23 May 2021

Telling a story through clothing with S/W/F

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Desiree Deravi is the founder and designer of S/W/F, the clothing brand with sustainability, femininity and confidence at the core. 

After leaving her career as a podiatrist and moving to Bali after an inspiring trip to the island, Desiree began to build S/W/F from the ground up, and since doing so has created a stand out label. 

Desiree shares shares the importance of organic growth in business and always working with authenticity and integrity. 

Q1: Hi Desi! Welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
Hi! Thank you for having me. I am the creative director of the clothing label S/W/F.

S/W/F was created to celebrate the modern woman with a low maintenance take on style. Whether it’s elevated day-wear or elegant evening wear, S/W/F has the aesthetic for all occasions. I wanted the brand to be aspirational yet attainable. All the pieces in my collections are made to order and we try our best to do our part for the environment. We are consciously created which means we only use natural fibres such as cotton, linen, and rayon, sustainable fabrics where possible and non-toxic dyes. We are a fair and ethically made brand.

Q2: When did you start S/W/F Boutique? What inspired you to go down this path?

I started the brand 7 years ago, my first collection was in 2014. At the time, whilst I was established in Melbourne as a Podiatrist I didn’t have the fulfilment I needed. I took a 5-day holiday to Bali and while there I met a whole heap of creatives and was so inspired to start my label. I moved to the Island and started my own label shortlyafter.

Q3: Talk us through your creative process. How do you reach your signature style?

The creative process is completely different for every collection; however all collections are steadily unfolding autobiographies of my life, I am always telling a story through the product and pieces which I hope offers an idea of integrity, honesty and humility that ties into a collection.

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Q4: What is your favourite piece you’ve created? Why?
Answering that is like choosing your favourite child, that is a hard one to answer! I strive to have timeless pieces that you can wear for years to come, there is however a piece in my first collection that we keep repeating to this day.

Q5: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your business so far?
I think from where I started until today, the fashion realm has changed dramatically, digital has become such a focal point for businesses – so right now at this moment it is definitely Instagram.

Q6: What (and who) is involved in the process of bringing your pieces to life?

There is a fantastic S/W/F team that work behind the scenes (artisans, sewers, pattern makers etc) however in terms of bringing the pieces to life, I solely design every collection (prints, colour pallet, silhouettes).

Q7: What is your big hope and dream for your work?
Organically continually growing the brand is always a priority, while staying true to the brands DNA and heritage. Continuing growth in the US market is also important to me and I would love to be on one of the major department stores in Australia. We are also committed to more sustainable practices in our manufacturing and distributing processes.

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Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
I have a very good memory – I generally don’t rely or use calendars.

I am organised

I can multitask projects

Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
This is one of the hardest questions I have been asked. I don’t think any one woman in particular, everyone has a really unique story and their journeys are inspiring in themselves. Ultimately, I think women who have overcome obstacles or adversities are inspiring.

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Be authentic, take a minute to really feel into what it is you would like to do and always work with integrity - you can’t go wrong.

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