Article by Emma Cam courtesy of news.com.au.
In another push to preserve iconic national brands, billionaire and mining tycoon Gina Rinehart has advanced her footing in the aussie fashion industry.
Recently purchasing Rossi Boots, Rinehart’s company, S. Kidman & Co said purchasing the boot manufacturer was part of ensuring that “Rossi’s manufacturing excellence remains in Australian hands”.
A sale price for the Rossi Boots to S. Kidman was not disclosed.
Once owned by Melbourne-based outfit Propel Group, who also ran well-known Driza-Bone and rural workwear bran RB Sellars, this new deal will see the nations richest person at the helm.
The purchase puts her in direct competition with Andrew Forrest’s RM Williams business.
Crafted from high-quality leather for work and casual wear, the Rossiter family started Rossi Boots in 1910.
Starting from humble beginnings in an Adelaide backyard shed, Rossi Boots grew to become an aussie fashion staple for both men and women.
In World War I and II, the company supplied hundreds of boots to Australian soldiers.
Rinehart said the purchase recognises the company’s “national history”.
“Rossi Boots is more than just a brand, it represents a cherished part of rural Australia’s way of life,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Ms Reinhart has purchased an Aussie fashion label, having previously acquired popular outer-wear brand Driza-Bone.
For over 120 years, Driza-Bone has also been a staple in aussie wardrobes, best known for it’s outerwear (oil skin jackets).
Helping put the brand on the world stage, was INXS frontman Michael Hutchence seen wearing his oilskin jacket on stage at the Countdown Music Festival in the 1990s.
Along with the classic 1982 Australian film, The Man from Snowy River.
Ms Rinehart said she wanted to preserve and maintain Driza-Bone “magnificent past” ensuring it remained in aussie hands, while also rejuvenating the well known brand.
“We want to keep and preserve its magnificent past but we also want to rejuvenate it,” Rinehart said.
Rinehart said part of the purchase was her desire to see the brand expand overseas.