Akubra launches luggage, wallets and accessories with Smart50 business

Akubra is known for its iconic outback-style hats, but this week it launched its first ever collection of luggage, wallets and accessories, thanks to a licensing deal with a Smart50 business.

DKM Blue, a NSW-based business run by brothers Dorry and Danny Kordahi, struck a global licensing deal with the 100-year-old Australian brand to create the range.

Dorry Kordahi told SmartCompany this morning that DKM Blue had been working hard for two and a half years to create the offer, collaborating closely with Akubra to ensure it carries the label’s signature look.

Historically, Akubra built its international reputation by focusing on hats and belts, and Kordahi says this is an attempt to broaden the consumer reach of the well-known brand.

“We approached Akubra with the idea, and told them we could expand their portfolio of products,” he says.

“People know the Akubra brand but may not buy a hat … but they may buy a bag or a purse … this is a chance for them to buy a part of the brand they know.”

Kordahi says the collection is pitched a premium level, with each piece designed to be a signature item rather than a fast turnover trend.

The range spans travel bags that may cost $1500, through to wallets and purses priced from around $149. Qantas International in-flight duty free has been one of the first businesses to pick up the offer for distribution, but Kordahi is aiming to tap into the network of Akubra’s 900 current Australian stockists.

He says the licence is ongoing and will be reviewed every couple of years in line with the success of the venture. 

While this move was unique for Akubra, it was not the first time DKM Blue has acquired a major licensing deal. The company, which was on the Smart50 list in 2007, also has a licensing deal with major truck company John Deere to create merchandise for the brand.

DKM appeared on SmartCompany’s Smart50 list of fastest growing businesses in 2007, and in 2012 Dorry Kordahi appeared on the BRW Rich List with a valuation of $21 million.

In May this year, SmartCompany reported on DKM Blue’s acquisition of 69-year-old clothing group Ambassador Clothing, which operates several brands including Zambelli, Nic Green and Ambassador Corporate.

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