TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR NEW BUSINESS VENTURE, ‘EFFIE KATS’!
I started my first label Zachary in 2013, it was my first venture in the fashion industry and my first go at being a designer (and having no background in fashion or design). I made a lot of mistakes and learnt a lot of things on the go so it wasn't a very organic process, it was actually really unnecessarily hard. Now embarking on 'Effie Kats' I'm a bit older, I'm more knowledgeable and comfortable with myself and my process so it's about my personal evolution as a designer and just owning it. It's definitely a passion project for me, I learnt through past experience that I shouldn't be swayed against my gut instinct so this time around I'm doing it my way. I like to think of it as my grown up endeavour in the industry.
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU AT THE MOMENT?
At this stage I'm building my range but also making custom garments for clients. So I'm running between clients, to design meetings, to manufacturers, to fabric suppliers, to skyping my web developer. I'm also shooting all my product at this stage on me so I throw photoshoots in the mix too. It's pretty manic.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INNER STRENGTH DRIVE?
I'm naturally very ambitious and determined; I don't believe in 'NO'. I think that people encounter real hardship and hit their personal threshold for failure and then give up and do something else because they're scared. I push past that threshold every time and tell myself that I absolutely have no option but to keep going. I feel like when you think like that you have no other option but to succeed (no matter how long it takes).
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
Elon Musk, he had some crazy ideas about changing the world; that guy was on the absolute brink of bankruptcy and total failure but it was his will and determination that saw him through it. He's such a success now and he's having such a positive impact on the planet. If he had given up or listened to the nay-sayers Tesla and Space X wouldn't exist today and I love that he pushed past his failure threshold to get to where he is; he's truly an inspiration.
WHAT IS THE BEST PEICE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
When I lost my first label a close friend of mine (who is very straight forward) said; "No one cares if you fail, they only care if you succeed. If you roll over now you'll be nothing but a has been - so the way I see it you only have one option." It was so brutally honest, it was like a metaphorical bucket of ice water thrown in my face. It took me some time to process it but it was the kick in the butt I needed to act.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE DREAMING OF STARTING THEIR OWN LABEL?
Make sure you're prepared for tough times and that you can take them in your stride. Always trust your gut, never compromise your vision for anyone and don't sell out for money or brand security (too many of us creatives have been taken for a ride by 'money people').
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
My style by day is pretty tom-boyish, leather jackets, band tees and ripped jeans are my staple but by night I'm very clean cut, tailored and accessorised.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GO TO OUTFIT?
Anything that involves my leather jacket and sneakers really.
TOP 3 STYLE ICONS?
I don't really have style icons per say, I definitely look to Tumblr for inspiration - I'm inspired by the different outfits people put together and I save them all in a folder. When I'm stuck on an outfit I go through the folder for inspiration.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND IN YOUR HANDBAG?
Funnily enough I hardly carry a handbag, I have a little mens cardholder which carries my cards and cash which I just throw into the pocked of whatever jacket I'm wearing that day.
WHAT'S UP NEXT FOR EFFIE KATS?
That's the million dollar question - literally. I guess you'll just have to wait and see.