With the launch of her label Rosalbah, Rosa Altadonna wants women to slow down and take better care of themselves.
“As women, we are so good at taking care of everybody else,” she says. “But we are not so good when it comes to taking care of ourselves and finding time for us.”
So what’s the best way to unwind? Pyjama days, says Rosa. She thinks every woman deserves more time out at home, without having to worry about what they look like if there’s an unexpected knock at the door. And so Rosalbah was born.
Made from lightweight, flowing silk, her vibrant pieces are a luxe take on loungewear, designed for comfort and to make “women feel effortlessly beautiful”. The first Rosalbah collection is characterised by vibrant hues of cobalt blue and turquoise. Called Pacific Dreams, it was inspired by the ocean, relaxation and escapism.
“I think as women we are like the ocean – you know, a bit unpredictable and a bit dangerous and choppy,” she says with a laugh. “But I think we are also really calming, soothing and nurturing.”
Speaking about the collection to the Australian Financial Review, Paul Zahra, the ex-CEO of David Jones, enthused: “Women’s pyjamas have been dominated by novelty, but Rosa’s created a range that can literally take a woman from breakfast to lunchtime and responds to a future where many more people will be working from home.”
With a background in bookkeeping and project management, Rosa admits she wasn’t sure where to start when she had the idea for the label. This, however, wasn’t her first entrepreneurial foray, so she began to research her options and that’s when she came across the CEA Fashion Accelerator.
“It was still a concept in my head when I joined the program,” she recalls. “For me it was the most amazing thing because I did in five months what would have taken me years to actually achieve.”
Having graduated from the program, she explains that she now understands every aspect of running a fashion business, which has given her the confidence to pursue her Rosalbah dream.
“Having industry experienced people there stops you from making a lot of mistakes you would normally make if you didn’t know any better,” she explains of the support she received from industry mentors including Michel Abeysekera, Lydia Pearson and Drew Koven. “So the program saves you time, it saves you money and in the end it helps you to have a much clearer and better product.”
Upon completing the program, Rosa and the four other graduates presented their collections to an industry panel, which included Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann and Courtney Miller, General Manager of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Based on the feedback from her presentation, Rosa has further refined the direction for her label, including her branding and unique selling point.
She will continue creating collections inspired by the feeling of escape and she also plans to start wholesaling her garments in the near future. Each new range will feature prints and designs inspired by the exotic destinations Rosa wants to whisk her customers’ minds away to.
“I want to create collections that take people on a journey,” she explains of her long-term vision. “It’s about creating a brand that gives not only beautiful clothes that are really comfortable and practical, but also the whole package of nurturing and self-care.”