Oroton, the once iconic Australian retailer, has gone into voluntary administration.
Oroton, the once iconic Australian retailer, has gone into voluntary administration. Supplied

End of an era: Oroton put into voluntary administration

TODAY, a big part of 1970s died.

Oroton, the maker of glamorous, shimmering, shining, cigarette cases, keyholders, coin purses, zip around beauty cases, handbags and earing is over

The appointment of administrators to the 79-year-old listed Australian retailer came after it failed to raise new capital or find a buyer for the loss-making business.

Loss making? In its heyday of the 1960s and 70s it was an item of envy. A symbol of status beyond reproach. Famous for metallic mesh handbags for the elite and those who like to look elite.

Originally founded as a textile design and imports company, Oroton today is an iconic Australian luxury accessories brand, with products designed from the company's Sydney headquarters under the eye of creative director Ana Maria Escobar.

  • Oroton was started in 1938 by Sydneysider Boyd Lane as a trading company importing merchandise and textiles such as Japanese silks, rubber thongs and German metal compacts.
  • In 1951 the company turned its hand to accessories, embedding metallic mesh in handbags and powder puff compact cases for a line of Oroton-branded accessories that struck a chord with the Australian public.
  • Throughout the 1960s and '70s the use of mesh, particularly in handbags, came to be an integral part of the Oroton look.
  • Throughout the '70s and '80s, the company expanded their offering to include Italian leather goods, jewellery, watches, eyewear, ties and scarves.
  • Although Oroton underwent difficulty in the 1990s due to flagging sales and trouble with its operations in the US, in 1997 Boyd Lane's grandsons Ross and Tom took over the company as managing director and general manager respectively to re-focus the brand.
  • In 2009 Oroton collaborated with Vogue Australia for a limited edition bag in honour of the magazine's 50th anniversary.
  • In 2010 Oroton opened its first store in South East Asia in Hong Kong. Stores in Singapore and Malaysia were opened over the next two years.
  • A fragrance collection was introduced in 2011.
  • For their spring/summer 2011 advertising campaign, the label employed Tommy Ton and stylist Taylor Tomasi Hill to capture the images of New Yorkers carrying Oroton accessories around Manhattan.
  • Following the success of the first campaign, the company enlisted the help of Tommy Ton and Tomasi Hill again in 2012.

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