I love to shop. It’s fun, sometimes an essential form of therapy and a means of self-expression which never fails to excite me! You could be forgiven for thinking that this is the view of all woman - born with an innate ability to shop and a natural affinity with fashion. But for some, picking clothes is a daunting and unpleasant task, made all the more easy if someone could just do it for you! I met up with Kathryn Filleul who is helping to do just that, as she talked me through the brand that takes the pain out of shopping and for many has put the fun back into fashion.
Friendtex is a Danish brand looking to reinvent the way the modern women shops. Sold solely through consultants worldwide, it doesn’t require trawling through the streets and brings fashion directly into your home. With its relaxed and elegant style, it’s easy to see why Kathryn thought the brand would fit in perfectly with our Island way of life in Jersey.
The Friendtex collections have a strong Nordic influence that offer comfort without compromising on style. They label it “casformal” and it perfectly captures the growing trend in Jersey offices to relax strict dress codes in favour of a more casual approach, so it's easy to understand its growing popularity. You can envisage the pieces taking women from the day to evening with garments having a distinctly feminine and romantic touch. On a small Island where fashion can feel a little limited at times, it also offers a different dimension and in Friendtex you feel like you’re wearing something unique and coveted.
Kathryn started selling the brand as a consultant in 2011 through her website www.bybeautifulthings.com and her home store in St Clement, to enormous success. It is so much more than the catalogue-ordering craze we’ve known before; this is supported personal shopping with your very own stylist at hand. The name Friendtex is very much indicative of what the brand is looking to achieve and that is going beyond dressing women, but giving them an enjoyable social experience with fashion that will forge friendships and build confidence.
Kathryn has invested time in getting to know her clients well, so that she is able to guide women and make recommendations from every new collection Friendtex launches. She offers one on one styling sessions or social trunk shows in the comfort of your home, where women can try clothes in a relaxed environment and share their take on style. The collections appeal to a wide age range of women and with sizes from 8 to 24, cater for ladies who perhaps don’t feel comfortable with a high-street retail service.
“It is such a joy seeing the change in women when they step into an outfit that makes them feel like a million dollars, watching their self-confidence and self-belief soar”, explains Kathryn who has helped clients overcome hurdles following pregnancies, those who want to reinvent or update their look or simply want to be more at ease with body hang-ups (we all have them)! She loves the camaraderie and the inspiration from working with other women to achieve a goal and counts herself extremely lucky to call a lot of her customers dear friends as well as clients.
Ambassador would be an easy word to associate with Kathryn, but talking to her you truly get the sense that it’s not just about the brand but the women behind the clothes. She is passionate about her job, indulging in a love for fashion and helping others and you can’t help but let a little bit of that rub off on you. So much of dressing and playing with fashion is about confidence and both Kathryn and Friendtex are there to install that within you and tailor your shopping experience to something magical!
I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship…
Photos: Daisy Barnard Photography
Hair: Eoghan Mc Cullagh at Elmina Salons
Make up: Make Up By Nanda.
Model: Margarita Bennett