INDEX EXCLUSIVE: A pre-launch peek at Entire Studios
Slip 15 October in your diary for the highly anticipated launch of Entire Studios’ debut fashion release. We pick the genius brains of founders, Sebastian Hunt and Dylan Richards, and share exclusive behind-the-scenes snapshots of the lookbook photoshoot.
Zara McKenzie wears Entire Studios. Photographed by Ken Cao and styled by Sebastian Hunt and Dylan Richards.
Tell us about the philosophy behind Entire Studios. What are you creating with the brand?
Our styling careers have given us access to many local and international brands, all showing a clear difference in quality, design, fit, price point and target customer for each brand, too — some of the luxury garments we’ve used have been easily comparable to the lower-end garments too, which really undermines what a design house is meant to represent. We’ve always dreamed of having our own brand and, as we grew more and more frustrated with what we could source that didn’t need to be tailored to fit the brief, we just felt it was all the more urgent to get our brand off the ground and offer a wide range of people the chance to purchase clothes that look, feel and are high quality.
When we decided to start Entire Studios, we had four pillars in mind: design, functionality, quality, and accessibility. Entire Studios pieces are made to take pride of place in wardrobes with timeless designs that complement the human form, construction that lasts far beyond one season and can be bought by people who’ve felt priced-out of traditional luxury fashion. We would love nothing more than to see every type of person wearing Entire Studios and we’re constantly designing and innovating with that dream in mind.
Many of the most lusted-after pieces each season are admittedly above average quality but the addition of a brand name inflates the price beyond what is reasonable, which means that fashion remains in the circles of people who are gifted, people who pay personal shoppers and wealthy VIP customers. While it seems that customers have so many options to choose from, the luxury department store brands aren’t affordable until an end of season sale but the high-street brands churn out weekly ranges in such high volume that they sacrifice quality for a runway-inspired look that can only be worn a few times before needing repairs.
Luxury and accessibility aren’t mutually exclusive concepts, especially in fashion. Entire Studios offers both so our customers can look like money without having to spend too much of it.
Who is Entire Studios aimed at and where does it sit in the market?
Visually, we want Entire Studios to look luxury but make sure it will always be accessible. We welcome any person to wear Entire Studios and, with time, Entire Studios will cater to every person — irrespective of age, gender or body type.
Tell us a little about your design process. How you work together and what inspires the final product?
In our styling work, we’d always be researching and pulling together references for vision boards that lead us to our final concept. Our design work follows the same process, with physical or digital references that we then distill into designs and start to select fabric samples for. The fabric is critical to our process — if we don’t like the way the fabric feels or is constructed, we won’t compromise our design and integrity, despite the delays finding one that meets our requirements may cause.
We truly believe fashion shouldn’t be full of compromises for the customer and that ethos is reflected in how we operate too. Once we’ve agreed on design and fabric, we work on samples which are adjusted until they meet our vision. We work very collaboratively, have always been able to understand what the other person’s vision is and how we can work together to bring that to life, which our decade of styling as a duo has taught us.
Launching a global brand during a pandemic, and from New Zealand, must create challenges. What have some of these been and how have you overcome them?
We’re launching way later than we had originally planned but, when we set a goal, we always work to make it happen. If it was meant to be easy, everyone would do it. Not being able to travel to the factories has been an issue which also extended the sampling process a lot longer than anticipated.
You’ve worked at and with very big brands in the past. What are some of the positives of starting your own brand and working in a smaller and more independent way?
Every client we’ve had has offered us the chance to learn how to run a successful brand, whether that’s in the day-to-day operations all the way through to the marketing to customers. Without even realising it, we’d graduated from an incredibly intense bootcamp of 12+ hour days and working seasons ahead each week; this was the best preparation we could’ve had for starting our own label.
When creating for clients, you’re offering diluted ideas to fit their brand vision and principles but, by being the ones to set and execute the vision, we can create what we want, the way we want to. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us and we’re really pleased with how our vision for the brand has come to life so far. It’s exactly what we wished we could’ve had when styling and we’re really looking forward to seeing how customers take our vision on for themselves too.
Will you offer seasonal collections or work away from the traditional fashion schedule?
We decided, early on, that we wanted to establish our own calendar of global drops every few months, rather than a traditional A/W and S/S schedule with high-season injections in between. While we’ll make sure each drop has relevance to the climate and seasons, Entire Studios is a brand for the global audience and people from either hemisphere will be able to access the same pieces at the same time.
What are the key points of difference between Entire Studios and other brands?
The fashion industry is full of so many brands that each have their individual strengths for a potential customer but these strengths are limited and made at the expense of the other things the customer is looking for. Entire Studios balances quality, affordability, attainability, functionality and — of course — design.
We really don’t believe fashion should sacrifice any of those key points if they truly want to be a diverse, innovative and sustainable brand. We also see Entire Studios as offering a whole new audience the opportunity to experience how we would work for clients, offering them honest and positive experiences, guidance on how to wear the pieces, and access to a skillset they would likely have never experienced before.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
We are starting small but we truly want Entire Studios to be a lifestyle brand that reflects who we are and what we love — whether that’s in clothing, beauty, interior design or any of our other passions. With time, we want to inject pieces of the Entire Studios aesthetic into people’s lives beyond just what they wear every day.