Fashion: Getting to Know IRRÉVERSIBLE
Sydney-based IRRÉVERSIBLE have been busy stockpiling lots of seriously rare/amazing vintage and have recently launched their online store. We asked co-owner Clare Ferra to tell us more:
IRRÉVERSIBLE is… First of all, it’s the name of a movie, which has nothing to do with our shop. And it also happens to be a designer vintage store, where hopefully people can find stuff dreams are made of!
Our philosophy is…
a. Treat people fairly, treat people well, be decent. It sounds like a no-brainer but in this world there are too many people who forget this principle. I totally believe in karma, if you do wrong by people it will 100% come back and bite you in the ass sooner or later! This is the number one rule. If you don’t do this, then there’s no point doing anything else because essentially you’ve already failed.
b. Don’t be pretentious. I read a study that said that if customer service reps are snobby they make more sales. Maybe it’s true, but we don’t do things that way. Even though we sell high end labels, I don’t want anybody to be ever be intimidated to shopping with us. And never judge a book by its cover, ever… I’ve seen Pretty Woman! Remember that time Hermes didn’t let Oprah in? Huge no no!
c. Be aesthetic. We make quite an effort to ensure all aspects of the store really fit our aesthetic and are looking good. That includes the items themselves, the product photography, social media pages etc. It’s important to be meticulous and not sloppy in your presentation. We try our hardest in this area, and hope this is what sets us apart (as well as the clothes themselves).
If you visit our website, you will… have a gander at some of the best vintage money can buy. I’m not usually one to toot my own horn but we genuinely do have incredible stuff, sometimes I’m in awe of our collection itself. Where else can you buy a vintage dress that looks like a lifesaver vest on top, with an actual working whistle on it?
We spend too much time… hmmm… tough question! I can only answer this on behalf of myself and I’d say, reading. It’s my major vice, if you could call it that. I finish a book every two days or so. Only non-fiction, but my choices are pretty random, mainly true crime and autobiographies. I deliberately try not to buy fashion or business related books so that I’m forced to think about “other things”. Running a business I’ve found if you spend too much time solely focusing on it, it can be to the detriment of your work. You start going crazy and stop thinking straight, and you really need that focus to come up with great ideas. Today I spent a big chunk of my day reading The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule which was about Ted Bundy. It’s quite an interesting read. Bummer because I really need to finish editing these photos!
Actually I just thought of another answer. We spend way too much time mucking around, joking, buying snacks, taking breaks and procrastinating on product shoot days. Shoots can be pretty gruelling and boring.
We love… I think the biggest satisfaction is sending people an item that they love. It’s really heartwarming when we get messages from people telling us they’ve received their item and they adore it. I hope all of our customers get loads of compliments and feel like a million bucks when they wear our clothes.
It might surprise people to learn that… our business is tiny and run out of two separate homes in the suburbs of Sydney! These day’s we’ve been getting almost daily requests for people asking to come and see our showroom or “office” which we unfortunately don’t have yet. I’m not sure how I’m going to work around that one, since I love working from home and don’t want to deal with the stress of travelling to work every day. Being able to have a nap in the middle of the day and cook your own meals is priceless. Plus I have a tendency to work at odd and sometimes crazy long hours, well into the night.
A lot of people also might be surprised to know that neither of us have any experience in the fields of business, fashion, photography, marketing, webdesign, fashion buying or customer service but we do every single little thing ourselves. Initially it was out of necessity (eg. we couldn’t even consider paying someone), but these days it’s just because we like it that way. A lot of entrepreneurs say it’s important to ‘delegate’ but in my experience it’s been really rewarding to at least learn how to do everything and give it a go first. That way when time comes and you are forced to outsource things you will know enough so that you’re not being led blind.
In 2016, we’re going to… change it up! While still giving our customers what they know and love. I know that’s vague but can only give specifics about the very near future, since I’ve learned things change too quickly for it to be worth planning in the long run. We’ve just acquired an amazing collection of vintage Jean Paul Gaultier items which will be arriving in the next month or so. I’m pretty excited about that as it’s quite difficult to get hold of the better pieces. Who knows what the long term future will bring, but so far it’s looking extremely bright.
Photos: George Sandman Popov.
Model: Sophie @ London Management
Styling: Kurt Johnson
Hair and Makeup: Jen Kilpatrick
Interview by Bobby Townsend.