Queensland fashion label Racy & Lucky was literally born overnight. Owner and designer Cindy Vogels was engaged as a contributing designer for Lady Gaga via Brandon Maxwell studios in New York. She was working on her second drop of headpieces and used some original clothing designs in the photo layouts and those original designs caused a scene in New York with Lady Gaga’s team insisting the clothing travel with the headpieces.
“I had to create branding and a business identity overnight,” Cindy said, “I only had a small millinery label back then.”
“Racy & Lucky became the dream business that I probably never saw coming.”
Five years on, Cindy’s label specialises in “dressing the music”. As she says “… empowering women in music, seeing them be the best and brightest, not copying anyone not following trends, designing for the brave individuals who make up the landscape of women in music here in Australia.”
Since launching Racy & Lucky, Cindy has dressed Doolie, Emily Wurramara, Rackett, Ella Fence, Kirsty Lee Akers, Christy Lamb, Missy Lancaster and Tia Gostelow as well as MCs, artists and guests attending Queensland Music Awards, the ARIAs, Gympie Muster, Deni Ute Muster, CMC Awards, Groundwater Festival, Golden Guitars, Calgary Stampede (Canada), Australian Music Week, Beach* Festival, Splendour in the Grass and Woodford Folk Festival.
And for the first time this year, Racy & Lucky was also a creative partner for the Gold Coast Music Awards, dressing the three directors as well as MC Sarah Howells and publicist Kylie Cobb.
GCMA Director Chloe Popa said she was surprised at how easy the creative process was.
“We’re very passionate about sustainability and especially slow fashion, so our major concern with engaging a designer was around the wearability of the clothing once the Awards were over,” Chloe said.
“And while we wanted to look amazing, we also had to consider functionality. Unlike a lot of awards events, our team are both back-of-house and front-of-house. While we need to dress for the red carpet, we also walk more than 10km that day, so practicality is key.”
Cindy’s process involved working with the team to ascertain individual style and a common theme. Together, they settled on gold – the colour of the Skull Murphy trophies used for the 2019 Awards event. The first step was agreeing on a basic design. Pants suit for Chloe, retro dress for Amanda, everyday skirt for Sam. And then it was on to fabric.
“The day I went out fabric sourcing I actually had gold skulls on my mind,” Cindy said, “and there they were in the fabric offerings, it often goes that way for me with sourcing the materials for our clients in music.”
After the designs and fabrics had been locked in and all five ladies had provided their measurements, Cindy started piecing together the collection from afar with one fitting session taking place a month prior to the event and another final fitting taking place onsite on the day of the Awards.
Being involved in the Gold Coast Music Awards isn’t the only connection this Gympie-based designer has with the city. Previously, Cindy filmed a national TV commercial for a soft drink while in high school and shot a bunch of TV ads here before graduating school after which she says she “literally ran away to the GC to work, play and grow up too fast.”
“During my high school years, I actually developed my first fashion label which was only available to the public via a ‘tres alternate’ boutique in Surfers Paradise called Return II. The clothes were all one-off designs targeted at the ‘underground rave scene’ which I was too young to enjoy.”
“By the time I was old enough to actually get into clubs it was a real high to see my design pieces at mega raves in Brisbane and on the GC, knowing people had spent their money to purchase them.”
“I also ended up studying Fashion Design at Gold Coast TAFE which was very cool.”
Cindy’s says working with the Gold Coast Music Awards was a special experience.
“Working with Sarah Howells and the Gold Coast Music Awards team was a dynamic ride topped off with warmth and professionalism and the two highlight events at Skypoint and the Awards were fabulously fun,” she said.
“We always endeavor to be unique, as it’s the most powerful way to stand out from the crowd and make your mark whilst being the best version of yourself.”
“Racy & Lucky is about celebrating our incredible clients as the unique individuals they are which we achieve by providing them with handcrafted slow fashion, designed and made here in Queensland.”
Chloe said the experience was also special for the Gold Coast Music Awards team.
“To be honest, we were all a bit nervous about putting our clothing in the hands of someone we didn’t know very well,” she said. “But by the time the Awards had rolled around, Cindy just felt like part of the team.”
“The whole process, from brainstorming our individual designs, through to fabric selection and fittings was simple and straight-forward and Cindy did an amazing job of taking into account our personal style and practical needs.”
“We really are lucky we had someone of Cindy’s caliber working with us for the event,” she said. “To top it all off, we discovered we had a shared passion for conservation and social justice, which makes our collection of clothing even more special.”
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Check out Racy & Lucky at racyandlucky.com.
IMAGE: Gold Coast Music Awards team in their outfits (c) Lamp Photography