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Fashion Success: Frenchie York on Custom Clothing Line and What it Means to Be an Ethical Designer in the 21st Century

Frenchie York is an ethically manufactured fashion line that is making waves in the fashion industry. Ready our interview to learn more about their success.

  1. Hello! Please tell us about yourself and your company.


I am from Melbourne, Australia. Though I have been travelling around the world for the past 7 years with my 10 year old daughter Maysa. We tend to split our time now between Melbourne, Bali and New York. I started Frenchie York in 2014 while I was living in Bali. We are anti-fast fashion, ethically manufactured label and pride ourselves in created high quality affordable clothing that won’t fall apart. We make every single piece of our clothing to order so we are eliminating mass production which often results in using sweat shops, having excess stock that ends up in landfills and the quality/material can be terrible. It also means our customers have the option of having it custom fit!


Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York
Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York


2. What was it about fashion that you were drawn to? And what was it about you that fashion was drawn to?


I was intrigued with my grandmothers wardrobe. How it was intact after decades and decades which is how I become involved in the bespoke/tailor business. I could see that clothing wasn’t made the way it used to be. I wanted to bring that style of manufacturing back into fashion (no pun intended)


3. If you could only wear one era of clothing (20s, 50s, 60s, 70s, etc) for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?


60’s. It is my favorite style though I would say 90’s comes second believe it or not. I still have a soft spot for grunge girly style.


4. Tell us about what’s involved in the process of putting a new range together – from the first designs, selecting fabric, getting the clothes made, photo shoots, marketing, etc.

Because we make all our clothes made to order our process is a bit different to the standard fashion lines. 2 times a year I come up with new designs, go “fabric shopping” in New York to feel and choose the new materials. Once I have them picked out, I send the pattern off to my factories to be create the samples. We go through a few back and forth to get the look right but thanks to great technology available now, making new designs with computer programs eliminates a lot of back and forth with samples because you can fix little issues before you even finish creating the final pattern. We then do a photoshoot and then up they go on the website. Because we don’t have to order any stock it is a quick process. This year I am planning to be adding new creations monthly because I am now able to do a quick turn over with samples thanks to technology.


Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York
Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York

 5. What advice would you give to someone looking to start up their own fashion label?

Find your niche and make what you really love. Be careful about getting into debt. There are now creative ways to market without spending too much money. The biggest issue fashion labels have is they over compensate too early, buy too much stock and we already have a big issue worldwide with excess stock and labels throwing out waste.


6. Why did you get into custom made/made to order? Explain how it works

Basically our company has zero stock. All our orders we receive they all get made from scratch after the transaction happens. This allows our customers to also have it made to their size and sometimes choose colors. We really focus on no stock/made to order because environmentally the amount of left over products that get thrown out in the fashion industry is ridiculous. We are trying to offer an affordable solution to buy clothes that are high quality, made to your size and are created in a ethical happy environment.


7. How do you predict what trends are going to be coming up next in fashion?

Luckily for me I think custom/made to order is about to blow up. Women are starting to get sick of their clothing falling apart and clothes not fitting them properly. There is a change about to happen which will be very body positive.


8. How do you ensure you clothes are made ethically?

All our clothes are made in family factories in South East Asia. The girls all work short hours, get paid well, bring their kids to work. There is no crazy hours, the conditions are great and they have freedom to leave and go when they need as long as the orders are kept. We even go stay with them when we visit South East Asia. We treat everyone like equal employees there is no ranking. We are all just making clothes with love.


9. Why do you think shoppers are placing more importance on ethical clothing and steering away from the fast-fashion industry?

It is slowly happening which is great. Just as shoppers started growing a conscience with groceries and coffee so to are they with fashion. Customers don’t want to feel guilty wearing something that they know has been made in a sweat shop, we are all too aware of it now to ignore it.


10. What do you think the future holds for online shopping?

Unless something gives with physical customer service online shopping with completely take over Brick and Mortar. It is only the beginning with options soon that you will always get the right size. The key quality needs to be controlled.


Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York
Photo Courtesy of: Frenchie York

11. You post a lot of photos of your daughter Maysa on your instagram, she seems like one fashion-savvy kid! Will she be following in your footsteps any time soon?

Maysa (@maysatron) is one business minded girl. She has her own book that she wrote and a clothing line coming out mid year. She has definitely taken after my footsteps with designing. I think I can safety say my kid is cooler than me by a long shot.

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Jan Hines

A startup nerd and compulsive writer, Jan provides streamline information on the hottest trends and news.

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