Always immaculately styled, Alison Barton Chow is the friend you wished you had growing up; the friend you'd turn to when you had nothing to wear for 'that party'. Rummaging through her wardrobe is like going on a round-the-world trip, full of colour and prints and unexpected detail. Ever inspiring and ever lustful.
Vibrant and social, Alison embodies the boheme-luxe label that fills her wardrobe and her days... A fashion veteran, Alison founded her brand, coco ribbon, over 18 years ago and has enjoyed wide spread success globally, from the UK to Sydney, Hong Kong and back again.
Sambag recently caught-up with Alison to discuss style, juggling work and family commitments and how she's living life to the fullest...
Describe yourself in 5 words:
A curious, luxury-loving, pocket-rocket.
You’re the founder and creative director of boheme-luxe label, coco ribbon. What do you hope to communicate through your brand and where do you look for inspiration?
That life is too short for ordinary. I find inspiration in nature from butterflies, flowers and birds and am also influenced by chinoiserie - an east-meets-west interpretation of style, born in the 17th century when trade between Europe and Asia flourished.
How would you define your personal style?
I have three. On Mum days it's trackie pants, a coco ribbon gilet and sneakers. Work days I'm in one of my printed silk dresses and ankle boots or ballet flats. Nights out I'll wear an embellished blouse or sequin jacket with denim and heels
Who are your style icons?
I love the chameleon Kate Moss, bohemian Sienna Miller and the playful style of Sarah Jessica Parker.
Your role as creative director can be demanding - how do you juggle work commitments and motherhood to three young children?
I've been doing this for 18 years and I think with experience you learn what works and what doesn't for your business and brand. As a young entrepreneur I used to try so many different things and wasted a lot of time on projects that went nowhere. As I don't have the luxury of time any more I'm extremely focussed on only doing tasks that will produce results. I give 100% of my attention to my business when it's required and surrender to doing any work when I'm with my children so I can be 100% present when with them.
You’ve lived in some of the most illustrious cities in the world including London, Hong Kong and New York – what drew you back to Sydney?
Family, old friends, the blueness of the sky, sunshine and wanting to have children where I grew up.
What are you most passionate about?
My mantra is "life is one big canvas, throw all the paint you can at it". I live life to the fullest and I'll try anything once.
What exciting plans have you got on the horizon?
I was pretty excited about visiting Toyko for inspiration this month, chasing the cherry blossom season, but due to the current situation it was cancelled. I still plan to go next year and create an entire collection inspired from the beauty that awaits.
And our signature question: if you were a shoe, what style would you be?
A leopard ballet - exotic yet down-to-earth, and can move at a fast pace!
Alison wears the Natalie Ballet Flat in Patent Blush