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Thinking everywhere but inside the square.

Sure, the thought of a music festival often conjures up memories of fun times and bladder control, but seldom will you look back at one as the day which changed your life forever. But that’s exactly what comes to mind for Angelique May Bennett, who conceived the first sprouts of hot Sydney label myPetsQuare with second-half Vicki Lee on one such rainy, beat-filled afternoon.

“Vicki was working at the festival, and was giving away shirts so she gave me one to keep warm. We instantly liked each other,” says Angelique.
Like is an understatement – the ladies not only found in one another a new friend, but also a business partner.
“We officially decided to do a label together in 2007 - but I decided the minute I met her,” she says.
“I have always 'adjusted' my clothing to meet my fashion visions, and Vicki has one of the coolest dress senses I've ever come across!”

Style sisters: Vicki and Angelique

With a 17-year career as a model, that’s saying a lot. Determined to be on the more creative side of fashion, Angelique departed the world of image and beauty to give her heart into design – and managed to persuade Vicki to leave her profession as a lawyer behind as well.
“Vicki once told me she wanted to be Ally McBeal because Ally wore short skirts and looked hot. I think that in itself speaks volumes about why she left. She also told me that the law and justice system were not true justice. If the justice system is not true justice, then you may as well make people look good instead right? There is justice in that!”
She has a point.

After a few years of delicate brain-washing, Angelique’s persuasion finally made its mark on Vicki.
“Eventually she seemed to think it was a good idea and so we went travelling around Asia to source fabrics and factories. We went to Korea (Vicki's motherland) first of course, because I wanted to eat the food there, and it was a good excuse to indulge,” she says.
“Somehow, with our two collective creative heads, we landed on our feet with the best factories.”

And so in September 2007, myPetsQuare was born. Quirky, sexy and playful – but ultimately, very much for grown-ups – the label has found itself an almost cult-like following with girls who like to throw a bit of cool in their wardrobe. The clothes prove that you don’t have to take fashion so seriously to look like you know what you’re talking about. The fantastical elements of the brand start at the design and filter down to even the name.
“A sQuare is something that lets you know if it can be filled or left empty. It conjures up the idea of thinking inside or outside the box. The idea of having a pet sQuare, to fill or leave empty as you wish, brings on a sense of freedom to do anything you want, while at the same time, that "anything" is still as comforting as a pet. To make it MY or mine is what we want all our customers to do with their clothes. We create clothing that allows the wearer to be creative,” says Angelique.

It turned out one label simply wasn’t enough for the dynamic duo, so they stepped things up a notch and started sQ last August, a label which is slightly more evolved in its sophisticated tailoring and choice of fabrics.
“We had so much creativity to explore that it was as though we had to have another outlet!” says Angelique.
With the labels now being their full-time job, are they living the dream?
“Challenges always seem to end up as great lessons in growth and therefore are not really seen as challenges. Sometimes we might find that we are on deadlines, as with any business, and that we need to work double time to meet those deadlines. We will forego and sacrifice other areas in our lives in order to meet timelines, so balancing it all can be a juggling act,” she says.

Overall? Yes.
With sales season steadily approaching, she points out that passion is the most fundamental ingredient in their hectic – albeit enviable – jobs.
“New season, new ranges, new feedback, new fabrics, new prints... it never really ends. I'm glad for that as I LOVE it all,” says Angelique.

And how do they enjoy Sydney in their downtime, when they get it?
“Vicki goes out tonnes, to The Club and Shh. She also loves the Icebergs and the Italian restaurant. You don't mind if I speak for you Vicki, do you?” says Angelique.
”I tend to stick to being more at home, and going on the Bondi to Bronte walk most days to take my dog on big walks, also Centennial Park. I like house parties and dinner parties. And I am a big time homebody.”

images are all from myPetsQuare's SS09/10 range, All the Way.

words: Seema Duggal


September 4, 2009 at 7:35 PM HotCaviar said...

i fucking love MyPetSquare and Angellique is a dead set legend... crazy beautiful creative genius... xx

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