The £1MILLION Coventry fashion label taking the world by storm

A fast-rising festival fashion brand founded by three siblings from Coventry is set to smash the £1million barrier this year on the back of becoming a celebrity favourite.Online Instagram festival fashion brand Elsie & Fred is poised to turn over more than £1million in 2019. The success of the line has been propelled by celebrity fans like Swedish singer Zara Larsson, Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio and monobrow model Sophia Hadjipanteli. Elsie & Fred has also benefited from huge mass market exposure with the clothing featured on popular television shows such as ITV’s Love Island and The Voice. As a result the independent London-based brand has seen its online fanbase and workforce quadruple in size and attain worldwide fame at the forefront of the festival clothing online revolution. Elsie & Fred was founded in 2014 by Coventry-born sibling trio Natalie, Leanne and Ryan Haynes. What began as a small sourcing and selling venture based in the West Midlands has become a much talked about London-based clothing brand.

Zara Larsson wearing Elsie & Fred
(Image: Coventry Telegraph)

It now employs a team of eight staff and supplies retail giants such as Asos, Dolls Kill and Topshop. One item in particular has proved a soaraway hit for the brand – its sequinned ‘La Bamba’ shorts, which have inspired many spin-offs since their release in 2014. Even a major well-known retailer has released a version of the design. Designer and company founder Natalie, 37, said: “We used to have a shop in a storage container in Brixton and I was just playing with fabric and sequins one day, laid it on top, sewed it together and the first pair of La Bambas were born. “I literally couldn’t give them away, we maybe sold a pair to a slightly drunk person of a weekend in the store. “We named them the La Bamba after the Ritchie Valens movie. “Our dad used to fix television sets and he used that video when testing them – on repeat.”

Dua Lipa’s dancers wearing La Bamba shorts at the 2018 Champions League Final
(Image: Coventry Telegraph)

Since the release of the La Bamba shorts in 2014, Elsie & Fred have sold 24,000 pairs. Found at festivals all over the globe, the tasselled shorts have been worn by Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio and all the female cast members of Love Island 2017. In addition they were worn by Dua Lipa’s entire dance troupe during the 2018 Champions League Final and the American Billboard Awards the same year. The name for the brand came from Natalie, Leanne and Ryan’s maternal grandparents. Elsie and Fred’s first collection of 2019 – Suburban Heights – was released this week. It heralds a departure from the signature sequins to bold ‘hyper reality’ prints. Leanne, aged 33, said: “We felt like we had really pushed the sequin design envelope to its fullest and creatively we wanted to explore other avenues.  “The customer who first brought the La Bambas because she wanted to stand out, has now evolved, as have we as designers, so we are now lucky enough to have a large enough audience that we have been able to offer a collection that deviates from what’s expected from us within the Instagram community. In the first 2019 collection there is a distinct nod to the early noughties with bubble gum pinks, large logos and luxurious velour fabrics.

Sophia Hadjipanteli wearing Elsie & Fred
(Image: Coventry Telegraph)

Natalie said: “We always refer back to the same style icons, before we start designing a collection. “Cher is our ultimate muse of all time and photos of her adorn the walls of our studio.” Leanne added: “Its true – our young female customer demographic probably doesn’t realise that a lot of our designs are inspired by a style icon of yesteryear. “We have always vibed from super, strong women, icons that embody a strong sense of femininity, but are also unashamedly sexy and powerful.”
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