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Our Story

7 Mar 2024

Author: SportscraftMarketing

1914

In 1914, tailor Wolf Bardas emigrated from London to Melbourne with an advanced pleating machine that was to shape the foundations of one of the country's most trusted fashion and lifestyle brands – Sportscraft.

The brand embodied the newfound freedoms of a post-war Australia, and redefined Australian style with what is known today as simply sportswear. After the death of Wolf Bardas in 1959, his vision was continued by his son Morris, and then by Morris’ son, David.

Over the following decades, the business continued to flourish, forming partnerships and spearheading innovative campaigns that would shape the direction of Australian fashion as we know it today. 

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1959

One such innovation was the Fashion Vitality shoot. For this shoot, Helmut Newton was commissioned as creative director and photographer of a Sportscraft campaign which was printed in the very first issue of Australian Vogue in August of that year. The campaign was progressive for the period, and featured models rejoicing in life, looking confident and strong with a sense of attitude.

The brand began featuring high-profile models such as Janice Wakely, Maggie Tabberer, and Jenny Hayes in national marketing and advertising campaigns. Many of these campaigns were featured across the biggest magazine and newspaper titles in the country.

1964

With a long-term commitment to sustainability, Sportscraft was the first brand to sign a formal partnership with Woolmark in 1964, forging a commitment to ethically sourced Australian wool that still stands today. As a result of this partnership, the launch of menswear in 1966 focused heavily on premium quality knitwear, which is a hallmark of Sportscraft menswear to this day. The brand has become synonymous with premium Australian wool at accessible prices. Since the beginning of this partnership, the Woolmark logo has been applied to over two billion Sportscraft garments.

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1983

In 1983, Sportscraft became the largest buyer of Liberty London fabrics in the Southern Hemisphere. The pastel colours and painterly florals of this British textile institution have been cemented as some of Australia's most beloved prints, and Liberty is one of the key product pillars of the Sportscraft range.

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1984

Since 1984, Sportscraft has also been the proud designer of the official Australian Olympic formal uniform for the Australian Olympic Team. Ian Chesterman, Chef de Mission for the 2020 Australian Olympic Team called the brand "a true reflection of the Australian lifestyle."

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Over a hundred years since Wolf Bardas arrived in the country with a pleating machine and a passion for expert tailoring, good fabrics, and consistent quality, Sportscraft is a fashion legacy that continues to thrive to this day. Still a family business, and still proudly Australian owned and designed, Sportscraft is the embodiment of the best of the Australian lifestyle – renowned for outstanding quality and consistently superior fit.

The Spirit of Sportscraft

"It's freedom… no boundaries... activity, adventure, salty seas, smell of the bush, wind and surf… the pulse of life, the land of promise… natural elements and vibrant colours. Full of life."

Woolf Bardas, Sportscraft Founder

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