During COVID-19, I wanted to help put a spotlight on some of my fellow Australian designers, who too, are trying to navigate these uncertain times.
Designers who want to create pieces that stay in your wardrobe, not fast and disposable, are made for durability, not one-off wears and pieces with purpose, supporting local.
After many years in the fashion space, modelling, in retail, as a lifestyle content creator and assistant buyer, Charis decided to take her insights into what girls want and need when they shop, into her own collection. Inspired by European summer and travel, Silk Wolfe is luxe, feminine, fun and most importantly, the pieces are timeless which can be worn all year round, which is what we love.
Charis, with her own passion for Australian made, discovered Hills & West when she visited the FAID store in The Rocks. With her new collection of Silk Wolfe launching soon, she reached out as she thought Hills & West would be ideal accessory to pair with her pieces and the gorgeous model Jessie Khoo. We are so pleased with the collab and will continue to look at ways we can bring fashion inspiration into your homes.
Enjoy discovering about Charis and Silk Wolfe, she is a truly passionate joy, also a wine and dog lover just like us 🙂
A little bit about Charis…
My name is Charis and I’m a 29-year-old influencer and owner of fashion label Silk Wolfe. I moved to Sydney 10 years ago from England and never looked back. I love everything to do with fashion, styling outfits, getting creative and a glass of wine after a stressful day. I’m currently self-isolating through this difficult time with my boyfriend and cutest dog ever Bailey.
Silk Wolfe’s journey
I was working in a small fashion boutique in Sydney as a retail assistant and assistant buyer – I decided that I had the best of both worlds when creating a label because I heard what customers were looking for and their feedback for styles but also got to see the trends that brands were thinking about 3-6 months in advance. From there Silk Wolfe was born. I wanted to create a label with styles that people wouldn’t just wear once and would keep in their wardrobes for years to come. The Silk Wolfe girl is someone who appreciates the clothes in her wardrobe and doesn’t just buy something because it’s a minute hot trend. She likes to spend more money but wear her items over and over and over again. She loves styles that can be worn all year round and complement other pieces in her wardrobe.
Australian designed and made is important to me because I love supporting the local economy plus I love being able to pop in and see my manufacturer and get to know the people behind my clothes. It’s also so much easier talking through changes in person than over email.
My first collection, which was 100% silk, was not sustainable. I had it made in Bali and they sourced the silk for me. With my next collection, I really wanted to be more in control of where fabrics came from and the design process from to start to finish.
I normally get my inspiration from nature and then look at current trends and work off that. I’m obsessed with tie-dye and feel like it’s a trend that will be around for a long time so really wanted to use that as the main print. The new collection is inspired by flowers and their structure and petals. But the current designers that inspire me are Ganni, Cecilie Bahnsen, AJE and Rat & Boa – I love how Rat & Boa don’t bring out that many collections which are something I’ve always been conscious of. Currently, I bring out one collection a year and I definitely wouldn’t do more than two.
I just launched my second collection, which is very very exciting and a little stressful. I’ve put so much work, sweat and tears into it over the past 9 months and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. It’s sustainable which is something I really wanted to focus more on as I feel like it’s so important, has limited sizing to create as little waste as possible, and is made, designed and printed in Sydney. My fabric, which is the ecovero lenzing sustainable viscose, was sourced through the lovely Alison at Sustainable Textiles.
5 things on your bucket list
1. Visit Japan – I’d love to go to the cherry blossom festival
2. Visit more wineries and learn more about wine – the knowledge part is
3. something I’m working on in self-isolation
4. Build a successful Aussie made sustainable brand
5. Visit Ayres Rock – I always love exploring Australia. There’s so much I haven’t seen!
6. Learn one really good Tik Tok dance – I’m so uncoordinated
5 things you can’t live without
1. My dog Bailey – I’ve had her for 5 years and she’s just the cutest
2. Phone – I do most of my influencing work through this
3. My friends, family and boyfriend – it definitely helps have a great support system when you’re a small business
4. My lavender roll on – I struggle with sleeping so lavender at bedtime is a must
5. My customers – they’re the reason I get to do what I love every day
@brookestyless – she’s the sweetest girl and so creative – she was meant to model for the new collection but with everything that’s going on we have had to postpone.
@mariefeandjakesnow – their travel photos are just incredible and you can tell their followers are just so invested in them which is great for a business when it comes to picking who to gift to.
One influencer that I haven’t worked with yet but would love to, especially with this collection, is @themustardjumper – she’s all about sustainable fashion and is really informative about the ways fast fashion is so bad for the environment.
Now we have to talk COVID as is has had a huge impact on the way we live and work right now!
The COVID impact
I’ve pretty much had all my paid content creation jobs postponed or cancelled so lost a huge amount of income that was paying off my label.
I was also hoping to bring out scrunchies with the offcuts of my current fabric and was considering doing a winter style – neither will happen for the moment as I don’t have the funds to pay for it.
Get outside at least once a day and go for a big walk in your local park or around the block – helps to clear your mind. I work from home anyway so not much else has changed for me.
Last but definitely not least… fav H&W piece?
I love the Lenny Belt Bag in white. I think it’s the perfect festival bum bag because it’s not too bulky but can still fit all the essentials. Plus it goes with the colours in my new collection so well!
Please go and lust over Silk Wolfe’s new capsule collection.Made in Sydney, we hope you support local and when you add that next piece to your wardrobe consider where it is coming from.
Thanks, Charis, I can’t wait to work with you again and see your collections flourish.