Guest article by Ella Beart
Unlike many of us who gave up on our childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, fireman, or pop star, Georgie and Alex Babyska turned their fashion fantasy into a reality.
You might think you have to travel to Melbourne, Sydney or even Paris to start up a fashion label, but this sister act are proving that Adelaide is the new place to be with their budding labels bübish and Toast Society.
The Adelaide born and raised besties-slash-sisters founded Parisian chic label bübish in 2015, followed by bright and bold outerwear Toast Society shortly after.
We went and visited the girls at their studio in Adelaide’s CBD, where they gave us an insight into their story and how they created their very own stylish winter wonderland right in the heart of SA.
Georgie and Alex have always had (dare I say it) ‘a passion for fashion’. Drawn to unique clothing pieces and accessories their whole life, it seems that fashion found them. However, their journey actually started off as a side project and desire for a beautiful, inexpensive and well-made fur coat.
For those who don’t know, bübish is a collection of sophisticated, elegant and classic fur jackets and coats, perfect for a cocktail dress or just simply to style with a pair of your favourite jeans. Every piece is handcrafted and made out of ‘upcycled’ fur to create a long-living luxury staple. However, the girls also understand that fur is not everyone’s thing, which is why bübish give the option to purchase luxurious faux fur without compromising on quality!
If you take a look at bübish’s Instagram, immediately you’ll be faced with soft romantic pink, grey, blue and beige hues. Their feed is full of models and styled customers wearing their ranges, from covers and jackets, to cardigans, blazers and knits. The collection of images also highlights that bübish fur is the perfect wedding accessory to keep the bride and wedding party warm, while remaining stylish.
“In the beginning we found a supplier and pretended to already have an established business so we could order samples,” tells Alex. Shortly after, they made their very first PDF flyer to sell their pieces to family and friends — and bübish was born! For the next year the girls worked from their parents living room and used all of their connections – including Georgie’s co-workers from Wild Child to create content and move bübish to the next level.
In Adelaide especially (which is often referred to as a big country town), it’s all about using the connections you have to get your foot through the door. Georgie tells us that her fashion contacts really helped out in the beginning. “I was working at fashion agency The Co Lab just before we started bübish, so I asked them to take on the brand and now they wholesale for us across SA.”
In the long run, the good old Adelaide contact list proved to be a useful strategy! When it came to launching Toast Society amid bübish’s success, the girls referred back to their Adelaide connections. “I got in contact with my old co-workers at Wild Child, and we used the space to hold a launch party for Toast” tells Georgie. “Our Mum made sandwiches, we provided champagne and I had a friend in PR who invited a whole range of influencers to view our new range,” she continues. Whilst the girls did leverage bübish’s data base to attract customers to Toast, the girls highlight that their pop up at Wild Child played a big part in launching Toast into the Adelaide community. Not only did the pop up allow customers to see the product offline, but the location helped to transfer existing boutique customers over to Toast.
Compared to bübish, Toast is much more street-wear and practical – but equally as stylish. Toast provides puffer jackets that are anything other than vanilla, with styles coming in every fun colour you can think of. Forget bulky and boring camp-like windbreakers, and retrain your brain to think cropped, oversized pockets, slouchy hoods, and most of all – cool. Toast’s ethos is to make customers feel special and ‘out of this world’, which is why each colour and style is named after planets — e.g. Pluto Puffer and Jupiter Puffer.
“While Toast has been successful, the real growth for the brand actually came this year with Corona Virus, as people started living in active-wear and needed something comfortable”, tells Alex.
With this in mind, the girls are currently working to leverage Australia’s comfort obsession and are launching a spring collection that features bright t-shirts, bike shorts and hoodies.
If you’re a fellow Adelaidean with a big dream — Georgie and Alex have proven that you don’t need to leave home to achieve it. Adelaide is what you make of it!