Yelena Fairfax chats exciting new venture

After launching influencer-focused fashion, beauty and lifestyle website Husskie in 2016, editor and founder, Yelena Fairfax is thrilled to announce the next extension of the business - Husskie The Label's first apparel collection is here.

BD spoke with Fairfax all about the new venture, why she decided to dive into the consumer retail space and how The Label will work alongside the digital publication moving forward.

Congratulations on the launch of Husskie The Label’s first apparel collection, can you tell us about the new offering?

Thank you so much! At the end of last year, the Husskie publication evolved to include a shopping element (Husskie The Label) and a creative element (Husskie Creative – a platform where we host imagery and photo shoots we’ve created for brands and individuals). While this was a new direction from what people had previously seen from Husskie – it was actually always the plan from the very start for the platform to have a 360 degree offering.

Last week, this evolution took another step forward with Husskie The Label launching its first apparel range – a capsule collection of dresses inspired by Copenhagen street style. Moving forward, we will be launching a tight capsule collection of pieces every couple of months.

While admittedly it has taken me much longer than anticipated to arrive where we are – I feel Husskie is finally delivering a true reflection of what I had originally envisioned for the site.

What made you take the plunge and diversify into the consumer retail space?

My whole career I have lived by the motto of “follow your heart”. I’ve been extremely lucky in having friends and family around me that have encouraged me to take a few risks along the way of my career – and this is my latest risk.

I know that fashion retail is a hard market to crack (especially during these Covid times), but I can’t tell you how exciting it is to design and launch my first fashion collection. It truly is a “Holy cow, I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment.

So you designed the collection yourself?

Correct. I designed it and then flew to Bali a few times (before Corona hit) to meet with different manufacturers. I literally would ride around on the back of GoJek motor bikes to visit their factories. Once I’d chosen my manufacturer, I then sourced all the fabrics and accessories (such as choosing buttons and lace trims etc) and set about getting the first samples produced.

Once the final collection had been produced and delivered, I shot and styled a model here in Sydney and then edited the images and designed the website and wrote the copy all on my own. It’s definitely been the full definition of 'small business.'

You shot all the imagery yourself, can you tell us about the process and working with models Emily Gurr and Tyler Garske who front the campaigns?

I had actually previously shot Em for a number of other brands – so already knew she was my ultimate model to work with for the first collection. She never bats an eyelid with whatever direction I give her – even if it means dancing about in her underpants and swigging a bottle of champagne in a park at 10am (yes, I made her do this).

With Tyler, it was a bit more of a risk as I’d never worked with her before – but I just loved her look and felt she was a perfect match for the Copenhagen aesthetic I was going for. She was amazing to work with as well, and very understanding about the fact that I was the designer and the photographer and the stylist and the assistant.

Husskie The Label is also keeping sustainability in mind. How is the brand tackling this?

With sustainability, we’re tackling this in a few different ways. We are making very limited quantities to avoid fashion waste – as well as adopting a pre-order model for some of the items.

We are working with a very small manufacturer that has great working conditions, we are avoiding plastic in packaging as much as possible, and we have focused on selecting fabrics made out of natural materials.

How do you see Husskie The Label working alongside the publication moving forward?

Moving forward, the Husskie publication will continue producing interviews and news with a digital influencer focus, but just now with a little side of shopping.

We will be looking to deliver more new exclusive evergreen content with both Australian and international content producers over the next 12 months. I see the label working in a similar way to Goop with shopping and articles integrated seamlessly together.

What’s next in store?

I’ve already designed and produced the next two collection drops and am so excited to launch them in the coming months. Other than that, more writing, more shoots, and more creating.

Check out Husskie The Label, here.