It’s been a fast rise for the ‘slow’ fashion label. Since launching in 2018, Australian label _BAIS has showcased at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, featured in British Vogue in a Designer Profile series, and now _BAIS Founder and Designer Sylvia Bogdanowski has been named one of the 2019 Faces of Future of Fashion in her hometown Perth. But this is only the beginning …
You have recently been announced as one of the Australian Style Institute’s 2019 Faces of Future of Fashion. Congratulations! What sparked your interest and pursuit in fashion and design?
Thank you so much. Since I was little I’ve always been interested in fashion. The older I got, I began to realise the importance of the way clothes made you feel. While I didn’t have the technical skills, I did have a super keen eye for style and fashion. I knew how things looked on a woman’s body and I also knew that so many women were missing the building blocks in their wardrobes and had trouble dressing. And that is how _BAIS was born.
What are the key things you must think about when designing a new season?
_BAIS is actually considered a ‘slow’ fashion brand, although I think we need a new term – ‘slow’ isn’t sexy or appealing. I don’t design or manufacture season after season and produce pieces for the sake of it. I think that is wasteful. Of course, I do and will design new pieces and make changes and tweaks to existing designs, that’s a natural development, but each _BAIS piece is timeless with a hint of edge. When designing, I think about whether the piece will flatter or suit women’s bodies and the versatility of the piece with other wardrobe items and _BAIS pieces.
What have been some of the challenges creating sustainable and ethical clothing in Australia?
As I’m based in Perth, I’ll speak more on the challenges I have found here. The first one was finding the right materials and fabrics. It was hard to find a local fabric wholesaler that I could work with. It was important to me to be able to see, feel and play with the fabrics before buying, so finding a local supplier was pivotal. The second and biggest challenge is the material and production costs. I source all the materials and fabrics from Australian suppliers and the manufacturing and production of _BAIS clothing is here in Perth. The cost for all this is quite high. Comparatively, if I was to source and produce _BAIS off -shore, it would be substantially cheaper. However, I’m not willing to compromise on local production and locally sourced materials. I want to support Australian business in every aspect of my own business. I also know that every single fabric and material used is of the highest quality and I know the pieces were made in sustainable and ethical working conditions.
What new technologies (in the area of sustainable production of textiles and fashion) have you excited for the future of the fashion industry?
This is a huge question that I could go on and on about! Making clothes is such a big sum of little parts and players. I’m excited that more and more brands and retailers in the industry are waking up and there is now an awareness of what needs to change. I’m also excited to get science involved, to come up with more environmentally friendly materials, and incorporate recyclable materials and fabrics.
Who is the _BAIS woman?
The _BAIS woman knows quality clothing. She appreciates Australian-made clothing, the story behind the clothing she chooses and values ethical and sustainable production and practices. She isn’t concerned paying a little more for this. The _BAIS woman doesn’t follow seasonal trends yet wants to maintain style.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
A lot of inspiration actually comes from what I want to wear yet I can’t find. I’ve always been complimented on my style, so I design a lot of things for myself while keeping the _BAIS woman in mind. Then of course there is social media, street style and the environment in general, especially the beach.
What are your favourite (standout) pieces from the current collection?
My top five are the Peta T-Shirt, Jenna Jumpsuit, Sashi pants, Ella Crop, Long Sleeve Top and the Lydia Skirt.
And finally, what next for _BAIS?
So much has happened in the last six months since launching! The next half of the year _BAIS will be showing at Kalgoorlie Fashion Week on August 3 and I’ll be doing a few pop up events, so customers can actually feel the clothes, try them on and have a play mixing and matching. The future is definitely bright.
You can shop _BAIS online – https://baisclothing.com/