Sunday, May 12, 2013

Designer Drop-In: Faherty Brand

 Meet Alex and Mike Faherty, the brothers behind the newly launched Faherty Brand, and explore their beach oasis-slash-showroom. 

Faherty Brand launched on April 8 and the team had only been in their Flat Iron district showroom for a mere three weeks when BAZAAR stopped by for a Friday afternoon shoot. Launched by brothers Alex and Mike Faherty, twins who share a striking resemblance and contagious excitement for all things beach, but who differ vastly in their approaches to the business, Faherty Brand is a fully up and running machine.

 Mike is the designer with a Ralph Lauren pedigree and passion for textiles, Alex is the Yale grad with a background in investment banking and private equity. The vision for Faherty Brand, though is a shared one, "The coolest thing about this company is literally that Alex and I have been talking about this since we were little kids," Mike explains.

Albert Einstein may have been talking about these two when he said, "Play is the highest form of research." A childhood in an idyllic beach town set the veritable stage for their vision. "We grew up in Spring Lake, New Jersey. About an hour and a half south of the city, two blocks from the ocean. Our lives were all around cookouts, bonfires and surfing. We were the youngest kids in a huge family, and growing up was really about these laidback, great casual moments.”

After seven years at Ralph Lauren and on Wall Street, respectively, that talk turned to reality. Mike’s "aha" moment came early last year, "we were in California, it was New Year's, in the desert at some friend's house. I was driving by myself and the right song was on I called Alex was said “When do you want to do this?"

"We wanted our life embodied in a brand," Alex explains, "We were like, 'let’s just stay true to that and build a company around who we are and what we are interested in.'"

The initial launch is a line of one-piece, two-piece, high-waisted and vintage inspired swimwear with an emphasis on print, utility and sustainability — in equal standing. "They’re made for women and their active lives at the beach," Alex explains. The brothers did market research with close friends and family and found that women were looking for bathing suits that stay in place, with adjustable straps and bra-referential tops. 

As for the punched up hues and artisanal prints, Mike's years on the ground for Ralph Lauren were just the starting point, "I travel a lot, for work and for play, and I’m always going to remote lands to find indigenous textiles and grab inspiration from them," he explains. "You’ll see all of it in the pieces, a mix of my travels through different regions of the world — Indonesia, Java, India."

As for eco-awareness, the fabric is created out of recycled bottles, "Through my background working with mills I was able to develop something that was luxurious, but inherently made from recycled materials." Faherty Brand will begin rolling out ready-to-wear including dresses, tees and shorts in the coming months, as well.

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