Introducing ‘Fire Five: An Interview with Felicity Brand’
Fire Five is our latest journal feature in which we interview the brilliant minds behind our favourite brands and retailers. We’re very excited to begin this journey and take you along with us as we dive deeper into the energy behind our favourite brands and retailers.
Felicity Brand, where do we even begin? We had the pleasure of interviewing Felicity Brand, the Head Buyer at Mode Sportif in Sydney and one of the most outstanding women we’ve ever been blessed to meet. When Felicity enters a room, you can feel her magnetic energy and positive power the moment she steps through the door. Then comes her shining smile and ooze of cool, which is so effortless as it’s simply just apart of who she is.
We have had the pleasure of working with Felicity and seeing her in fashion action. She is one of the very best at what she does and more importantly, the way she does it. Felicity has a unique talent in her ability to step into each brand, communicate their story, and forecast trends. She knows her customer and the global consumer, as she forecasts and buys for the most iconic and globally renowned leading retailers. A previous buyer at Harvey Nichols and Net-A-Porter in London, Felicity has brought her talents back to Australia, where she nows buys for Mode Sportif in Sydney.
Her understanding, intelligence and industry knowledge is unparalleled and she adds her special Flick charm to all that she does. Not only this, but Felicity is a total style icon, emanating the meaning of chic and guiding and paving the way for what you will be loving next. Watch this space, this lady is going to make her mark in the world.
Come along as we connect with Felicity and learn about her approach to buying, the changing fashion landscape, personal style, sustainability, and more. The ultimate fashion destination for designer and contemporary dressing, Mode Sportif delivers a curated edit of International and local designers for the Australian lifestyle with their two boutiques and online store.
1.) What is your favourite edit from the current Peony & St.Agni collections now live with Mode Sportif?
For Peony, I’m loving the 90’s feel to the White Balconette Bikini Top teamed with Hi-Line Bikini Pant. Personally, I feel a white bikini is timeless and this one can be styled in a sporty way with a bucket hat for morning laps in Bronte or accessorised with some killer shades for an afternoon boat trip in Europe…both of which I am dreaming of post-Iso!
For St. Agni, I was obviously drawn to the Honey Suit ! As we all know suits are my everyday go-to. love the versatility of this set in particular. The silhouette works perfectly for a smart and casual work-look styled with a flat slide. Then, if I was going out for dinner ,I would change my shoes for a small heel, add some earrings, & I’d be good to go.
2.) How has your personal style changed moving from London to Sydney? What are your key wardrobe essentials now for your Australian lifestyle?
My personal style is always pretty consistent – I don’t do florals, bold colours & rarely wear a dress! I’m happiest in denim, killer tailoring, & white basics while accessorised with some minimal, yet unusual sandals or boots.
Working in fashion for the past decade, I used to feel the pressure of wearing the latest ‘trends.’ However, I’ve come to learn that knowing your own style, what works for you, and not being a ‘fashion unicorn’ is actually far more stylish!
3.) How has your approach changed buying for the Australian market?
My buying approach is always a mixture of gut fashion instinct, awareness of upcoming trends & geeky data analysis. However, the key to successful sales is truly understanding who your customer is!
This part I definitely had to stop and re-think when buying for Mode Sportif and the wider Australian market versus my previous roles in Europe at Harvey Nichols & Net-A-Porter. Not only are the seasons totally reversed, but the Australian lifestyle is also very different. Everyday style tends to be more laid-back here and there’s a big nod to coastal living and fabrics that work better for warmer temperatures which certainly wasn’t on my radar in London! There’s also a big desire for newness and excitement from brands overseas and it’s been such an amazing journey to launch so many brands exclusively to Mode Sportif this year.
4.) Can you tell us about the Sustainability focus at Mode Sportif? How has this shifted your approach to buying?
The importance of sustainability in the fashion industry is something that has become increasingly prominent in my mind for the past few years now asI feel we all have to play our own part( no matter how big or small) in a movement of change to try and protect both our environment and people.
There are some incredible brands out there making huge improvement in both their supply chain, materials and humanity of their workers and my aim at Mode Sportif is to to not only support these brands but also educate our customers on their practices.
5.) You have championed brands from the DR stable such as St.Agni and Peony. What draws you to each brand?
I discovered St Agni a few years ago via social media. The originality of the woven leather design totally caught my eye and I went on a mission to bring the brand from the beaches of Byron to the pavements of London (I was the Shoe Buyer for Harvey Nichols at the time)! Since then, the brand has expanded into further product categories such as clothing and accessories. What always shines through is the consistency of the St.Agni brand DNA. Everything they do is effortless and understated yet beautiful pieces you can wear day-in & day-out.
I’ve had a life long love affair with swimwear (I’m honestly THAT person who buys a bikini they can’t wear in the middle of winter) so I’m always on the look out for new designers. I discovered Peony via the Del Rainbow brand stable and immediately purchased a high waisted, belted, Bond-girl feel bikini which is still one of my absolute favourites to this day! For me, the brand has the perfect blend of iconic beach babe nostalgia combined with authentic Australian femininity.