WA is losing one of its brightest fashion stars with designer Betty Tran to relocate to Paris and focus on building her international empire.
After managing to create an international label from the world’s most isolated city during a recession, Ms Tran is set to close her Enex 100 store at the end of the month to focus on expanding abroad through wholesale and licensing channels.
Ms Tran, who was Telstra’s Young Business Woman of the year in 2016, will focus primarily on Europe and the Middle East, where the label is already stocked in ten countries.
The brand — loved by celebrities including Jesinta Campbell as well as Serena and Venus Williams — will attempt to crack the US market next month.
Ms Tran hopes to headquarter herself in Paris within six months.
She said it was a difficult decision to close her Perth shop.
“The store was the place where a dream began,” she said.
“It was a dream of a young immigrant who came to Australia with nothing but the intention to truly make a difference and I hope that work has made a real impact in many women’s lives.”
She believes Perth’s isolation contributed to her unique creations, partly because she had never felt pressured into following other designers.
But the constant travel made it difficult to continue operating from Perth. The mother of a 16-month-old baby regularly travels to Europe and Vietnam, partly for her role as a government-appointed fashion ambassador to her birth country.
“Buyers only travel to fashion capitals… and I have been travelling to Europe every two months,” she said.
“I have now shifted from the traditional retail business model to focusing on designs, developing strategies and philanthropic projects which are significant to both myself and to the brand.”
She has not ruled out setting up another bricks and mortar store in the the future, but believes the Sydney market may be more aligned with her couture designs. Prior to her Enex 100 boutique, she had stores in Carillion Arcade and Raine Square.