Meet the founders of the dreamiest new label coming out of Australia: Andressa Coope and Deborah Bennett of Before Anyone Else. Based in beautiful Noosa, at the northern end of Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Andressa and Deborah founded the essentials label with the vision of producing ethical, quality, and timeless pieces for the modern woman, while always being mindful of the impact they have on the environment. Each collection is inspired by timeless landscapes, eternal sunsets, and the beautiful and vast Australian coast.
Andressa, who started her career as a fashion buyer, tells us she always loved design and appreciated the details that made clothes special. The idea to start her own label was always a 'dream' – one that progressed naturally when she met Deborah, as it would allow her to blend her two loves: fashion, and the beach.
"The creative side of running a fashion label is my favorite part of the business – it’s when I can be free, I let the work evolve naturally. I have learnt to trust my gut feeling and to avoid overthinking the small details. If I had my way, I would spend every hour of the day dreaming of new designs," says Deborah.
As we celebrate the launch of the brand on Golden Edit, we caught up with the founders to learn about their design process, what inspires them, and how they summer year round...
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR LAUNCHING BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
Deborah: I always knew that I wanted to run my own business; to be my own boss. The idea of working for a large corporation just never appealed to me. Being your own boss provides true freedom of thought and freedom of ideas, which I believe is essential in a creative industry like fashion design. From the first time I met with Andressa to discuss our ideas, the concept and designs started to flow effortlessly. We are lucky that way – we always seem to be aligned with our vision. At the core, we both appreciate simple, chic, functional clothes and the pieces we create are reflective of ‘our’ interpretation of a modern essential wardrobe.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS LIKE?
Andressa: Creating something that you are passionate about and seeing it come to life is very exciting. From running your hand over our chosen fabrics to seeing the first iterations of our designs, it never gets old. My design process has been a life long affair and envisioning pieces that I would love to be wearing whilst mixing the beach lifestyle with my love of simple chic design.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR SLOW FASHION AND PRODUCING ETHICAL COLLECTIONS
Deborah: Working sustainably is the most important consideration for us. It is the basis of every decision we make, whether it’s sourcing materials for the clothing, deciding on packaging materials or in the design of the garment itself. Ultimately, our goal is to always design and manufacture garments that are produced with limited harm to the environment and to be designed in such a way that the garments are ‘relevant’ for extended periods of time. I guess you can say we believe in slow ‘long-lived’ fashion.
Andressa: This passion was born from an appreciation for the natural world. We live in Noosa, a small coastal town in Queensland, and we are gifted with having access to some of the most beautiful beaches and lush hinterland in the world. We touch, feel and smell this world everyday and it helps to make us feel consistently accountable to the sustainment of this environment. We want and hope that our children can share the same experiences and interactions, and we want to do our part to ensure this happens.
HOW DOES TRAVEL INSPIRE YOUR COLLECTIONS?
Deborah: My heart is spread out all over the world. I feel I am a global citizen rather than belonging to one country. I’ve lived in many places throughout my life including Brazil, Portugal, London, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia. I have experienced many different cultures and absorbed their unique influences. Travel provides the perspective of looking from the outside in, it gave me the opportunity to dig deep and learn more about myself and my dreams. I guess my entire life’s journey brought me where I am today. Travelling is definitely the main source of my inspiration, from back streets, people, little corners, nature and everything else that I crossed along the way.
Andressa: Travelling is when I disconnect from everything and connect with the place and culture of where I’m visiting. Taking time off to not only enjoy the rest of the world but right here where we live is my inspiration. Even a simple walk through the bush, or to a beautiful beach, allows me to gather my thoughts and begin to create. I come back home and I’m fresh minded and full of ideas and inspiration.
HOW DOES LIVING IN AUSTRALIA ALLOW YOU TO SUMMER ALL YEAR ROUND?
Deborah: I grew up by the beach in Brazil so I am a ‘’ Caiçara” or ‘Beach Girl’ by heart. I have been lucky enough to find and live in a beach paradise here in Australia which shares a similar climate to the northern part of Brazil. This means the beaches can be enjoyed all year long. In summer, it’s all about appreciating the early mornings and balmy nights and in winter it is about appreciating the heat of the midday sun and watching the whales swim by, frequently only meters from beach as they migrate north. It really is a true paradise.
Andressa: Oh summer! My favorite season of the year, the days are longer and nights shorter. I have always lived by the beach in Australia and just love to be able to start the day with a beach walk and swim, it takes the day-to-day stress away. Family and friends, beach days and long lunches on the weekend are definitely an all year round thing for me and how I extend summer. We are luckily enough to live in a tropical part of Australia where the cooler months you still get beautiful days and sunshine to enjoy.