DSO: We’re so excited to be stocking Friends with Frank! Can you tell us a little bit about your journey in starting your own business? How did Friends with Frank come to fruition?
JM: Funnily enough I never intended to start my own business, but I have always had a real love for winter fashion and quality outerwear. Time and time again, I found myself on the hunt for the perfect classic, high quality outerwear that was still relatively affordable. So, Friends with Frank became an avenue for me to create exactly what I was looking for. It started with small made-to-order pieces for myself, friends, family… and it snowballed from there! Over time, I have built on a collection on what the classic wardrobe essentials are, with a focus on Autumn/Winter. From a luxe wool-cashmere coat in our Camilla, to our Harriet Teddy Coat – these are all pieces that I love to wear day-to-day during the cooler months.
DSO: What is your brand ethos?
JM: Our brand ethos is at the heart of everything we do, and flows from our core belief that less is more. Our ethos therefore encompasses our timeless approach to design, using considered materials, producing responsibly in limited runs, using biodegradable packaging (within our supply chain as well as direct to customer), and even down to educating our customer on how to care for our pieces, to ensure their longevity. We are always striving to do better, and it’s a journey we want to continue to be transparent with our customers on as well.
DSO: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? What are the first steps you take when approaching a new collection?
JM: Our design philosophy is to simplify everyday dressing, by creating pieces that are easy and effortless to wear. With this is mind, our design process consists of exploring what a great capsule wardrobe looks like – then bringing those pieces to life in classic cuts and quality fabrics. Material sourcing is a huge part of our creative process, and we love to explore materials that look and feel premium. We also research the colour palettes for the season. In the interest of keeping our pieces relevant past a single season, we love to use a predominantly neutral colour palette. We then select a few key colours that seamlessly work back with our signature neutral tones.
DSO: Your brands focus is on producing responsibly - could you tell us a bit about the different raw materials your work with? Why have you selected these fabrics?
JM: When it comes to fabric selection, we love to work with natural fibres where we can. There are so many benefits to working with natural fibres — they’re durable, breathable, naturally insulating and beautifully textural. You’ll find a lot of Australian wool, cashmere, merino and alpaca wool in our collection, to name a few. Where we do use synthetic fabrics - like with our faux fur pieces - we avoid trends and keep these pieces classic and neutral, to ensure they become a mainstay staple in your wardrobe.
DSO: What do you think is important to keep in mind when investing in quality outerwear?
JM: I think it’s important to invest in a piece that will work hard for you in your wardrobe. Choosing a classic cut in a neutral tone will ensure it can be worn over any and every outfit. I personally think outerwear is the most important wardrobe staple! It’s the piece that you wear daily over your clothes in the cooler months, so quality materials, craftsmanship and cut are crucial.
DSO: What is your favourite piece from the Mode Edit? How would you style it?
JM: My favourite piece from the Mode Edit is our new Lucille Cardigan in oatmeal. It’s relaxed, cosy and super versatile. I love to wear it by itself over our classic wide leg tailored pants with layered gold necklaces, a slip dress or with my favourite AGOLDE denim jeans.