Élanco is a clothing and swimwear label developed by Wingham local Adriana Faugeras. The label features minimalistic, easy to wear designs and clean lines for trans-seasonal wear and complements women of all shapes and sizes …
Hi Adriana. Tell us about your connection with our gorgeous region; did you grow up here?
I was born in Sydney and moved to Wingham with my parents as an infant. Both my parents grew up in Sydney – my father in Blacktown and my mother in Five Dock.
After visiting some friends in Elands, my father’s family fell in love with the region and decided to move there for good in 1974 (when he was sixteen). He really enjoyed the lifestyle this region has to offer, so he and my mother decided to raise their family here too.
Growing up in Wingham, I was afforded many freedoms that I would not have been able to experience had I grown up in a big city. Having still had strong connections to Sydney growing up through my mother’s family, I experienced the best of both worlds, and I think having those two perspectives have really shaped who I am today.
My favourite thing about the region is the sights and ease of lifestyle – driving to a waterfall 20 minutes away for me is second nature … But I’m really reminded to appreciate it when I see the reactions of others who aren’t used to such things.
When I bring my partner to visit (who grew up in Sydney), his eyes widen at the beauty of it all, and he just can’t believe that I had all of that around me growing up.
When did you begin designing apparel, and what was your inspiration for doing so?
Unofficially, I designed my first piece when I was 11 years old. I vividly remember drawing a yellow turtle neck top with purple polkadots and thinking, “I’m going to be a fashion designer one day”. I don’t really know where the inspiration came from, but I was always naturally drawn to creative mediums – music videos, film, artwork and fashion.
I used to live for when I’d hear the primary school teacher announce arts and crafts time, and I still remember the butterflies I’d get. As an adult now, I think that’s what you would call “passion”… I have maintained that all throughout my life and have finally channelled it into my own creation.
How did you evolve your designs and perfect your fashion blueprint?
It was a gradual but natural process and heavily influenced by the constraints I was presented with in regards to what is involved in starting your own label in the first place.
As a businesswoman, I really wanted to take a smart approach … I was very strategic in the way I planned my timeline, so that I could minimise unnecessary spending and budget appropriately.
People think starting your own label is super easy, but it’s not. Factories work on economies of scale, and push for high minimums which can dictate your scope of product or “line”. Personally, I did not want to fall into the trap of biting off more than I might have been able to chew.
So, I decided to design a small collection that might not have had a large colour range, but had design depth. I decided to focus on classic cuts and versatility; how well would each piece translate to the consumer? How could they wear it? Will it outdate? Is it able to be worn or styled in multiple ways? I primarily decided to remain true to my own personal tastes, but present them in a commercially appealing way. I think so far, for my first attempt, I’ve achieved that.
Once you had your designs down, what was the process of developing a range of beautiful clothing?
To be honest, before any designing happened, research was the first step. Simply asking friends and family within the industry just how I might go about starting my own label was what got me thinking more seriously about it. I was super lucky to have cousins who work for some of Australia’s major fashion houses … So their expertise was priceless.
It was a long process – approximately two years from initial conception. But, I chose to take my time on it, because like I mentioned before, I’m quite strategic in my business sense and decision making.
People say you need to take risks in business, but I like to think measured risk is a more intelligent approach. Once my design process was completed and I had all the necessary pieces in place, production commenced, and a bit over a month ago I officially launched my online store.
Who are your designs most aimed for?
My designs are aimed towards women who love fashion and getting dressed up. I tried to keep my pieces classically structured and stylistically buildable. For example, my pieces don’t just appeal to one taste market … I have had women from all around the world, of all shapes and backgrounds, purchasing pieces, because they feel that they can wear the pieces to match their own fashion agenda.
What does élanco pride itself on?
I would have to say so far, the community behind Élanco. From day one it has received so much support and adoration from women. I have loved receiving emails and reading all the positive feedback from customers and lovers of the small label. I recognise the loyalty, and I try to give back through my customer service and appreciation for the support they have shown towards small business.
Another factor would be my fabric and workmanship … I spent a long time sourcing a high grade, luxurious nylon/spandex that feels like silky butter in your hands; it allows for a beautiful fit and does not rub and/or irritate the skin. That by far has been what I have received the most positive feedback from customers about; they love it.
If you could dress anyone in Élanco, who would it be?
That’s a really hard question. I can’t think of anyone in particular, other than just anyone who loves the pieces. But, I do like to think of the label as being super versatile, so I could see anyone in them.
However, when I design, certain celebrity fashionistas do pop in mind – like Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin and a lot of social media influencers who just own their own looks. I really love black culture, and how the women just own who they are unapologetically, like Solange Knowles … To me, that’s a big inspiration too. So anyone who embodies that attitude, I guess I’d like to dress.
The colour palette used is quite earthy; have the elements influenced Élanco’s mood or design?
The colour palette is quite neutral for now. I wasn’t so much inspired by the elements … I was more so inspired by classic trends and keeping in line with staple tones. But I’m currently finishing up on a few more designs that will be dropping soon … I’ve moved out of my comfort zone and am looking to introduce some other tones that move away from the earth range.
What do you think the most important thing is to remember when buying swimwear?
To love yourself, and forget about what society says about what looks good and doesn’t look good in swimwear. But, in saying that, if you do feel a certain away about your body, look to showcase the areas you do love – the areas that give you confidence! For some women, they’re self-conscious of their mid section, so they opt for the Lyra high waist bottoms and a more revealing top like the Ara or Zennith.
Some women really love their butt and thighs, so they will choose to show that off by purchasing the Apex or Lucida piece.
For me, sometimes I can feel super thin and lanky, so I’ll opt for the zenith and Orion pieces, which have a skimpier cut … giving off the illusion I’m curvier than I really am.
Do you have any exciting future plans for Élanco?
At this stage I’m focused on building brand awareness and drip feeding some more styles into the line. Summer is approaching, so I’m gearing up some campaigns for that. I’m also on the lookout for talented photographers and models for upcoming campaign shoots (so if you’re reading this and feel like that’s you, holla at me!) I’m also planning some pop ups and store stations.
Where can our readers purchase Élanco and follow you on social media?
Our online store is at www.elanco.net.au
We’re currently offering free standard shipping, 15% off when signing up to our VIP and free express shipping on all orders over $150.
Our Instagram is www.instagram.com/elanco
Our Facebook is www.facebook.com.au/elanco
We have also just recently stocked at This and That Homewares in Wingham, where you can visit the beautiful owner, Allanah, and try some cuts on for yourself.