Annie Cannon-Brookes the creator of Australian fashion label House of Cannon is a woman with an insatiable adventurous spirit and a clear vision.
Combining her love of travel,culture, and fashion Annie translates her inspirations into strikingly beautiful prints on effortlessly chic silhouettes.Each collection unfolds as a stunning visual travel journal with individual pieces portraying a unique snapshot captured through Annie's eyes.
BYO recently caught up with Annie to discover more on House of Cannon.
BYO: Talk to us about how House of Cannon began?
Annie: I launched the label in 2013 out of a love of textiles, travel and discovering new things. The idea of combining inspirational images from around the world with striking silhouettes and natural felt natural to me. I have been lucky enough to travel and combined with my background in fashion I felt really strongly about combining two of my great passions together. I think my travels definitely shine through as I’m drawn to the wild, wonderful and unexpected when designing each collection.
BYO: How would you describe the House of Cannon signature?
Annie: The House of Cannon signature uses quirkily beautiful prints in easy feminine silhouettes. We are a very upbeat, playful brand with a focus on effortless styling, which lends itself very well to the resort lifestyle. The foundation of our prints comes from the unexpected play on cultural themes and juxtaposed ideas. We actively seek to connect people and create pieces that get a conversation started between the wearer and the observer.
BYO: How do you translate your love of travel into your collections?
Annie: Well, at the top line each of the collections are based on a city which inspires me and explores the unconventional thought-provoking ideas and themes of that particular city through graphic prints. At an even deeper level though, each piece is designed for women who also love to travel and her modern day needs. The pieces are easy to pack and made from lightweight, breathable silks with a beautiful hand feel. They don't require any fuss, just throw them on and hit the town!
BYO: Each of your collections tells a story, where would you say the current collection takes us?
Annie: Our current collection takes us to the crowded world of rural China. Staying true to its bold and inquisitive roots, the collection subtly wakes the sleeping giants of ZOIC ZHUCHENG – a city in eastern China with the greatest population of dinosaur fossils worldwide. A unique claim to fame, which has come full circle as above ground modern day giants crowd the streets. ZOIC ZHUCHENG subtly juxtaposes delicate florals and oriental motifs with skeletal graphics to reflect the Eastern orient. Whether Jurassic or homo sapien, world Rulers is a major theme running through the collection; playfully nodding to modern day China as it rapidly grows into a great ruling nation. ZOIC ZHUCHENG introduces custom 3-D embroidered lace adding depth and texture to the labels intricate storytelling techniques – acting as delicate armour to compliment a very sophisticated colour pallet of strong reds, soft lavenders and calming blues and silvers. Easy to wear silk dresses, signature kimonos and sophisticated separates stay true to the label’s effortless styling. Choose past or present subtexts, mini or maxi lengths, micro or mega dinos, and discover ZOIC ZHUCHENG.
BYO: What do you love most about your role?
Annie: I am inspired by designing beautiful things that women adore wearing. Also I have an amazing team and feel lucky to go to work everyday.
BYO: Other passions in your life?
Annie: It’s probably obvious that I really value travel. I think it is to see the world and expose yourself to different cultures and ways of life. When you step out of your comfort zone and seek out the unexpected and unusual – it often leads to the most fun and inspiring experiences!
I also endeavour to undertake humanitarian projects whenever possible. I know I am fortunate enough to travel and live in such a safe and prosperous country so I want House of Cannon to be more than just another fashion label. We use our growing network of confident women to start a conversation about important, pressing issues, and our influence to give something back.
BYO: Where is your next journey?
Annie: My next journey is Cambodia with a wonderful charity, Room to Read. We are going over to see all the work that they have achieved in promoting literacy in hard to reach places. We also hope to visit another great charity there, Habitat for Humanity, who builds sustainable communities and promotes a safe and healthy living environment for everyone.
BYO: Describe your favourite place in the world and you in it?
Annie: My favourite place in the world right now is The Raffles Hotel in Singapore. It is rich in history, incredibly relaxing and most of all a unique oases in the middle of the city. I feel much more like a guest in a very large house of a very welcoming Singaporean than staying in a hotel.
BYO: Where can we find House of Cannon?
Annie: Since launching wholesale you can now find us in over 20 boutiques across Australia, as well as online through www.houseofcannon.com
If you are in Sydney then we have also launched our first Pop up shop at 14 William St., Paddington, which is open until the end of December.
BYO: What's next for the label?
Annie: Well it has been a big year for the label and we hope to continue the growth moving forward. We’ve launched wholesale and will be available in over 20 boutiques across Australia. We are hoping to expand into bricks and mortar retail and drive our international presence. Then apart from the continuous wheel of designing we have a few exciting creative projects up our sleeve. Look out for some further innovations in the functionality of our pieces and a potential collaboration with a partner very close to my heart – stay tuned!
BYO: Any words of advice for other creatives?
Annie: Definitely – above all listen to your own voice! Do what you love because you will have much more success working in an area that you are truly passionate about than trying to fulfil a market need.