When it comes to luxury outerwear, nobody has steered alpine gear to fashion peaks like Templa has managed in just seven months on the scene.
Created by friends avid snowboarders and skiers Dellano Pereira (who runs Three60 agency with a client list including Strateas Carlucci, Josh Goot and Ellery) and Rob Maniscalco (formerly of streetwear label Claude Maus) Templa is more than just about getting its kicks high on a mountain top.
The brand, which has roots in Melbourne, blends high altitude performance wear with Rick Owens-inspired industrial-tech aesthetic and plonks it on the winter streets of Paris, New York and Tokyo for the ultimate fashion experience.
But the duo hit the jackpot when Antwerp-based Anati Rakocz, who worked as global commercial director at both Haider Ackermann and Ann Demeulemeester, came on board as third partner and the brand's commercial and sales director.
With her fashion connections and guidance, Templa was quickly snapped up by Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and Barney's New York – an amazing coup for a brand which only made its debut last October.
In a short time, they've already dressed A-listers including A$AP Rocky, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, David Beckham and Justin Timberlake.
When Rakocz signed the dotted line to become an equity member, she hadn't even met Pereira or Maniscalco. Her only contact was over the phone and via email.
The road to collaboration
Last year, after several attempts to get her on board, Pereira finally broke the ice. Rakocz suggested she fly from Antwerp to New York to see the collection with her voice of reason and bestie Jay Bell – who just happens to be the Senior Vice President of Men's Designer Collections at Barneys.
Together they holed up in a hotel room to touch and feel the Templa product. There were no promises she was on board for the journey – merely telling a persistent Pereira to hold his horses.
"She initially rejected the idea and told me politely she needed to see it in the flesh and couldn't see the connection between ski and fashion. Anati probably thought I photoshopped it to look like Rick Owens," says Pereira.
"Then, she calls me a few hours later from the hotel room with Jay to say they'd tried every jacket and he's placed an order outside of market season when budgets are closed. He was so impressed and became our first customer for Barneys," he adds.
The trio met for the first time in January this year.
"It felt like we had known each other for a long time," says Pereira.
"But it was also like, oh, that's what you really look and sound like," he laughs.
"Her dad even emailed to say his daughter's decision to quit her work was out of character for her and told me he didn't know who I was, but asked that I be respectful of her," he adds..
Researching the product
Templa's minimalist luxury pieces are inspired by architecture, car interiors and technical watch design– their puffers lean on a slope heavy aesthetic that reminds of brutalist curves and sedated on a New York state of mind.
"Dellano and I spent two years researching and developing this brand before we made our debut," explains Maniscalco.
"I hadn't seen anyone start a label like this championing two areas of function and form in equal measures," he adds.
"The lack of it inspired us to create a brand that was all about great design, was function heavy with an aesthetic that is high fashion you can't find in performance wear anywhere."
Pereira and Maniscalco met with Olympic skiers, dive experts and technical performance fabric houses in Italy and Portugal to source the best material. Their puffers, bombers and coats are waterproofed leathers that can handle subzero conditions on the mountain or the streets of Milan and Russia too.
The brand even won best apparel at the 2018 ISPO Brandnew award for an emerging brand this year.
For Maniscalco, it was important Templa got a head start globally and came back to the local market with an international reputation.
"I didn't want to launch a new label for the sake of it," he says.
"The world doesn't need another line of clothing. I made a considered effort that it needed to be special and have a new voice," says Maniscalco.
For Pereira, Templa's timing couldn't be better.
"The world of fashion is changing," says Pereira of the alpine and urban gap they've filled.
"Who would have thought fashion houses of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton would be controlled by their creative directors? Millennials have changed all the rules and there is no better time than the status quo to ride that change and reach for global domination," he says.
"I'm very excited."
They're stocked exclusively at Masons in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.