When you come across the kind of designer who models handbags after sugar cubes and (unironically) attaches croakies to her sunglasses, you’ve got to assume that she has joie de vivre contagious enough to rub off on you — if only you could get your hands on those croakies. In today’s edition of Know Your Labels, a series dedicated to new designers who deserve the megaphone treatment, we look at Australia-based accessories designer Lucy Folk, who will blow your mind with her understanding of shapes, an uncanny ability to weave gold vermeil into necklaces and the way she sees pills rendered in pearl for what they really are: an excuse to glue stuff to your hoops.
When did you launch?
10 million years ago! It feels that long ago, but in a good way; 2007 was when I put out my first commercial collection of jewels.
Why did you launch?
I wasn’t academic and needed something to fill my time! So I covered pretzels in metal and sold gold-plated and sterling silver corn chips to Snoop Dog. I am a self-confessed foodie and this was my subject for quite sometime, until Moschino went crazy with food and it became a trend, so the direction of the brand changed… I never follow trends. For me, its all about your own sense of individuality.
Where are your accessories made?
All over! The sunglasses are handmade in Italy and we make most of the fine jewelry in my studio in Melbourne, Australia. Fashion jewelry is made in Bangkok, as are the clutches. We have some specialty items made in Japan. Its a global operation, ha!
We are nuts about your beaded clutches. What was the inspiration there?
A sugar cube. I wanted to create a bag that resembled the sickly sweet nature of sugar.
Big fan of the croakies too! What were you thinking when you added them to your glasses?
I wanted everything to relate back to my jewels. One of my most popular items is our Shapeshifter chain necklace and bracelet. I wanted to incorporate this into the sunglasses and make my sunglasses wearable jewels. You can take the croaky off the shades and wear it was a necklace. Double the fun in the sun!
Best and worst parts of running an accessories brand?
Best: it is so much fun. Worst is the time I spend in airports.
Is breaking into the American market hard from over there?
100%. We are at the bottom of the world (in a good way), but its just not easy to be everywhere. It’s mostly about personal relationships when you are building a brand. Out of sight out of mind, you hear me?
Do you have an idea of what your customer looks like? Who is he/she?
My customer likes to be original and loves color. He or she appreciates fine details and quality. It’s not a fad, it’s forever.
Best and worst parts of working from Australia?
Best is going to the beach before and after work in the summer. Worst is dealing with a myriad of timezones.
What’s the most challenging element of being a young brand?
Brand awareness is difficult to cultivate but we are patient. When you don’t design based on trends, it definitely takes longer for people to understand and appreciate your brand.
What advice do you have for a young person trying to start a brand?
Be patient. It is a very competitive world out there.
How about for a young person trying to find his or her place in the world?
Explore, be open, travel, push the boundaries.
Lucy Folk has a flagship store in Melbourne, Australia and is about to open a concept store at Bondi Beach in Sydney this fall. You can purchase Lucy Folk online at MATCHESFASHION.com. Check out her full stockist list here. Follow the brand on Instagram @lucy_folk. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.