Camilla, the Aussie Lifestyle Brand, Plans Aggressive U.S. Growth, Opens Fourth U.S. Store in Short Hills Mall in New Jersey

Camilla, the 20-year-old Australian luxury resort and ready-to-wear brand known for its vibrant prints and globe-trotting aesthetic, is strengthening its U.S. business.

The company, which has 27 boutiques globally, opened its fourth shop in the U.S. last week at the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. The company anticipates opening 20 U.S. stores in total by fiscal years 2027-2028 in key states such as New York, California, Texas and Florida.

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Camilla is inaugurating its Hotel of Curiosity concept at the Short Hills Mall, complementing existing U.S. boutiques at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Fla., South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. and Aventura Mall in Miami.

The 2,000-square foot Short Hills store is decorated with handcrafted mosaic flooring, bespoke carpeting, a Champagne bar with upholstered chairs, and a vintage train adorned with images from founder and creative director Camilla Franks’ travels.

The Camilla boutique in Short Hills, N.J.
A view of the Camilla store at the Mall at Short Hills.

“I aim to provide a sumptuous experience for first-time visitors and loyal clients alike, some of whom have been with me from the beginning,” said Franks, who launched her business in 2004. Franks’ signature prints, hand-drawn and painted by skilled artisans, take center stage. Womenswear and men’s are displayed above brass totem animal details in the timber flooring. Columns adorned with Franks’ iconic prints showcase accessories, footwear, sunglasses and home products. There’s also a kids’ and babies’ section featuring kid-scale fixtures, three-dimensional soft animals and a custom coloring station.

“I want to transport my clients on an adventure, sharing my passion for travel, exploration, transformative experiences and vibrant colors,” said Franks. “Entering my newest boutique is like stepping into another world — a place to slow down and meet yourself, guided by my boutique angels.”

“It’s like a love letter to my travels, storytelling and print making,” she said.

Celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary, Franks told WWD, “My business is my first baby… We’ve grown up together. It’s been a beautiful, colorful, slightly terrifying at times, exhilarating and empowering rollercoaster ride that’s landed us at 20 years.”

The company has grown to include 366 people, and the team is made of 95 percent women. Franks credits her success to her passion for print design and print hunting mixed with her “undeniable naivete of what it takes to run a global business.”

“If you would have said to me 20 years ago that I would be one of Australia’s leading designers, I would have told you you were crazy,” said Franks, speaking via Zoom from her home in Australia.

Camilla for spring
A Camilla ad image.

“I’m a print hunter and I immerse myself into these wonderful cultures, whether it be Africa, India, Vietnam, Japan, Tibet, and I go off the grid for a month and it’s like I become one of them, and I learn about the culture, the textiles and the embroidery,” she said. She said she takes about 100,000 photographs.

“Our customer really relates to the storytelling of the prints and they become heirlooms and get passed down from generation to generation,” said Franks.

At present, Camilla has a robust presence in such major U.S. accounts as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Mitchells, with a strategic focus on their new ready-to-wear collection. The brand sells to 130 stockists in the U.S. and is carried at online retailers including Net-a-porter, Mytheresa, Revolve and Shopbop.

Camilla had strong growth last year, with revenues from the two boutiques in California and Florida increasing 60 percent. Combined with the successful launch of the brand’s third boutique in Coral Gables, Fla., that opened in October, the retail channel saw 80 percent growth in the U.S. last year.

A spring campaign image from Camilla.
An image from Camilla’s campaign.

Overall, direct-to-consumer (retail stores and online), represents 75 percent of the turnover, said Rebecca Mansergh, chief commercial officer of Camilla.

“Where we see the business growing is ramping up the omnichannel mix, largely driven by the store rollout,” said Mansergh.

She said the plan is to double the U.S. region revenue in the next three years. The U.S. accounts for 25 percent of global revenue and the plan is for it to become 40 percent over the next three years. That will be achieved via store rollout, improvements in data capture to improve retention, and growth of ready-to-wear.

The Short Hills store is the first of three planned Hotel of Curiosity Boutiques that will involve converting existing locations to the new luxury concept. The company expects to see sales from U.S. boutiques increase 50 percent for fiscal year 2025.

The strategy is to have long-term stores, along with pop-ups layered in. Texas, New York, Florida, California and Las Vegas are the key target states for boutique locations, said Mansergh.

The company has been increasing its business with Saks Fifth Avenue, its largest partner in the U.S., which has seen 30 percent growth in both Camilla’s resort and ready-to-wear line in the past year, according to Mansergh. The partnership covers both e-commerce and in-store collaborations and extends to multiple locations in Florida with Saks pop-ups in Brickell, Bal Harbour and Boca Raton scheduled for this month and April.

Saks will open a pop-up for Camilla at the flagship from April 17 to April 30 on the (contemporary) fifth floor, along with five windows at Saks celebrating prints.

Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer at Saks, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Camilla as the brand continues to expand its presence in the U.S. market. Our customers love the brand for its beautiful, signature prints and will be excited to add the new ready-to-wear collection to their wardrobes.”

Saks will be offering an exclusive print from Camilla’s new ready-to-wear capsule titled “True Bloom.”

Mansergh noted that ready-to-wear has been the game changer for the company. Saks, for example, had an 87 percent increase in Camilla’s ready-to-wear in the last two years, said Mansergh.

In Europe and the Middle East, Camilla does business in Harrods, Bloomingdale’s Dubai, Harvey Nichols in Saudi Arabia, Bon Genie and Globus in Switzerland, Kadawe in Germany, Vakko in Greece, and Attica in Greece. They sell to a network of 148 boutiques across the EMEA region.

Camilla also has a strong presence in more than 40 key hotels, including One and Only, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.

The label had traditionally been a dress business with a resort slant, and it has since added separates, outerwear and tailoring the several years. The collection is manufactured in India. The company plans to launch denim for the first time this fall with six stock keeping units made in Turkey retailing from $400 to $500.

For the ready-to-wear collection, Franks said she incorporates more linens, different fabrics and less embellishment and more structured silhouettes, though prints are still part of the DNA. Overall, dresses average $699 to $999, pants are $659 to $799, outerwear and tailoring go from $799 to $2,999. Swimwear ranges from $300 to $400.

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