Interview with a founder: How Rosie Iffla and Christine Tang took Fella Swim global
With the modest goal of creating swimwear that was “simplistic but sophisticated”, Sydney-based designers Rosie Iffla and Christine Tang founded Fella Swim in 2012. Flash forward and their line – full of flattering, beautifully-cut pieces in ice cream parlor shades of pink, yellow and beyond - is a favorite among the cool girls you see sunning themselves on the trendy Los Angeles rooftops of your dreams. We asked Rosie to tell us exactly how they did it, and where their quest for world domination will take them next.
J+B: Where did the first inkling of an idea for Fella Swim come from?
R: It was two friends living in Sydney chatting about doing something creative together. Christine already had a womenswear brand and wanted to do something different. So we chose swimwear as we believed there was a gap in the market for something more refined and simplistic.
J+B: What was your first move?
R: Flying to Bali and starting to design.
J+B: Was your plan always to take it to an international market?
J+B: When did you realize overseas was an option?
R: We were very lucky in the fact that for our very first season, we secured international retailers Revolve and Free People. I flew to the States and sold the range myself.
J+B: What’s next on your agenda?
R: We just finished our second ever Little Fella range for girls aged 1-8. We do dream of expanding the collection further in one way or another but for now that will remain a secret.
J+B: What’s the best part about running your business?
R: Designing and photoshoots for sure. When we can be most creative.
J+B: Have you acquired any celebrity fans?
R: Yes, Rosie Huntington Whiteley just personally contacted us for swimwear, and Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor, Emily Ratajkowski, Kim Kardashian and French model and actress Jeanne Damas are all also fans.
J+B: Do you have any tips for running a successful brand page on Instagram?
R: We use the program Latergram so we can pre-plan what the layout will be a few weeks in advance. We also have Instagram stories ready to go each month to keep fresh ideas on our Instagrams.
J+B: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
R: There is always someone out there who will be better at doing something you’re not. Learn to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and get those people on-board to help you with your weaknesses.