Art & Design


Bento Box Fashion

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Bento is a local clothing brand by Samantha Hardman, who launched the label in 2010 after having difficulty finding what she wanted in stores. As the name suggests, the ethos behind Bento can be likened to that of a bento box. “You can have everything you need with only about seven items. You don’t have to have these enormous wardrobes overflowing with absolutely nothing you can wear” says Hardman.

A key concept behind every Bento piece is timelessness. To explain this a little more, Bento isn’t dictated by trends, but about what will endure. The foundations of building any wardrobe relies on the basics: those items that you can wear time and time again and go with pretty much everything else you own. Hardman points out that replacing these basic items in your wardrobe usually becomes a nightmare as you can never get the same piece again for a myriad of reasons, but most of the time it is due to the particular company only making it once.

“The whole philosophy behind Bento is having really beautiful cuts and great quality fabrics that are produced ethically and sustainably.”

Bento pieces are said to go “from concept to completion within 20km of [their] studio”. Sourcing stuff locally is important to the brand, which Hardman explains as not only being a statement of the calibre of the Australian market, but also comes down to supporting the Australian economy and minimising our carbon footprint.

Creating pieces that will stand the test of time is at the heart of the label’s design process, but Hardman says that a lot of her inspiration comes from everyday people.

“A lot of inspiration comes from everyday people and what they’re wearing. I’m constantly re-dressing people in my head thinking that skirt would look so much better if it was a couple of inches longer or a couple of inches shorter or if it had it taken in at a particular place”.

Bento’s current collection for Spring/Summer 2011 is titled ‘Two’s Company’. In the collection you will find a selection of V-necked cotton knits, light washed denim shorts and a jacket to match the silk dresses and skirts that are sure to make dressing for summer a pleasant affair.

View Bento’s current range at

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