey to becoming a circular business.


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