I am so excited to share with you my exclusive interview with THE brand of the year; Fairfax & Favor.
I am pretty sure you have all heard of this luxury iconic brand by now, if you’re late to the party here is a little bit of background info;
The brand was established in 2013 by long term friends Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and Felix Favor Parker fresh out of university ready to take the world by storm.
I just want to say a massive thank you to Rachel at Bloxham PR for all her help – you’re a star!
Fairfax & Favor is (unbelievably) only 3 years old. Looking at the photograph of your first show in July 2013 at ‘Holkham Festival’ compared to the heaving success on your stylish stand that I witnessed at Burghley earlier this year, the transformation is phenomenal.
In your opinion how did you do it? Was it a case of sheer luck or just nonstop hard work?
It was a mixture of the two; persistence, listening to customer and also lucky timings!
You pride yourselves on choosing your models from followers on you social media accounts rated than sourcing them from agencies this is quite a unique approach; why did you choose to do this?
We believe our customers are our brand and we love them to be the face of it too.
You say in the beginning, shops weren’t interested in taking a chance on a young brand such as yourselves headed by fresh uni-graduates, now your products are stocked in some of the most prolific retail outlets.
How did you manage to change their way of thinking?
We proved to them that the products sold, they saw that it was going well so had the confidence to stock Fairfax & Favor and be part of the movement.
Marcus you attended the university of Manchester and Felix you went to RAU; they are two very different universities tell us your most memorable university experiences during your time as students.
Marcus: Being awarded a silver medal for the European University rugby sevens tournament.
Felix: Failing all six of my six exams!
As on your website it states your products are ‘gracing many pairs of feet in horse trial inspections nationwide and are worn by stylish women and celebrities alike’, are you overwhelmed at all by the success of Fairfax and Favor?
Yes we are often very overwhelmed by people’s responses. Sometimes when we stop to think of how far the brand has come so quickly it can be overwhelming. We are very proud of everyone who has been part of the journey in establishing Fairfax & Favor as a player in the fashion lifestyle sector.
Do you ever get bored with the ample amount of fans keen to meet you both? – I doubt sipping a perfectly mixed G&T or glass of champagne whilst showing off new prototypes amongst many other things will ever get old! Perhaps that could be on the cards when mulling over It’s A Country Life’s prototype! (Wink wink)
And no we don’t get bored, we love seeing our customers, it’s our favourite part of what we do and it’s incredibly helpful hearing their thoughts on new lines that have launched.
Does your personal style reflect in the designs for F&F’s products?
Yes, very much so – smart casual!
Do you both ever have conflicting opinions? We’re keen to know who wears the trousers in the Fairfax & Favor dynamic.
Yes sometimes however we both have veto on things we don’t want to do and if you really want to do something you 100% back it and if it doesn’t work it’s on you.
What do you believe is your USP?
Our customer service and lifestyle element of the brand. You buy into the Fairfax & Favor family.
What challenges have you faced, being fresh out of uni and deciding to set up a new brand?
Lack of financial backing, paying yourself no money and working three jobs whilst you’re giving it a go.
Being thrown in the deep end, with no experience and having to learn on the job – but you learn quick and well! At the beginning our motto… used frequently was “live and learn” which used to be almost daily!
Did you ever worry about what your friends & family would think or say when you laid the cards out for everyone to see… ?
It was a huge hurdle for me – many still don’t know I’m the face behind the features they read! It’s mad to see friends commenting and tagging each other in something I have written.
No we always knew we would have their backing. however they definitely didn’t take us seriously at the start. It took a while to prove them wrong. People asking “when are you getting a proper job”, “what job are you going to do after you’ve done this for a bit”.
What is the most bizarre rumour you have heard about yourself?
Marcus: A rumour about me buying a mill in Shropshire to become a bread maker…
What would your perfect Sunday look like?
Bedingfeld lunch and Felix’s parent’s gastro pub in Oxborough, Norfolk.
What tips would you give young entrepreneurs like ourselves who may be reading this and thinking of starting their own business?
Have a business partner who you get on really well with, have different strengths and who is in the same situation as you so it makes the tough times more bearable.
Pay yourselves a little bit but leave as much in the business. Live at home for as long as possible.
How have your lives changed since launching Fairfax and Favour back in 2013?
We drive better cars… also having a reason to get up in the morning, we both feel like we are at the start of a really exciting journey – working with a really enthusiastic team.
Tell us a secret…
We’re due to launch our showroom and will be able to offer a bespoke boot.
What does the future hold for F&F?
Designer collaborations, taking the pop-up to European shows and the brand to the US in 2018. We will also introduce more luggage and accessory collections.
Being such busy guys, local celebrities too I am sure, how do you both make time for yourselves.
I think it’s important to have something to escape from the hum-drum of life with; for me it’s horses and the gym. What’s yours?
Country pursuits, watching rugby in the pub and skiing.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Felix : My dog Polo.
Marcus : Family and friends.
So, a massive thanks to Marcus and Felix for putting aside some time in their busy schedule to sit down and answer my questions! I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for you.
Also a big congratulations to you all for exceeding your target and raising £13,691 for Breast Cancer Care earlier this year.
Keep your eyes peeled for more F&F features in the coming months we have some exciting things on the cards…
You’ll have to wait and see.