In 1966, an American women’s magazine named Browning introduced the first-ever fashion magazine with a focus on “the woman of the future”.
The title itself has stuck with women since the magazine launched in 1966, and its style and design are still influential today.
Read moreRead more”I think that’s where the fascination comes from,” she says.
“It’s a women’s brand, a brand that looks and feels like women’s clothes.
That’s where I started with the brand, and I really wanted to build a brand around it, not a fashion brand.”
In the ’70s and ’80s, Browning produced a range of clothes, ranging from the classic to the cutting edge, which was designed to complement women’s outfits.
“We were really inspired by women’s fashion, but we also wanted to make it for women who didn’t have that luxury,” says Mollie Moberg, Brownings creative director.
“Women wanted something that felt like their own, and that felt very feminine.”
“We wanted to be able to cater to that desire,” says the fashion editor.
“The fashion industry is about women and women’s style.
It’s not about men and men’s style.”
A lot of Browning’s early designs were based on the look of women wearing women’s undergarments.
“When you’re walking down the street, you don’t see the women walking around in outfits,” says Darryl Pendergraft, the founder and president of the fashion house.
“You see men walking around and doing the same thing, and we wanted to have the same kind of feminine look.
We wanted women to be comfortable and have a bit of fun, and have that feeling of comfort.””
Women can wear whatever they want to, and they don’t need to hide their bodies,” adds Mobergs.
“They can wear the same shoes as any man, or whatever.
That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a dress to a party.
It just means you need to be respectful of the men in the room.”
When the company was founded, women were often considered to be underrepresented in the fashion industry.
“A lot more of the clothes were made for women than men,” says Penderl.
“So women had to wear these little dressier, more masculine outfits.
Women often wore a dress with a shoulder strap, or the “hugger” style. “
If a man was wearing a suit, it’s not like that guy’s a gentleman.”
Women often wore a dress with a shoulder strap, or the “hugger” style.
“There was a huge shift in fashion from ‘hugging it up’ to ‘shopping for it’,” says Penders fashion director.
The brand was a hit with women, and by the 1990s, Mobergan says she had to introduce the dress for the first time to appease the demands of a female audience.
“One of the women that was the first to buy a Browning dress was a woman,” she recalls.
“She had a daughter and she bought it.
She said, ‘I’ve never worn a dress like that before’.”
Women have always loved fashion, and women were the first generation of women to wear dresses, but the Browning brand began to feel the pinch of changing times.
“What was really surprising to me was how much the brand has changed,” says Browning.
“I think a lot of women were just kind of saying, ‘Oh, that’s a bit much.'”
“The Browning model has always been about women, so I think they were trying to make a little bit of a shift,” says Fannigan.
“To be able, for the sake of women, to not be ashamed to be themselves, and to not wear the clothes that they think they should be wearing, that was a really liberating thing for women.”
Read moreRead less’This is an industry that’s always been shaped by women,’ says Mobergh.
“And to have it all be made by women is such a testament to that.
It says a lot about the way women are treated in this industry.””
I would like to think that women are always going to be there and be part of the conversation, but there’s always going be this huge barrier to women being able to be in the business,” says Deacon Fannig, the former Browning chief creative officer.
“As women, we need to step into that conversation.”
“It’s important to recognise that not all women are going to dress the same way, or to wear the exact same style,” says Gannigan, who says that the brand needs to make more effort to make women’s garments more accessible.
“Browning is a company that’s really concerned with women.
They’ve always been the pioneers of the brand.
They know that women have always been interested in fashion, that women dress the way that they do.”
Browning has been around since 1911, and it’s the company’s name