He is the creative visionary and founder of media platform Adelaide Fashion Revolution, as well as the head designer at his own label, Revolution. Yep, Ben Conroy is the man to know when it comes to the Adelaide fashion scene. No, you won’t fool the children of the Revolution!

Fashion writer Iona MacLean and photographer Phebe Rendulic were lucky enough to catch up with Conroy to nosy around his beachside pad, where they were charmed by the charismatic entrepreneur over an icy cold jug of fruity iced tea.

His sartorial style may be monochromatic, but his living space is eclectic, characteristic and organic. Read on as Conroy talks inspiration, frogs and skinny jean wardrobe malfunctions!

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TUS: What inspired you to start Adelaide Fashion Revolution?
Conroy: I wanted to research everything about the Adelaide fashion industry. If I was about to step into it, I wanted to know what I was up against, what else was around, what kind of support there was. I just didn’t think that there was a lot around. The people that were reporting on the Adelaide fashion scene were only reporting on a few particular labels, and I couldn’t find out anything about the smaller, upcoming labels. Social media was on the rise at about that time too, so I just wanted to create one central platform where I could talk about everything Adelaide fashion, and be taken a little bit more seriously, whilst promoting each label, small and big. So it’s all about promoting, supporting and creating a network where all of the designers are now working with each other and supporting each other.

What is the direction you are taking with your next collection for Revolution?
The direction I am taking with the next collection is a little bit more dirty. It’s a bit rock and roll but also a bit organic as well.

Do you wear a lot of your own label?
I do. My first collection was basics, so I’ve worn them to death. I love the feel of the pants and T-shirts.

Three words to describe your personal style?
Effortless, monochromatic and grungy.

Women who inspire you to design?
Carine Roitfeld, Miranda Kerr, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton (of sass & bide).

Men who inspire you to design?
Alexander Wang, David Beckham, Anthony Kiedis, Johnny Depp and Lenny Kravitz.

Do you prefer dressing for Winter or Summer?
Winter, definitely. I love layering; I am also obsessed with boots. Big boots, jackets and cardigans. I feel in Winter you can get a little bit more comfortable about getting creative. In Summer there are certain aspects you don’t like about yourself, but in Summer it’s like you have no choice! You have to wear next to nothing, so you’ve got to tan your legs and tone your arms!!

Biggest indulgence purchase?
My boyfriend bought me an Alexander Wang bag for Christmas! I had my eyes on it to buy [it] after I finished my show this year as a bit of a celebration, but I just couldn’t afford it, so it was a nice surprise, especially because Alexander Wang is one of my biggest inspirations!

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Your favourite cheap and cheerful item to date?
A $5 oversized T-shirt from Jay Jays! Black and white are my favourite.

What is something you have bought but haven’t worn yet?
I’d have to say these little vintage ankle cowboy boots with silver embellishments. I keep putting them on with different outfits, but only around the house!

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So are you a big vintage shopper?
I’m not a huge vintage shopper, but I am obsessed with black vintage boots.  I do plan on having a huge collection one day!

Are you a jewellery and accessories guy?
Yes, huge, massive! I’m obsessed with cool rings. I am also pretty well-known for the collections of ‘wrist candy’ I have on my wrists. Each piece tells a story, either from a particular place or moment or person, and they all go together.

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What are your favourite Summer sunnies?
I love my Tom Ford’s, but I’d have to say my Le Specs reflectors. I keep breaking my sunnies, so for me I need to have a few always!

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Your dream home: cute cottage or modern mansion?
I’d have to say modern mansion, but I would decorate it to my taste. A modern, sleek design, but filled with cultural pieces. I’m a bit of a…what’s that bird that collects things? Magpie? Bower bird? Yes, bower bird. I like collecting things and I like my house to be filled with pieces that tell stories. Everything in my house isn’t from a shop like IKEA or Freedom. I don’t have a colour theme happening. I like character and an eclectic interior, but in a modern mansion.

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If you could have a dream home anywhere, where would it be?
Bondi Beach. I just love it; it is so me. I know it sounds so stereotypical, but I feel so comfortable there: the beach, the sand, the people, the little bars.. it’s definitely my kind of place.

You have a frog tattoo on your foot and a frog collection. Can you tell us how this came about?
It started when I was young and my grandmother had frogs around her home. We were very close and I used to paint her pictures of frogs. The tattoo is actually an image I painted in year 12 for an art piece about my grandmother because she was dying of Alzheimers, so I did a piece about a frog flying away. When I turned 18 I found the image and said “that is what I am going to get”. When she passed away I inherited her frog collection and now I just keep adding to it. I love them. They’re a crazy animal that likes adventure, but they’re still happy to be by themselves.

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Funniest wardrobe malfunction?
I would have to say zips on jeans. I wear super-skinny jeans, where I often have to really squeeze into them, so the button or fly can bust on occasion. There have been fashion events where I have had to graciously cover a rip in the thigh! I also once quit a job because they told me I needed to stop wearing skinny jeans and wear baggy ones. It was make or break for me.

Biggest wardrobe regrets over the years?
I would have to say the baggy jeans that had the faded whiskers that came out of the crotch. Oh, and the chain with the wallet in the back pocket.  What were we thinking?

Favourite designer at the moment?
Alexander Wang is my all time favourite, but I have to say Kathryn and Siham who are designing for Cameo have me blown away at the moment. I am really, really in love with the brand. They are nailing it at the moment.  Actually everything that is coming out of Australian Fashion Labels is really inspiring me. They are one of the biggest fashion houses in Australia, creating so many jobs, turning through TAFE students for work experience, giving lots of amazing opportunities to South Australians. They are very approachable and so inspiring.

What colour is the new black as far as your wardrobe goes?
I am really into denim at the moment. I love very pale, faded and ripped denim, as well as double denim. Oh and boyfriend jeans.. Hang on, can boys call them boyfriend jeans? [Laughs.]

What do you love most in your wardrobe this Summer?
Linen shirts. I am working on some linen stuff for my next collection.

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Pictures: Phebe Rendulic/ theurbansilhouette.com