Fashion designer Isabelle Guillemot is one half of the clothing brand Deadly Companions. Based in Sydney, Australia, this edgy label for men and women is where style meets art. Owned by Isabelle and her business partner Lucina Mason, Deadly Companions is committed to making ethical choices to ensure materials they use are responsibly produced. ethical muse recently sat down to get a bit more personal with Isabelle…
How did you get started in fashion design? After living in Dubai where I worked as a rep for fashion, accessories and F&B brands, I moved back to Sydney and earned my Bachelor Degree in fashion design from The Whitehouse Institute of Design. I met my business partner Lucina there and we launched Deadly Companions in 2013.
My design aesthetic is experimental while flattering the natural form. Strong silhouettes are teamed with quality fabrication to create effortless style and foster ease of wear.
The name Deadly Companions, how did that come about? The name came about through wanting to represent the collective of people we work with as “companions”. Also it eludes to men and woman having a yin and yang type of relationship, which is interesting to explore in fashion.
What’s on your iPod? Alternative music. My boyfriend, Tom, is a musician. He has had an influence on what I listen to, which can be anything from classical to heavy rock.
Favorite holiday destination? Florence, Italy because I love the climate architecture and history.
Favorite jet-lag remedy? I take my mother’s advice; go for a walk when you land, sleep when you are supposed to sleep and stay hydrated! So jet-lag doesn’t show on my skin I use Nourished Life, Australian organic products. My favorite is called “Simple as That” which is a natural moisturizer.
Five items you never travel without? Laptop, iPhone, headphones, Dettol hand sanitizer and make-up face wipes.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
What is your typical workday routine? If I am working at the store it is a leisurely 11:00 am start with breakfast and coffee with Tom first. I take the train to and from work and I am usually at the shop until 6:30 pm. Some mornings I try to fit in a workout using videos. If I’m not in the shop, it’s a day of organizing, meeting and working with our mentor Design Residency. I am a huge homebody though and enjoy cooking.
What do you never leave home without? Handbag, iphone, headphones, water and pawpaw ointment for my dry lips!
Who is the DC customer? We have a wide age-range of customers, from those in their mid-20’s to their mid-50’s due to the location of the shop and it being in a tourist area. Our average customer is most likely in their mid-30’s, male or female. They are a conscious consumer interested in unique art and fashion. They live in the inner city and are sociable. Artist collaborations * are our point of difference, which our customers really appreciate. We choose existing work from artists and incorporate elements of that work into pieces of our collections. We also use the artist as an inspiration for the collection as a whole. Featured here is this year’s collaboration with Sydney-based artist Julian Meagher.
What does the word sustainability mean to you? Sustaining life as we now know it, because it has already gone past the point of no return. Returning things back to earth and preserving fertile places for food to grow. We have damaged our planet too much to maintain it at an optimal level. We need to begin giving back in order for humans to keep living here. I think it’s important for people to give back; to find an area that they are passionate about, such as chefs focusing on using sustainable food. I also think consumers need to buy responsibly. These are the first steps.
What is one way you currently channel sustainability into your life choices? Deadly Companions makes choices about who we work with to manufacture our designs and how we promote ethical fashion to the mainstream consumer. We also try to reduce waste in our business. Off-cuts of fabrics are used for packaging, we work to minimize our carbon footprint, and to be as paperless as possible in running our business. We also make an effort to minimize animal cruelty; if we are not aware of how the product is made or where the material is coming from we don’t use it.
What or who inspires you? I am influenced in many ways. Growing up in the country gave me a perception of where food comes from and made me aware that mass scale is wrong. I was also influenced by a friend who became a vegan. Travel has influenced me and I am also inspired by people who follow their passions, making choices that are not the easiest but that are right for our world.
*To learn more about Deadly Companions artist collaborations as their unique point of difference, watch for our follow-up post coming in early 2016.
Wanting to add some clothes to your collection? Visit Deadly Companions website and enter promo code ETHICALMUSE to receive free shipping on orders over $200.00