Home / News & Events / Creating Empowering Sustainable Fashion with Head Designer Yulia Tlili

Creating Empowering Sustainable Fashion with Head Designer Yulia Tlili

07/03/2023

Sustainability, Style, and Versatility Meet in Every Stitch

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1. Who do you design for at FREY. ?

I design for real women who need to look stylish and presentable while staying comfortable. Understanding their needs and challenges allows me to create functional and desirable clothing that caters to their preferences. I consider factors like comfort, versatility, durability, and style, as well as any specific challenges they may face, such as restrictive dress codes or limited affordable options.

2. Can you describe your design philosophy and how it aligns with FREY.’s vision of timeless elegance and empowerment for women of all ages.

My design philosophy focuses on creating functional, classic pieces that are stylish, comfortable, and sustainably made. I prioritize simplicity, clean lines, and a limited colour palette, emphasizing quality materials, precise cuts, and overall aesthetic over flashy embellishments. By using eco-friendly materials, upcycling fabrics, and drawing inspiration from traditional tailoring techniques, I strive to achieve timeless elegance and empowerment for women of all ages.

3. What challenges do you believe working women face when it comes to dressing?

When it comes to dressing for work, working women face various challenges, which can be influenced by their industry, workplace, and individual preferences. Some common challenges include:

  • Restrictive dress codes: Many workplaces have dress codes that can be restrictive for women, often reinforcing traditional gender norms. For example, requirements to wear high heels, skirts, or dresses may be uncomfortable or impractical in certain situations. This can lead to a lack of desirable workwear options and the need for separate clothing for after work.
  • Balancing professionalism and comfort: Women often find themselves having to choose between looking professional and being comfortable at work. While some clothes may look good, they may not be practical for a day spent sitting at a desk or being active in the office. This challenge is influenced by how the clothes are designed and made.
  • Affordability and accessibility: Women’s work clothing can be either overly expensive and unaffordable or very cheap and lacking in comfort and professionalism. This can create a dilemma for women who need a variety of clothing options for both work and leisure. Investing in a larger wardrobe to have enough variety becomes necessary but not always ideal.
  • Limited options for non-standard sizes: Finding well-fitting and professional-looking clothing can be difficult for women who do not fit into standard sizes. Petite or slightly plus-size women may face challenges in finding appropriate workwear that meets their needs.
  • Cultural and religious considerations: Some women have cultural or religious considerations that impact what they can wear to work. This adds an additional layer of complexity when it comes to selecting appropriate attire.
  • Environmental factors: The work environment itself can pose challenges, such as extreme weather conditions. Hot outdoor temperatures or overly air-conditioned offices can make it challenging to dress comfortably while maintaining professionalism.
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4. How do your FREY. creations provide a solution to these challenges?

  • Relaxing yet professional attire: I strive to design workwear that is both relaxed and professional-looking, bridging the gap between comfort and style. However, I believe that more inclusive and flexible dress codes are still needed, taking into consideration the needs, preferences, and lifestyle of women in their daily routines.
  • Versatility: I prioritize versatility in my designs, creating clothing that can be worn in various settings and occasions. Whether it’s transitioning from day to night or going from a meeting to a whole day spent sitting at a desk, my clothing is functional and adaptable, catering to the diverse needs of our customers. Additionally, I ensure that the clothes are easy to care for and don’t require extensive maintenance.
  • Long-lasting and sustainable designs: I strive to design clothes that are stylish, comfortable, and long-lasting. By creating pieces that seamlessly transition from day to night, I aim to minimize consumption and promote a sustainable wardrobe. Moreover, our prices are reasonable, making sustainable fashion accessible to a wider audience.
  • Variety of options: I consider different cultures, preferences, and work environments to offer a wide range of styles and options. This includes different shapes, colors, lengths, sizes, and more, ensuring that our clothing accommodates the diverse needs and preferences of all our clients.
  • Comfort-focused design: Comfort is a crucial factor in my designs. I pay attention to the materials used, the fit of the clothing, and potential discomfort points such as tight waistbands or restrictive sleeves. By prioritizing comfort, I create garments that are comfortable to wear and move in throughout the day (and night if need be).
  • Details: Small details can significantly impact the overall function and aesthetics of a garment. I pay close attention to collar styles, cuffs, belts, hems, pockets, zippers, buttons, and more, ensuring they are designed and placed practically and aesthetically.
  • Durable fabrics: I prefer working with natural materials that offer breathability, durability, and resistance to stains. For example, wool is an excellent fiber that is soft, keeps you warm in cold weather and cool in the heat, and doesn’t show sweat marks. It is also eco-friendly, absorbs pollutants, and is anti-allergenic, making it beneficial for the skin. Fine merino wool is a great option for those who prefer a softer fiber without the itchiness.
  • Promoting education and awareness: I believe in the importance of educating and training women on the impact of dress codes on different body types, skin tones, and more. By promoting a more inclusive workplace culture, we can create awareness and understanding of diverse fashion needs.
  • Partnering with clothing companies: Employers can collaborate with clothing companies that specialize in providing quality formal attire for women. By partnering with us, employers can ensure that their female employees have access to well-designed and appropriate workwear options.
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5. How do you incorporate sustainability into your design process?

