March 1972, Charlie Digby decided to switch from hospitality to fashion retail.
He took over a shop at 297 Lygon St Carlton, Melbourne called Carlton Fashions.
Life was easy back then; doing business was easy back then; the cost of doing business was crazy low....
Starting from scratch, with nil knowledge of fashion and no formal training in fashion or business ....... he had to learn very quickly.
Which he did because he loved the concept and it was a vehicle to express himself.
A few years went past and he recognized that he had to have a plan, a clear direction, a concept.
And that is where the journey started
Firstly, had to do something about the name, Carlton Fashions. He decided on DIGBY'S which he admits was lacking in imagination but back then marketing was weak and you could not have Carlton Fashions at other locations.
At the same time, he decided carrying other brands was becoming problematic and was not a long term proposition.
That was fine, but he was also fully aware that his name was behind every garment he produced.
That made it a personal guarantee.
It was time for a clear concept. Starting with Size....he decided on only a handful of shops, all in the best fashion retail precincts in Melbourne, of course including the CBD. His shops to carry mainly his brand. Limited expansion, no representation at deparment stores, no interstate shops and certainly no overseas.
His reason behind this - was not to dilute the look, the quality of the product and the best service.
Meanwhile, 50 years later, he has stayed true to his concept. The brand is exclusive, it is quality, well made; every garment produced in Melbourne. The best fabrics out of Italy, Japan and France. Working with fabric mills that are eco friendly.
An important contribution of the DIGBYS brand to sustainability is functionality and investment dressing. It is minimising the cost per wear without sacrificing style. Very important, today more than ever, value for money.
This is now called 'Quiet Fashion'
50 Years of Passion