To Cotton On to something means to understand or discover the potential of a great idea. As a Group, weve always believed in big ideas matched by a fierce will to bring them to life. It all started in the late eighties, when acid wash and lycra ruled the fashion world. Nigel Austin, our founder, grew up in Geelong with strong family ties to the rag trade. His dad owned a manufacturing and importing business and Nigel would spend school holidays learning the ropes with his dad in Hong Kong.