How do you go from Human Resources to Stylist to Fashion Designer?

“My journey started off with not just a love for fashion, but an absolute obsession”. As many of our stylists and readers will empathise with this sentiment, it’s no wonder founder of Bais clothing, Sylvia Bogdanowski’s career lead her to styling and fashion design. 

Bogdanowski started out in the corporate world, working in human resources for over nine years. The now Founder of her own fashion label says, “looking back. it did not appeal to me at all…something needed to change.”

The designer completed her Certificate in Advanced Creative Styling at Australian Style Institute, and dove straight into a career of editorial and personal styling. The journey this creative was always meant to follow had begun.

“But it still wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, styling gave me an excellent foundation to transition into design. I started styling, loved it, but knew it still wasn’t quite what I wanted to do. The course and my industry experience as a stylist, gave me hands on knowledge of a women’s body and the human behaviour components of style.”

“For me now I still get to style, but I style the garments for photoshoots that I’ve designed, it’s a very surreal experience.”

Who is the BAIS Woman?

“The Bais woman is someone who wants to look innately stylish but doesn’t always have the time to think about what she’s wearing.” Bogdanowski says, her designs are always about making the wearer feel good and be able to go to their wardrobe and know that all their pieces with go together.

The concept behind Bais is that the pieces are designed with this in mind with the use of neutral tones and classic cuts (with a twist!). “If you have a pair of loud print pants but don’t know what top to wear with it, Bais basics will fill that gap.”

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With the _BAIS launch and runway show happening in 4 days, it’s got me thinking about the journey I have had so far. _BAIS was softly introduced to the world nearly 6 months ago and it that short amount of time, some truly incredible things have happened. In 6 short months _BAIS has shown at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, been inside the pages of British Vogue (x3), Top 10 labels that started in Perth via Urban:List, part of Future of Fashion of Perth (in the company of some incredible creatives), upcoming show at Kalgoorlie fashion week and who knows what tomorrow will bring? I have always been fascinated (obsessed) with fashion, since I was little, recording Trinny and Susannah on my VHS. That was the first time I truly realised that fashion isn’t ‘just clothes’ and that what we wear really affects how we feel on the inside. _BAIS was born out of a love for fashion in general, but also about educating women (and guys, if you’re reading!) about the importance of having a functional wardrobe that you love. And by functional, I don’t mean boring, I mean one that you can rely on to feel good. I also didn’t want to contribute to the negative things fashion is known for, such as slave labour or the lasting effects on the environment. _BAIS is made right here in WA – ethically and happily (most of the time, right Katie). We support WA and Australian business in all processes (pattern making, purchase of fabrics, haberdashery). The majority of _BAIS fabrics are natural, organic and don’t consume a lot of water, therefore lessening their environmental impact. _BAIS is also a slow fashion label, although I’m not quite sure if I like the term ‘slow’. We don’t put out collection after collection, emphasising the need to buy something new every season. All our pieces are made of the highest quality fabrics, are interchangeable and they will withstand trends and the test of time if cared for correctly. I want women to feel good innately and without all the ‘fashion’ pressure. Continued in comments.

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What do you think the future landscape of fashion looks like?

As a new player in a game — that’s always changing — Bogdanowski says she’s still feeling her way around the current fashion landscape, including navigating the market, the production process and volatile nature of retail.

“There is no denying social media is planning a huge part, for my Instagram, but I think the future of retail is changing and the customer no longer wants to buy from a faceless label; they want to be able to connect.”

Bais is currently sold exclusively online, but Bogdanowski has plans to set up a women’s market, as the first place for customers to try-on, touch and feel the garments. She says that retail is reverting back to a desire from customer’s for a tangible experience.

For this Perth designer it seemed the transition from corporate to fashion styling flowed naturally.

Do you have an obsession with fashion? Styling courses may be your first step into the industry.

Our Perth courses begin September this year, to download a course guide and find out more follow the link here.

During our interview series ‘Future of Fashion Perth’ we meet up some of the most influential faces, trailblazers and thought leaders of the WA fashion industry. From styling successes and designers, to business owners and entrepreneurs. We’re asking the right questions to learn and share with you.