It’s the end of summer in New York City when we meet Australian designer Rosie Iffla (26) – one part of exciting new swimwear label, FELLA Swim. She’s here on a sales trip and is between meetings with some major US retailers. She comes armed with a suitcase bursting with bikinis.
FELLA Swim’s first collection is huge and includes 195 different skews: 10 bottoms, 13 tops and four full-pieces in five colour ways. It’s feminine but edgy – there are no frills or padding. Some of the most popular styles include the Max Max one-piece and the structural cross-over Dylan top.
Iffla launched her brand with business partner and designer Christine Tang (of label, Story by Tang) a couple of years ago. But the first delivery only arrived in stores in the past two weeks. That’s not to say the production was late. Rather, FELLA is one of those clever brands that built its audience on Instagram well before it even had product to sell.
“It’s funny … people talk to us as through we’ve been around for years,” says Iffla.
Iffla and Tang have actually been working on the label for that long, doing trade shows and factory visits in China and Hong Kong before settling on a high-quality Italian fabric for FELLA Swim. FELLA digitally prints in Sydney and has the swimwear made in Bali, where Tang lives most of the time (Iffla is based in Perth).
Check the brand’s Instagram for sizzling shoots with models and celebrity babes everywhere from Perth and Bali, to Joshua Tree. “We’re lucky as a lot of our friends are photographers and a lot of models and photographers approach us to shoot,” says Iffla. They’ve also just received a request from US Vogue to feature a set.
On the whole, it’s been a big start to FELLA’s launch. It was only two weeks ago the women copped a bit of flack after retouching an image of model and posting it on Instagram (it has since been taken down). The whole hullabaloo quickly went viral. But it’s no skin off these two Aussie beach babes’ noses. We have a feeling FELLA is really going take off this summer.
FELLA Swim is at Peninsula Surf Centre in Mornington. It is also available online.