Brand story and about the founder
Rona & Irena was born in Melbourne, Australia in 2018. The brand name is a playful variation of the designer and her daughter’s names – Relaine and Irene. “It is my daughter who inspired my creation and empowered me to start a business. It all began with the joy that I felt when making little garments for her and saw her wear them.” Says Relaine.
Originally from China, Relaine Tong migrated to Australia with her husband at the age of 25. She rekindled her dream pursuit three years later at the age of 28, embarking on her journey of becoming a fashion designer. Relaine grew up in a family of traditional Chinese art and textile. Her father had a great passion for Chinese calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, and classical poems; her mother was a natural tailor and sewer, and she was highly skilled in knitting and crochet. Under such influence, Relaine cultivated a strong interest in painting and handcraft, and also developed a unique taste of aesthetics – a wild passion for fine detail.
Design philosophy and apparel characteristics
Rona & Irena ’s aesthetics is a reflection of the designer’s life experience. Her works are also characterized by her version of the “marriage and conflict” between eastern and western cultures.
She is a fervent believer of timeless glamour, romantic sentiment, and artistic beauty. Every single piece from Rona & Irena is made at a premium standard of craftsmanship and only with the most luxurious materials because she is convinced that a good garment should stand the test of time to authentically reflect the wearer’s taste. Also, she believes true good designs enrich a wearer’s horizon of appreciation and they create moments of euphoria to the mind, body, and soul, thereby boosting one’s confidence and empowering one’s ability to enjoy life the more.
She is enthusiastic about creating designs that encourage contemporary ladies to make the most of our lives - by enjoying elegant and quality lifestyle and to pamper ourselves even though life is constantly trying to chip away at our pride. “We should never let down our desire for beauty; We should never slack off on how we dress ourselves” – Relaine Tong
As a proud supporter of “Australian-made”, every single piece of clothing is made in Melbourne, Australia, and quality assured and signed off by the designer herself because she believes only garments made this way are alive and energy imbued. The raw materials are all sourced from Melbourne locally, handpicked and tested by the designer herself. Only the best quality materials are chosen for the Rona & Irena label so each clothing item will only have limited stock with a unique selection of the “One and Only” range – literally one only.