Gabrielle Thompson, Tom Gunn

To borrow words from Winston Churchill – Never never never give up ...

It took Gabrielle Thompson four years of coffee dates and daydreaming with friend and business partner Shannon Gunn to realise their dream of creating their own independent shoe label. From humble beginnings endlessly sketching outfits and shoes at the age of seven to today devoting every spare second to perfecting and growing the tom gunn label, it seems Gabrielle’s childhood flirtations with fashion and drawing hit a chord. After studying fashion at the Moreton Institute of TAFE, Gabrielle moved to Dublin to work with design label Quin and Donnelly making cups of tea and assisting in design. But with an obvious obsession with shoe shopping and a growing collection of shoe pictures and sketches scattered amongst her possessions, Gabrielle knew she was destined for a different path. After scoring a job as a product developer at Colorado back home in Australia, starting the same week as Shannon, the stars aligned and they were both offered the opportunity to study shoe design at the Ars Arpel School in Milan for three months. This amazing adventure took them to the Chanel shoe factory and beautiful Italian tanneries, inspiring the beginnings of their internationally recognised label.

How do you like to start your weekend?
My weekend starts on a Friday night and usually involves a glass of red wine or two!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Saturday morning starts with a visit to the West End Markets to meet friends, have breakfast and load to up on some fresh food for the week.

How do you like to unwind?
I love going sailing on my husband’s boat!

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Friends, family and some relaxing downtime at home involving either a good book or a few episodes of my latest TV series love!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
A monster garage sale!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Dinner with the family and usually some red wine again.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
The much-anticipated wedding of one of my closest friends and business partner!

What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading If You Have To Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.

Who inspires you?
Karen Walker – she has built an enviable empire of beautiful clothing and accessories, her own retail stores and her label is stocked all over the world in all the best stores and boutiques.

What was your childhood dream?
To travel the world – particularly to glamorous destinations as Paris, London, Tokyo and New York.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Opening our own tom gunn retail store in Brisbane.

What is success to you?
Following your passion to create something from nothing.

What are your words of wisdom?
To borrow words from Winston Churchill – Never never never give up.


Perk up …
with a yummy early morning coffee from Jamie’s Espresso Bar.
Relax … at Black Dove Gym-Spa-Clinic in West End for a facial with Gemma.
Dine …  at Duck Deer Bistro in Auchenflower.
Indulge … at Dello Mano in Newstead – where chocolate is appropriate at any time of the day.
Shop … in James Street and Ann Street in Fortitude Valley – the best of Brisbane.
Catch-up … in New Farm at the off-leash dog park where you can meet your friends and their dogs for doggy date.
Be inspired … at GoMA with fabulous new exhibitions on all the time.


Sign up for our weekly enews & receive more articles like this: