SUSAN VAZ - FOUNDER
What was your role with Band of Boys + The Girl Club?
I was the founder, owner and Creative Director of Band of Boys + The Girl Club until late 2022, and my design influence will continue through to our AW24 collection.
Tell us a bit about how you came to work at Band of Boys + The Girl Club?
I started the business in 2013. It was all very organic with slow beginnings. My husband and I had already started another business so I was already working in a small business environment and I knew I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. I had just had my first son and I love fashion so doing kids fashion just seemed like a good idea.
Take us through what a typical day for you looks like?
Each day at Band of Boys + The Girl Club was always extremely varied and my focus really depended on what part of our seasonal cycle we were in. Everything from production emails that have come in overnight from our factories (for sampling or our bulk production), working on some strategy, writing our journals, planning look books, designing a new range, logistics, accounts or communicating ideas/plans with the team - the lot!
What is your all-time favourite item by Band of Boys + The Girl Club?
I love newness so I am always more excited about pieces in our upcoming collections but I still love the Tiger Badges tee from the SS18 season.
What was your favourite part of your job with Band of Boys + The Girl Club?
I loved designing a new collection and seeing how the whole story comes together when we receive the samples – it actually feels more fun than Christmas!
Winter or Summer season? Which do you prefer?
Personally I love Autumn as its cold enough to wear some great layers and all of the pieces that I love the most like coats, blazers, jeans, boots and knits but it's not too cold. Sunny Autumn days are the best.
How did you come to start Band of Boys + The Girl Club and what was it like in the early days?
I started by doing things really small at the beginning and it has just been bigger steps forward as the time felt right ever since. The early days were both easier and harder in so many ways – a LOT of self-motivation was required! I learnt an awful lot about so many things I had never done before.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your own business what would it be?
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
My biggest mistake was right at the beginning when I started working with offshore manufacturers – they were telling me the timing would be a LOT shorter than it was and I didn’t have the experience to know any better. Thankfully it just ended up that I put a pause on that collection and I launched it a year later which turned out to be the best thing I could have done.
Did you have a set process or specific methods for bringing a design to life?
I continually refined my design process when I was part of the team. I started by making notes and snapping pictures of things that I thought could evolve the brand. I then put together a document of the garment styles and colours I wanted to see in the range and then briefed our illustrator. Once the illustrations came back, I visualized the whole garment and a digital mock-up is made. From we made tweaks to make sure the whole collection goes together and is balanced from a colour perspective and has a cohesive story.
Are there particular materials or colours that you liked to work with?
As a brand we are all about comfort so knitted cottons make up most of our collections that I was involved in. My personal favourites fabrics are our new rib and waffle cottons that are a big part of our new winter collection.
Where did you find inspiration for new designs?
I used to find most of my inspiration from what I saw trawling through fashion giants Net-A-Porter and Farfetch – I would get a sense of what colours and textures are trending and I love seeing how brands are pushing boundaries with their designs.
What did you look for when thinking of doing collabs or finding new designers to partner with?
I like doing things that are a little bit unexpected, I try to not follow trends too closely so I look for others who have a similar vibe.
What’s been your favourite season and/or collab to work on and why?
It was super fun putting together our Band of Boys X Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collab. It felt really special putting our spin on a classic 90s show that I grew up watching.
What do you feel are the 3 most versatile garments in a kid’s wardrobe?
A great jacket, a statement tee and some wear-with-anything trackies or shorts. You can get through many seasons and occasions with these three items!
What advice would you give someone just starting out in business?
Just start – don’t wait until everything is perfect, but definitely start within your own comfort levels and grow from there.
How do you want children to feel when wearing the clothes that you've helped to create?
I want them to feel fabulous, comfortable and totally themselves.