Did you know that only 8% of the clothing sold in Australia is made locally? That means a whopping 92% is sourced, sewn, packaged and imported overseas.
At the same time, there are many Australian designers braving the status quo and sustainably designing, sourcing and producing locally, with incredible craftsmanship and love. So, how do you discover these local Australian labels?
Meet FAID… a new, collaborative destination that is making you think twice about how and where you shop. Established in The Rocks, an iconic destination with views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the FAID store, and online shop, is home to some of the most exciting emerging Australian-designed fashion and accessory brands, including Hills & West (of course). Thoughtfully curated and staffed by passionate local designers themselves.
Since 2018 when we collaborated with our original pop-up in The Rocks, The Australian Designers Collective, we all dreamed of having a permanent destination for the ultimate Australian ensemble. Now with FAID some of the original designers have taken the leap of faith, locked in the beautiful space, and we are proud to be part of it.
Meet Jess Speers, one of the founders of FAID, also the co-founder and fashion designer from Cedar & Onyx. We wanted to share the FAID story and asked Jess a few questions about this beautifully curated space.
Tell us a little about FAID
FAID came about as a response to a need for small labels to connect with their audiences. Owning small brands ourselves, we know how hard it is to connect with customers over the internet. We wanted a space where our audience could come and see our products, try them on and hear our story. Originally, we started as a collective pop-up, having 6-9 brands at any one time. We loved doing the pop-up and due to its success, we went from an original stay of 6 weeks to 10 months! After that, we knew we were onto something and we found an opportunity, in the same vicinity, to make ourselves a permanent home.
FAID’s ethos is to support emerging Australian labels and to give them a platform to connect with current and new audiences. We want to create a community for our designers to get advice and support from us and each other. It can be a lonely and difficult journey starting and growing your own brand. I know for us, the opportunity to be surrounded by strong people doing the same thing has made a real difference. We’re really all about lifting each other up and showcasing what emerging Australian brands have to offer.
The official founders are myself, Jess Speers, my Cedar & Onyx business partner, Kathryn Cowle and Boehm Intimates founder, Tessa Boehm. Unofficially, it’s the brands that believed in us when we were just testing the waters with our first pop-up – thank you for all your support and believing in what we are trying to do! And thank you too to those brands that have been part of the FAID family past and present!
I think that what Kathryn, Tessa and I bring to the table is that we are all incredibly passionate about Australian fashion and accessories and advocating for these brands. We think that the future is slow fashion, that more people are looking to buy quality products that they can keep for a long time. We are also designers and owners of small brands ourselves so we can relate to what our designers are experiencing and try to help and support them.
The FAID family
Our FAID family of designers is so special and we are so excited that we get to represent such a diverse and innovative group of designers through FAID. We truly believe in each of them and what they stand for. We focus on emerging Australian owned and based brands. We try to make sure that each brand brings a unique selling point to the mix of brands. We currently have 24 designers instore (so lots to choose from), this includes Arms of Eve, Aura Studios, Baz, Boehm Intimates, Chloe Mottau, Cedar & Onyx, Covet Shoes, Contessa Volpi, Everyday Cashmere, Hills & West, Honour Apparel, Hunter Made, Isabelle Quinn, Keevil, Love Isabelle, Miss Lippy, Ms Kensington, Recreation Beauty, Sarah J Curtis, Subtle Bodies, Susan Driver, Twill & Tee, Rae26, and Raie Eyewear.
We have a lot planned this year, but I won’t reveal too much just yet! With International Women’s Day coming up, we will be holding a special shopping night on March 12. Sign up for our newsletter here to find out more about the event!
How is FAID different?
I don’t think you find a lot of places that offer such a large range of emerging Australian labels, especially not one run by designers for designers. With a designer always working in store we are really able to connect with our shoppers and tell the story of what it means to be a small label and the work put into producing the products we have in store.
Working with a heritage space is difficult. There’s a lot of restrictions that you have to be clever in working around. We always knew that we wanted to respect the heritage of the building, we wanted to show it off and not hide it. As a happy accident, we came across the team at Tim Leveson Designs. Everyone on Tim’s team was incredible to work with, especially with all our very annoying and constant questions! The team really helped us bring our vision to life, they listened to us and always made us feel like we were part of the design process. We are really happy with the outcome, we really wanted to make the space feel like it has character and I think we achieved that (it also has lots of sneaky storage – which is a big win!).
Where to start? We have so many plans and visions that we hope to achieve over the next few years. The main goal is to grow FAID, perhaps have a second location! But for now, we are focusing on this baby and really finding our groove.
Kathryn, Tessa and I would just like say how grateful we are to everyone that shops at FAID, supports us on Instagram and advocates for us e.g. this interview with one of our amazing labels! And to reiterate, thank you, thank you, thank you to all our FAID family for being part of our journey – you mean so much to us, we love getting to support you!
We are so appreciative of the Jess, Kathryn and Tessa and love the community of designers they have created. Heres to many more exciting and creative years.
Visit FAID to explore all the fabulous pieces and support some of our home-grown heroes!
Please do explore the FAID family as there is something unique and beautiful for everyone:
Arms of Eve, IG @armsofeve
Aura Studios, IG @aura_studios
Baz, IG @bazincbrand
Boehm Intimates, IG @boehm.intimates
Chloe Mottau, IG @chloe.mattau
Cedar & Onyx, IG @cedarandonyx
Covet Shoes, IG @covetshoes
Contessa Volpi, IG @contessavolpi_swimweear
Everyday Cashmere, IG @everydaycashmere
Hills & West, IG @hillsandwest
Honour Apparel, IG @honour_apparel
Hunter Made, IG @phoebehunter_
Isabelle Quinn, IG: isabellequinn_
Keevil, IG: @keevil_sydney
Love Isabelle, IG @loveisabellejewellery
Miss Lippy, IG @misslippyau
Ms Kensington, IG @mskensington
Recreation Beauty, IG @recreationbeauty
Sarah J Curtis, IG @sarahjvurtis.collections
Subtle Bodies, IG @subtle_bodies
Susan Driver, IG @susandriverdesigns
Twill & Tee, IG @twillandtee
Rae26, IG @_rea26
Raie Eyewear, IG @raieeyewear