50 Years in Fashion
50 YEARS IN FASHION
Margaret Porritt is an iconic fashion influencer with over 50 years in the fashion industry. Growing up, Margaret admired the talents of her mother who was a milliner, developing and appreciation for aesthetics and design from a young age. After working in the UK for Norman Hartnell, former dressmaker to the Queen, Margaret undertook a millinery apprenticeship with her mother. Porritt bought her first clothing store in 1972. She was in the throes of divorce and raising three boys on her own. On receiving her divorce settlement she used part of this to open her first boutique called the Orange Poodle. Within three months, she acquired a second store in the West end of Melbourne. Margaret decided to change the name of Orange Poodle to Feathers. As her boys grew older Margaret continued to open stores. In 1972. The Feathers chain did business with Australian labels, Country Road, Sportscraft, Carla Zampatti, Trent Nathan, George Gross and Harry Who. In 1995 after 25 years of carrying Australian designs, Feathers eventually branched into eight locations. Launching Feathers by Margaret Porritt “ I couldn’t find them so now I design them”. Margaret during her career was fortunate enough to win numerous awards including the Victorian Telstra Business Women’s Award, Rag Trader’s Retailer of the Year and an induction into the Business Women’s Hall of Fame. Margaret was also recognised as the Metropolitan Fair Trader of the Year for excellence in customer service. Founded by Margaret Porritt in 1972, FEATHERS Boutique has grown to become one of Melbourne’s most iconic fashion brands.
CLASSICS WITH A TWIST
Feathers has over 35 valued employees across 12 stores including MYER concessions Australia wide. The employees and the women of FEATHERS are like a family, and many staff members have been in the company for over 20 years.
For generations Feathers has focussed on offering the women of Australia the opportunity to wear quality, on-trend designer styles at an affordable price. Margaret and her team design for women of all ages and silhouettes, endless sophistication, practicality, and style. As a brand, FEATHERS aims to empower women and inspire personal confidence. Shopping at FEATHERS is all about the experience, whereby passionate customer service is the crux of the brand’s objective.
Margaret credits the brand’s success to 4 main elements: the passion and loyalty of her team, the quality of the fabrics and manufacturing, the ability to rapidly turn around her product from design-phase to shop floor and identifying and adapting to change. Margaret and FEATHERS has seen itself through a GFC, a recession, subprime disaster and now a global pandemic. Margaret has seen Australia through the good, the bad and the very ugly. The brand has survived because Margaret herself is an eternal survivor. She delights in a challenge: “Out of adversity comes great things”. The brand never stands still. It is constantly evolving and reinventing itself.
Join us in celebrating the next 50 years !
1998 Margaret’s achievements were recognized when she was the winner of the Victorian Telstra Business Owner Award and was inducted into the Business Women’s Hall of Fame.
1999 Feathers received the Metropolitan Fair Trader of the Year award for excellence in customer service.
2002 -2005 Margaret Porritt board member of Melbourne Fashion Festival.
2003 Feathers was announced as a finalist in the Telstra Small Business Awards and as well as winning a regional award at the Australia Retailers Association of Victoria (ARAV) awards.
2007, Feathers won Ragtrader’s, Retailer of the year award for a fashion chain with under 20 stores.
2013, Feathers was excited to be awarded by WGSN, the global authority on style and design as the best Australian advertising campaign for the Autumn/Winter 13 season.