Edward Maradona: A Blossoming Entrepreneur in the Asia Pacific’s Fashion and Apparel Industry

The broad beauty industry, including the fashion and apparel subfields, essentially nurtures beauty, aesthetics and well-being in our society. But there is an ugly side to business here: it can be complicated, competitive and trendy i.e., tied to a sense of short-lived popularity. Even so, there are certain ways to achieve success in the industry, as a business leader.

For ‘Mr. Edward Maradona’, an Australian entrepreneur within the fashion and apparel industry, success came after years of being a professional dancer who kept abreast with the pulse of the fashion industry. As a teenager, he dreamt of owning his own clothing store. As he studied and performed as a professional dancer for seven years, he worked in popular retail stores like Adidas, G-Star and Foot Locker to earn money. With time, through years of hard work, saving money and gaining experience, he could establish his very own store ‘Cabinet Noir’ in Perth, Australia, in 2013.

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Edward Maradona

Through the years, ‘Cabinet Noir’ has grown to become an emerging name in the Asia Pacific region’s apparel space. They distribute a hand-picked selection of fashionable men’s clothes and accessories throughout Australia. Through steady growth and small successes, they have grown to become an online retailer capable of distributing their products internationally. For Mr. Maradona, this is quite literally a dream come true. 

Tracing Cabinet Noir’s Journey in Business

“My journey into fashion or entrepreneurship was completely accidental. I was a professional dancer for 7 years post completing my university degree in film and video. Competing in breakdance competition and becoming Australian champion allowed me to travel around the world. During my travels I was inspired by many exceptional clothing stores in Japan, New York, Paris and more,” Mr. Maradona  remembers. 

In 2013, the timing was right to establish his own store – he found the best location in Perth, Western Australia, gathered enough capital, investment and knowledge. This was the birth of Cabinet Noir. It started off as a brick and mortar concept. Soon, they would create an ecommerce centre online because the internet provided greater reach and room for growth. 

The initial challenge was competition from the bigger, more established online fashion retailers. They seemed to have more budget and bigger offerings. Mr. Maradona realized that they could only survive by offering exclusive products that other retailers couldn’t easily offer. “We run our concept store and online store like a fine dining restaurant, where we curate our menu and use ingredients that are unique to us. This becomes the direction for our concept store, to create our own blue print,” he says. 

This decision created a huge turning point in the company’s journey, guiding them towards even more popularity. “Our modus operandi is driven to discover emerging designers and stocking brands that are hard to get and only stocked at the best stores in the world. This is where networking plays a huge part. By travelling and meeting more people in close circle groups, we are able to bring exclusive products to our customers,” Mr. Maradona shares.

Achieving Success through Unique Strengths

Cabinet Noir is growing internationally today, primarily thanks to three reasons. First, they practise a selective approach to providing products to their customers. They regularly travel to Paris Fashion Week to learn about the latest trends in fashion and talk to other experts about potential brands and designers to present their customers. 

Second, the company’s products are majorly from Australia. So, customers of different countries see the Australian fashion sense as exotic, charming and pleasant. Mr. Maradona also believes that there are fewer Australian streetwear designers reaching out to global markets. By stepping in to provide products to international customers, the company has become one of the first Australian fashion and apparel retailers to serve international customers. 

Third, Cabinet Noir is stepping outside of conventionality. “We are unique. We aren’t just a fashion label or a multi-brand luxury store. We are a group of creatives that are always pushing to create and to innovate. We have different teams focusing on different sectors. For example, we are launching our own Vodka brand under Cabinet Noir Vodka branding. We will be launching our own collection of footwear, grooming products and more,” Mr. Maradona says.

Building a Successful Future

Cabinet Noir is steadily gathering interest from customers around the world. Supported by their online retail presence, their agent in London is continually creating new physical luxury fashion centres locally. “The future of Cabinet Noir is to become a global company that is well respected and known as not only as a fashion or creative brand, but also as a philanthropic movement that will change the world and environment for the better. We are here collectively to create a difference,” Mr. Maradona says.

In view of the future, Mr. Maradona is looking forward to becoming a better business leader capable of inspiring others to chase their dreams. He wants to help people realize that their lives are precious. He wants to inspire people to let their actions reflect their individual beliefs. 

With respect to today’s youth, Mr. Maradona has valuable advice to share. He explains that the fashion and apparel industry is often ‘cut-throat’ and competitive unfortunately. He says that new offerings without substance or passion, won’t survive. So, he advices young people to travel and to see different cultures in different places around the world. This can give birth to fresh perspectives in their minds, with respect to their business and products. He also says that learning from like-minded people regularly is a key to succeeding in this industry. 

“My advice for young entrepreneurs is to do what you love and passionate about. Think about creating values to your community. The more values you create to more people the more successful you will be. Now this has to be an organic thought process. Don’t think about making money. Think about longevity and creating a legacy that is positive and contributes to the community,” Mr. Maradona concludes by sharing some secrets to success.