During an international career in the 2000s at Net a Porter, Sass & Bide and the Melbourne based Figgins group, designer Annie Abbott quietly planned to create a brand for women who love colour and unique design, based on classic European styling, and manufactured by top Italian craftspeople.
A NURTURED IDEA
The St Kilda back shed/creative studio. For two years this was the global headquarters of the habbot brand. Exciting ideas from humble beginnings.
THE FIRST SEASON SAMPLES ARRIVES
habbot's first season sets the scene for the future - classic European styles, beautiful Italian leather and crafsmanship, and the habbot signature bold use of colour. Annie brings metallic gold, burgundy velvet and patents into the Australian Winter, alongside classic fine black leather. The contrasting two tone oxfords showcase the classic lace ups that the brand will be known for in all future collections.
THE LAUNCH PARTY
habbot is launched with a party to friends and associates. Annie sells personal 'wholesale' pre orders, enough to get habbot off the ground. The excitement around the brand vision convinces Annie that there is a marketplace in Australia for a new creative and independently designed, Italian made shoe brand.
MADE IN ITALY
Annie's years living in London led to a love of European crafsmanship and inspired the decision that her new Australian designed shoe brand should be made in Italy. For the first three seasons habbot shoes were made by a small factory in Naples. In 2013, habbot moved manufacturing to an all family run operation in Sant'Elpidio a Mare, in the Le Marche region of North Eastern Italy, a centre of tradition and excellence for Italian shoemaking. Annie continues to visit Italy up to four times a year, for design inspiration, sourcing new materials and components, and to oversee habbot's manufacturing.
POP UP SHOPS
With the launch of habbot's second season, Spring Summer 2011, habbot opens its first pop up shop in Melbourne's old GPO building. We continued to test the retail waters with two more pop up shops in Chapel St, South Yarrra and Howey Place in Melbourne CBD.
HIGH ST ARMADALE STORE
In September 2012 habbot opened it's first permanent store in Melbourne's High St Armadale, ready for Spring Summer 2013. Mim Design is engaged to help bring habbot's luxury aesthetic into a welcoming retail space.
CREATIVE STILL LIFE IMAGERY
We embark on our first still life campaign in collaboration with creative agency Ortolan and styled by Sonia Retsch and photographed by Scott Newett. This group of images sets the tone for many habbot campaigns to come.
ROYAL BOTANIC RUNWAY
Annie designs custom made habbot footwear range for the Royal Botanic Runway, directed by Emily Ward and showcasing four of Australia's most celebrated designers: Akira Isogawa, Aurelio Costarella, Collette Dinnigan and Martin Grant
THE STRAND MELBOURNE STORE
In September 2014 habbot launches a store in the refurbished Strand Melbourne Arcade, commissioning celebrated interior designer Fiona Lynch.
LIBRARY - AUTUMN WINTER 15
habbot collaborates with stylist Heather Nettie-King and photographer Mike Baker to shoot the AW15 season 'Library' series. One of our favourite campaign shoots ever, and a series of photographs that captures the essence of habbot - creativity, colour and individualism. Visit our youtube channel to see behind the scenes of this creative process.
THE COLLINGWOOD STUDIO
In July 2015, habbot leaves Armadale to cross the Yarra and set up our studio in Collingwood, Melbourne's bustling inner north creative hub.
Continuing to innovate, habbot emabarks on a one month shoe customisation project, 'myhabbot'. Based on habbot's signature derby lace up, clients are able to customise their own shoe design with the help of our trained in store staff. The designs are then sent on to Italy to be handmade. Building on this success, habbot now offers the myhabbot customisation service across four key habbot styles and twice as many materials, instore and online.
THE HABBOT SNEAKER
habbot begins working with one of Italy's premier sneaker manufacturers to develop the habbot sneaker in Autumn Winter 2017. These fully Italian leather sneakers are designed with habbot's signature creative use of colour, and are manufactured to world's best practice. Having loved sneakers from childhood, this new category chapter has been a long time coming for Annie!
MYHABBOT CUSTOMISATION GOES ONLINE
Four signature habbot styles, classic derby, micro-sole derby, mid-heel pump and mid-heel sandal, can now be designed by you in store or online from anywhere in the world. Designed by you, made by us and available wherever you wear your habbots all over the world!
The Royal Arcade Melbourne Store
Two months later, habbot's first Melbourne city store is ready to open in the historic Royal Arcade.
MADE IN ITALY
Our dress shoes are now handmade by a family run factory in Sant'Elpidio a Mare, Italy, which is headed up by Paolo and Pia and their son Marco. They specialise in women's dress shoes and boots and embrace habbot's vision of design creativity and dedication to quality.
habbot produce their first short film, 'Treasure the ones you love', to celebrate the 2014 Autumn Winter season.
THE DESIGN FILES COLLABORATION
Annie is invited to design a capsule of shoes for staff at the yearly Open House of internationally renowned design blog The Design Files.
FASHION WEEK PARTNERS
habbot have loved supporting many Austalian and NZ designers over the years as they showcase their collections at Melbourne's bi-annual fashion week events. The likes of: Megan Park, Kate Sylvester, Macgraw, and Akira Isogowa as shown here.
EMMA LIPSCOMBE COLLABORATION
habbot continues to embrace collaborations with creatives of all kinds. Annie works with Perth artist Emma Lipscombe, who shares a passion for geometric shapes and creative colour. Together they select a painting of striking colour and geometric pattern, which is dye cast onto Italian leather, and then designed into a capulse of four shoes styles.
WE BEGIN TO #shoesnoop
habbot are not the only women embracing creative design and dedication to quality. In 2016 we launched our blog series #shoesnoop, starting with shoe wardrobe to tease out the fascinating stories behind some of Australia's brilliant women creative professionals. Some of our engaging subjects to date have been sisters Lucy Glade-Wright and Jo Harris from homewares retailer Hunting For George and award winning architect Clare Cousins.
WE RETEAM UP WITH ORTOLAN
Ortolan design, stylist Kate Gaskin and photographer Isamu Sawa helped create our stunning Spring Summer 17 Campaign images. As always, the brief was to come up with images that spoke to habbot's originality, colour and creativity.