Childhood friends-turned-founders, Nicola Niblett and Delia Moulding, enchant us with their fashion fairytale brand, Faune – home to host of ethereal and dreamlike nightwear for children. Reimagining vintage nightdresses and pyjama sets with exquisite embroidered cutwork, updated silhouettes and delicate scalloping, Faune’s collection of ethically-sourced nightwear binds its founders’ zeal for vintage, fashion and comfort. Set to spur stylish and sound slumbers, each sumptuous cotton piece makes a treasured keepsake. Here, the duo talks ‘slow fashion’, sustainability and the importance of female empowerment.
You were both working mothers before starting up Faune. What influenced both of you to move into the fashion industry?Nicola has worked in the fashion industry for the past 20 years as a womenswear designer and dreamed of launching her own brand one day. Delia’s background was in the Media and Advertising industry but always had a passion for clothes and vintage. Having both resigned from our jobs at a similar time it seemed the most natural progression to start something together. It was a kind of now or never moment!
What is the story behind the name?Faune takes its name from the French word for ‘wildlife’ as a reference to times when childhood was much more about nature and freedom, rather than technology. While the world around today’s children is rapidly changing, wildlife and nature is always constant and present and this theme can be seen through our imagery and styling. Except for a few, we still have the same styles that were launched in our first collection and just add new styles and colours each year. We wanted to create a brand that does not react to the continuous changing trends in fashion but instead produce beautiful pieces that can be worn again and again.
You have been friends since the age of eleven. Can you describe a profound childhood memory that influenced the brand’s distinctive nightwear style? There isn’t one profound memory from our childhood that has influenced our style but our school years in Greenwich, London definitely had an impact. Greenwich had some of the best undiscovered vintage shops and a wonderful second-hand market during that time. We loved nothing more than wondering around after school or at the weekends. This was probably where the start of our love affair with lace and pin tucks began. Sadly, the market and the shops are no longer there now but the lace and the pin tucks are very evident in our dresses today.
How would you describe the identity of the brand?Faune has naturally evolved into a beautiful, iconic and nostalgic brand. Through our signature design and styling we have developed a slightly cooler edge than other mainstream nightwear brands. It was so important that we created a really strong brand identity from the start, in order to engage and excite our audience into believing in something new. The brand’s personality is still very much like that today. We really do care so much about what we do, from the styles we create and where it is made, to how we package and send our parcels. All of this has manifested itself into what the brand has now become. All the love and energy that goes into producing our products is evident in the quality, craftsmanship and ultimately our customer’s response and feedback for which we are so grateful.
"Faune takes its name from the French word for ‘wildlife’ as a reference to times when childhood was much more about nature and freedom, rather than technology."
Have your own children been the inspiration behind any Faune pieces? To be honest our children are the inspiration behind the whole brand. We wanted to create something that not only our children could wear but also change the way they perceive fashion and clothes. We want them to understand the process of slowing down to appreciate the quality and craftmanship that goes into making each of one of our garments. Every piece is designed with them in mind and so there is nothing more rewarding than seeing them all together, in Faune playing, laughing and sleeping.
What do you enjoy most about your roles in the company?Nicola: Seeing my designs come to life. It’s so wonderful to see an idea in my head develop into the actual garment and then being worn by all our wonderful customers.
Delia: I love the amazing people we get to work with and meet every day. We have been so lucky on our journey so far to have met some incredible women that have shown us great support and loyalty.
Faune believes in and practices ‘slow fashion’. What does sustainability mean to your brand?To us, sustainability is about making clothes that can last more than one season. We purposely span across two sizes for each style offering a loose fit. We don’t follow fashion trends or go on sale each season but design timeless garments that can live through from season to season and be passed down through family and friends. We hope that by making a conscious effort to produce clothes which can last longer in both design and quality, it will help to reduce items being disposed of needlessly and have less impact on the environment.
You work with a family-run factory in India that helps to empower women in the local community. Why is this important to you?
As female business owners and the mothers of daughters it is extremely important that we champion the roles of women within our community, as well as the local community in India. We want women to see they can have exactly the same opportunities as men no matter what their background or circumstances.
We are lucky that our factory in India is owned and run by a woman (which is still very unusual) who strongly believes this too. Over one third of the work force is comprised of women in both skilled and unskilled employment and they actively encourage women to come forward and take up positions in otherwise male-dominated careers, like tailoring. One other great example of how they empower women is to transfer the salaries of the female staff directly to their bank accounts. This gives them confidence and helps them to become more self-sufficient. It also prevents their male partners at home from usurping or, in most cases, misusing their earnings.
"We wanted to create something that not only our children could wear but also change the way they perceive fashion and clothes. We want them to understand the process of slowing down to appreciate the quality and craftmanship that goes into making each of one of our garments."
Can you tell us about ‘The Faune Promise?India has such a significant role in the Faune story that we wanted to make sure we supported the local community in some way from the very beginning and so we introduced the Faune Promise. This is a pledge to support local charities/organizations by giving something back to the country that is helping our dream become a reality. Our first promise is to donate a small percentage of our profits to the wonderful Rittana children’s foundation. This is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to providing education for vulnerable street children. This will continue to grow as we do.
What do you envision for the future of kids’ clothing?People are becoming more aware of the impact of fast fashion on the environment and we can already see many brands that are choosing to release less collections per year. This will hopefully filter down to childrenswear too and we will see a growth in brands that are providing quality over quantity.
What are your favourite pieces from the current collection?It is so hard to choose as we love them all! However, the Bay and the Embroidered Wren are probably our two favourites in the current collection.
Can you tell us about any new collections or exciting projects you are working on?We have some new gorgeous new styles launching in high summer that will also include a lovely new vintage blue colour. The most exciting project that we are currently working on is the launch of our womenswear collection for Spring 2020.