For someone who recently celebrated an incredible ten-year anniversary in a career navigating the mercurial Australian fashion racket, Holly Garber is remarkably Zen.
As founder and director of boutique agency Golightly PR, Holly represents a world-class slice of Antipodean talent (Dion Lee, Karen Walker and Lover) and influential global giants (Uniqlo, Stylebop.com), and she has an eye for fashion talent that’s borderline prophetic.
She was, for example, tuned-in to the internationally acclaimed talents of home-grown stars Dion Lee and Tome long before their collections were ubiquitous on the runways of New York Fashion Week and in the pages of Vogue. Her professional MO is never pandering, always cool, composed and charming – and with a refreshing intolerance for bullshit.
Considering how influential she is in the surging microcosm of Australian fashion and beyond, she’s probably – and maybe surprisingly – one of the most contentedly domestic women imaginable.
Her favourite pastimes are almost hilariously anti-glam: gardening, reading and the warm sense of hospitality that is the stuff of folklore among her friends (“I like to bake, especially cakes. Current favourite is an olive oil, rosemary and dark chocolate cake.”). Recipe to, hopefully, follow.
And, since becoming the smitten mother of gorgeous one-year-old daughter, Violet, whom she had with long-term partner, Huw Bennett, she says she’s simplified her approach to beauty.
“I used to have more facials and manicures but I now choose a massage and pilates over those things. I remember when Violet was younger, that having a shower felt like the most amazing thing in the world to have all that time to yourself just to stand and do nothing!”
Despite an obvious appreciation for the smaller luxuries, Holly easily admits the more simplified philosophy has occasionally misfired when experimenting with beauty trends – like the fabled (and historically somewhat successful) anti-shampoo technique used to bolster hair condition.
“So I recently tried to go shampoo free” she said, “which, in theory, takes two to four weeks for your hair to recalibrate and be a better version of itself. However that is a lie because after two months my hair was still hideous. So now I am back to washing it every second day and then just let it air dry. I’ll occasionally use a bit of hair oil or a straightener to smooth it out and that is about it.”
If you browse Google Images – as one does – Holly’s like a human highlight reel of great taste (but she’ll probably kill me for saying that). “Simple, clean, boyish” is how she describes her personal style with an aesthetically apropos line-up of favourite brands to wear that includes Lover, Dion Lee and CAMILLA AND MARC as well as MARNI, Isabel Marant and Acne.
Outside of the considerably chic business milieu of her office and showroom, she’s enamoured by her partner and daughter and making time for their family. Because, as the work-life equilibrium is concerned, Holly’s grasp on it is incredibly well-earned.
Photographed by Rudy Zverina
Words by Susannah Tucker