Over the past five years, Pollitt quickly established himself as one of Australia’s most exciting emerging design talents, noted for his androgynous, layered silhouettes in wool, cotton and leather and a sombre signature colour palette.
Entirely self-taught, Pollitt launched his brand in 2006 following industrial design studies and an eclectic series of work stints: as a stylist in New York, as a building site manager and as Seper’s delivery driver in Sydney.
The accolades came quickly.
Pollitt took out the fashion category of the 2007 Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards and just a few months later, the Woolmark-sponsored Young Designer of the Year Award at the 2008 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival.
"I've always known I can design and be creative, I just need to know more about the nuts and bolts of running a business and getting financing" Pollitt told The Daily Telegraph after the SOYA Awards - which awarded him $10,000 in prize money and a mentorship with Sydney designer Peter Morrissey.
But presumably Pollitt, who did not respond to our enquiries, did not manage to learn enough about the nuts, bolts, financing and pressures of the fashion business. Hype and accolades are great, but you can't pay your rent with them.
“It didn’t surprise me because I know how tough it is” says Seper of the news of Pollitt's hiatus. The designer recently contacted Seper, seeking advice about his future options.
“Also I know Benny’s personality well" she added. "It’s not like he trained as a designer. It wasn’t necessarily his career choice. It just fell upon him and he just happened to be exceptionally talented at it. If someone wants to take a break, someone wants to take a break. He’s young enough, he recently married [longtime girlfriend, photographer Bec Howell]. Maybe they want to travel. I’m sure he’ll come back and do something at a later date. For now, he wants to have some time out. And I can’t blame him. We’re fine but I know there are plenty of other retailers and designers that are finding the uncertainly of the climate difficult to navigate”.