An Introduction to Scarlet Destiny - The Name
The DNA of Scarlet Destiny is fusing together technology and sustainability through the lens of fashion to develop its products. It is largely inspired by the interface between design, science, technology and the environment as well as how to develop these products in an ethical and sustainable way.
Scarlet Destiny is against overproduction, waste in the industry, and excessive consumption while it’s values lie with timeless design and considered pieces that enhance existing wardrobes. Founder and creator of Scarlet Destiny, Vivienne Austin - believes it is important the fashion industry moves forward and collaborates with new emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality. From engineers creating new and innovative materials with modern machinery, or clothing that is only available in the virtual world, Scarlet Destiny recognises this as the future of the fashion industry.
The story behind the name, Scarlet Destiny, is an engrossing one. The following is the inspiration behind the name, as told by the founder and creator, Vivienne Austin.
“It was the heady days of the early 90s when I found myself moving to NYC having left my then dream place to live on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami. I had always wanted to live near water and the opportunity came once I split up with my long term partner back in 1990 in the UK to go to the US for the first time with one of my besties (sadly deceased) Robert Louis Stephenson. We arrived in Orlando to stay with his family for a few days and then moved down to South Beach as part of our holiday, where we connected with all the fabulous fashion people that congregated there.
I was beside myself when I first discovered Miami; absolutely fell in love with Ocean Drive and all the downtrodden fabulous art deco buildings. It was in our hotel room one night when I was pacing the room that I decided I wanted to move there. I subsequently found an International fashion school and as luck would have it the president’s daughter lived in London. Nine months later I moved there.
Prior to this I had been running a successful fashion label in London for over 7 years where I sold my clothing line into a number of independent boutiques in London, Japan, New York, LA, Australia, and Barcelona as well as teaching at a number of universities in the UK and working part –time at Ministry of Sound when it first opened, running the VIP bar.
I was almost burnout and had recognised I needed a complete change of scenery when I first arrived in Miami. The early 90s was the beginning of the fashion scene in SB and it was when magazines like The Face were just beginning to shoot there, the place was awash with run down hotels, bodegas and retirees. Lots of European catalogues had been using Miami as a backdrop for their photo-shoots for years because it was inexpensive and there was guaranteed sun all year round. And as a consequence of that, had sprung up a slew of model agencies such as Next, Elite and Wilhelmina. At the time you could also rent a room in a hotel on Ocean Drive for around 200$ per month.
The plan when I left London to live in South Beach was to continue my brand under my own namesake. At the time there were only two fashion shops in SB, one was owned by the fabulous Gapu Suri and Kevin Kelly called Untitled who still have a store in NYC the other was a small independent.
Within a few weeks of living there I had heard about a multi billionaire who had moved into South Beach to develop a number of businesses from nightclubs, art galleries to restaurants, gourmet food stores and luxury apartments. One day I happened to meet the financial director of the billionaire, Thomas Kramer. Whilst helping paint a set for Norman Gosney (Nightlife impresario also involved with BeetleJuice, and famously known to have resided in the English Cottage and garden above the Chelsea Hotel for 25 years) that day I was invited to get my portfolio and I would be collected to be driven to a private island called Star Island to meet TK and his wife Catherine Burda, whose family were the founders of a well-known German publishing house.
Shortly after meeting them both my friend and I were invited to be part of his vision as we worked on developing a retail business to be on Ocean Drive (and then rolled out country wide) next to the nightclub Hell, all whilst working from that private Island.. Star Island is famous for the wealthy residents it attracts, past and present, many of which are celebrities, movie stars, and the elite from the business world, sports stars, artists, and entertainers. These headliners include Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Don Johnson, Thalia, Sean “P” Diddy Combs, Sylvester Stallone, Lenny Kravitz, Will Smith, Rosie O’Donnell, and Shaquille O’Neal.
This period of my life only lasted for six months, sadly the store we were going to open “Made In Heaven” didn’t materialise due to a new finance director and restructuring.
Shortly after this we moved to NYC by a drive away scheme, which happened to be an ambulance that we needed to deliver to New York.
Arriving in New York having lived in Miami I had made quite a few connections, one was a guy who used to work for Interview magazine who offered us his spare room on Mulberry street in Soho until we sorted out somewhere else to live.
Moving to New York was amazing and I was 5 minutes walk from the Soho district and all the trendy boutiques. Another person I had met whilst in Miami was Billy Thompson, who I later would end up sharing an apartment with in Alphabet City. Billy was a promoter extraordinaire who had promoted parties for a number of celebrities and various nightclubs/ restaurants including The Tunnel, Club USA, The Supper Club and Café Tabac amongst others.
One of my favourites was Café Tabac which was frequented by the trinity of supermodels at the time including Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell as well as Leonardo di Caprio, Madonna, Goldie, Bruce Weber and George Wayne the commentator of the time to name a few.
Having brainstormed the idea of developing a new business with a friend Elmaz Huseyin (sadly also deceased) at Tabac I had decided that I needed to evoke the past whilst embracing the future, so I looked at famous actresses from a bygone era such as Marilyn Monroe, Scarlet O’Hara/Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Ursula Andress and Brigitte Bardot.
I eventually settled on Scarlet as it symbolises courage, compassion, force, joy and a fiery nature but this needed to be melded with the future so destiny seemed perfect. So was the birth of the name Scarlet Destiny.”
This is the beginning of Scarlet Destiny. As the design and production process continues, stay tuned for weekly blogs and discussions, featuring topics from sustainability, to behind the scenes, to tips on building the ultimate wardrobe.