Over 20 years ago, Rob Cromb and Danielle Vagner took a trip to Paris where they were inspired to take a risk on a concept for a women’s clothing line to fill a noticeable gap in the wardrobe of the Australian woman.
At the time, KOOKAÏ, had already garnered a reputation across Europe as a quirky, inventive and fashion forward French label that was creating a buzz in the retail landscape. Rob and Danielle saw the potential for KOOKAÏ's translation into the Australian fashion scene as a point of difference and a fresh, exciting new way of styling. And so KOOKAÏ Australia was born.
From humble beginnings in 1992, with just one boutique on Melbourne’s Chapel Street, KOOKAÏ has grown into a 39 boutique network across Australia and New Zealand, with an additional 160 boutiques throughout Europe following KOOKAÏ Australia's acquisition of the global brand in 2017.
Today, Rob and Danielle remain intertwined in all layers of KOOKAÏ as not only the owners, but the creative and visionary leaders of the brand.
Rob Cromb, Managing Director
After spending his childhood on an island province in Fiji, Rob moved to Melbourne in pursuit of a high school and university education and a lust for adventure. As the strategic head of KOOKAÏ, Rob drives the direction of the brand and on any one day could be doing anything from hand sketching a new design, to making decisions on boutique locations and financial statements.
Today, Rob shares his time between running the KOOKAÏ business in Australia and France, KOOKAÏ’s manufacturing facilities in Fiji and Sri Lanka, and his ever-expanding philanthropic endeavours, through which KOOKAÏ’s charity Katalyst Foundation was born.
Danielle Vagner, Creative Director
Coming from a long line of women who were models, stylists and actresses, Danielle was born with fashion in her genes. Herself a successful model, Danielle brings her eye for fashion and creative vision to KOOKAÏ through directing our visual merchandising and campaign styling and influencing the design tone and theme each season.
She has been an essential part of KOOKAÏ’s entire brand evolution through choosing colours and prints, designing accessories, developing our own in-store scent, and teaching KOOKAÏ’s retail team how to style the collection.
“I want my KOOKAÏette to see KOOKAÏ through my eyes, with its quirky designs and endless colour palette, by virtue of the way I style and merchandise. I want her to feel excited when she walks through our doors because of the front window displays, and for the styled modules to ebb and flow like pieces of art with colour, crazy prints and textures.”
“We are passionate about our family business, it has heart and soul that can only ever be attained through a history laced with many highs and lows; blood, sweat and tears. Life is always throwing you a curve ball, so you must duck, weave and hope that at the end you have learned enough about not only yourself but your business to make it a stronger, more powerful place to be.” Rob & Danielle xx