POL started with Australian designer Sam Jones. Sam Jones was almost at breaking point when she took a risky step and branched out on her own. The Australian designer had spent her career working for big fashion labels such as David Lawrence and Howard Showers, but when she became a single parent. Fashion was the only thing Jones knew so she set about finding a way to realign her life to fit in both work and motherhood. After an agent suggested she put together a range of her own, Jones devised a collection of knits on her kitchen bench. She chose the name Pol, and it just sold and sold and sold.
While Pol Clothing was an instant success Jones was faced with a huge problem. Two years into it, she didn’t really love what she was designing. She was creating what the market seemed to want but not following her heart. “When a product is loved it comes through, you can tell that somebody has enjoyed designing it. It becomes really interesting and you want to wear it.” It took a mentor to point out to Jones that if she wanted to design clothes she really loved, she had the power to take greater control and do that. Following her heart turned out to be a good creative and commercial decision. Five years later, the look now is more a “low-key, low-colour aesthetic”. “I put a lot of ideas and love into every garment and I think that’s what has given it an enduring quality,” says Jones. “It really is ‘find your niche, stay true to yourself’.” Jones says her product is not mainstream. “We target women who don’t necessarily want to bare all their skin, who just want to look attractive – that 25-55 ageless contemporary woman. If you’re over 40 you want to look contemporary, you want to look modern. You want clothes to look great on you and fit well. To get that nice balance of contemporary dressing is harder than it seems.”
From delicately woven knitwear to materials and textures that are as functional as they are free to wear, POL’s authenticity has always been its strong point.
Today, with over 120 stockists worldwide, and with ongoing interest from global fashion leaders, POL still remains something of an accidentally discovered quiet achiever.
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