Camilla Franks employs security to guard her Camilla stores every night
After years of violent break-ins and security issues, kaftan queen Camilla Franks has installed security guards to protect her colourful kingdom around the clock.
Back in 2012 Camilla stores in Bondi and Paddington were at the centre of a spate of burglaries and ram-raids. In one incident more than $240,000 worth of stock was stolen. Then last year three men broke into the Warners Avenue boutique and stole a "considerable amount" of her floaty frocks. On both occasions Franks hired security to man her shopfronts for a short time.
She has now installed them again at three of her city stores, "so then I can sleep at night", she told Fairfax Media.
This time her muscle is permanent.
"We asked our security to beef up infrastructure last year and we introduced phase two only a few weeks ago. We put the manned security on about a month ago and they man the stores from closing til opening."
Her new 2000-square metre headquarters in Alexandria is also guarded 24 hours a day.
"It just brings comfort to my team and I that we're looked after and protected and that our collections are protected, as for us they are sacred. We work so hard on developing, designing, producing and marketing them that it's heartbreaking when this happens."
Once upon a time Kylie Minogue was considered our national treasure, but the Singing Budgie has been usurped by dresses that look like bowerbird avenues.
Camilla designs retail for an average of $700 per dress and demand has grown exponentially over the past five years. Her latest collection, to be launched in May, has already been a hit with buyers at home and internationally with Franks confirming she's seen a "300 per cent increase in wholesale sales".
Last month more than 12,000 people attended a Camilla sample sale where the wife of former Socceroo star turned Central Coast Mariners coach Jason van Blerk was arrested for allegedly posing as a security guard and stealing 17 garments.
"It's a compliment in a really funny way," she said.