Sustainability is a key focus in my design process. I incorporate eco-friendly practices by utilizing deadstock materials, upcycling and repurposing fabrics and garments, and prioritizing natural and semi-natural fibers. I consider traditional craftsmanship, create long-lasting items, and offer a variety of classics that contribute to building a sustainable wardrobe. By emphasizing comfort, functionality, and timeless design, we aim to minimize overconsumption and reduce waste in the fashion industry.

6. What are your 5 recommended capsule wardrobe essentials that are both versatile and have the ability to empower women to create various looks.

  • Tailored suit (jacket and trousers): A classic and timeless option that never goes out of style. A well-fitted suit is perfect for women who want to look professional and put-together while feeling comfortable and confident. The jacket and trousers can be paired with a variety of other items, worn together or separately, making it a versatile and empowering choice for any professional woman.
  • Wrap dress: A feminine and flattering option that can be worn in a variety of settings. A wrap dress is perfect for women who want to feel comfortable and confident while maintaining a stylish and put-together look. It can be accessorized with jewellery and heels for a more formal appearance or dressed down with sneakers or sandals and a casual bag for a relaxed vibe.
  • Midi pencil skirt: A versatile classic that offers practicality and can be worn in many ways. This comfortable skirt can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. You can style it in different ways, such as pairing it with a blouse for a classic look, a t-shirt for a slightly sexy or edgy vibe, or with a jacket and heels for a more formal appearance. It can also be dressed down with flats for a relaxed look.
  • Jumpsuit: A stylish and enjoyable option that works well for women who want to feel smart and confident while adding a touch of playfulness and modernity to their outfits. A jumpsuit is a versatile addition to the wardrobe, suitable for both day and night looks.
  • White button-up shirt: A classic and empowering wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down. A white button-up shirt is easy to pair with almost anything and adds a fresh and stylish touch to any outfit. Layering it over a t-shirt creates an effortlessly chic look.
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Bonus: A good trench coat: An ultimate favourite and a key piece for a perfectly layered wardrobe. A trench coat is a versatile addition that can be worn in many occasions and styled in various ways. It always looks great and polished, historically making women feel confident and empowered while meeting their practical needs and preferences.

 

7. How do you approach the challenge of creating fashion that is sustainable, aesthetically appealing, and appeals to a wide range of consumers?

  • Balancing aesthetics and practicality: Finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality is crucial when creating everyday wear. I strive to design clothing that is visually appealing while also considering factors such as comfort, functionality, simplicity, and practicality.
  • Focusing on the needs of women: I prioritize understanding the needs of women, particularly in terms of professional workwear. I aim to create smart-looking clothing that is not boring, taking into account their preferences and requirements.
  • Strong research and conceptualization: Each garment and collection undergoes extensive research and conceptualization. I deeply consider the inspiration and message behind each piece, questioning its functionality, comfort, meaningfulness, and versatility before finalizing the design.
  • Using high-quality, durable materials: I utilize high-quality materials that are durable and can withstand everyday wear and tear. This ensures that the clothing will last longer, contributing to sustainability and practicality.
  • Simplicity and ease of wear: I keep my designs simple and easy to wear, avoiding overly complicated features or designs that may be difficult to use or maintain. This enhances the practicality and functionality of the clothing.
  • Good for layering and interchanging: I design garments that are suitable for layering and offer versatility for interchangeability, allowing consumers to create various looks with fewer pieces.
  • Incorporating functional elements: I strive to incorporate functional elements into my designs, such as pockets, adjustable straps, belts, or easy-to-use closures. These features enhance the practicality and usability of the clothing in everyday life.
  • Balancing trends with practicality: While being aware of current fashion trends, I ensure that practicality and functionality are not compromised. I incorporate relevant elements from trends into my designs without sacrificing their practicality.

Testing with real women: Perhaps most importantly, I conduct testing and feedback sessions with real women. This allows me to gather insights, understand their experiences and preferences, and refine the designs to better meet their needs.

8. Your favourite FREY. look for a working day in peak summer.

My favorite FREY. look for a working day in peak summer would be the Rome Midi shirt dress paired with the Milano cropped tailored bomber-style jacket. This look combines urban influences with comfort, practicality, and individual expression, deviating from traditional workwear fashion rules and conventions.

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