Could you imagine being a 16 year old, studying you’re second to last year of secondary schooling and running an up-and-coming fashion label that is already amassing a cult following? This is the reality for Adelaide fashion designer, Emily Stollznow.
Emily is in her final year of schooling and began her label, EPS Apparel, in 2015 after seeing a market niche for good quality tracksuits that come with street savvy designs and colours.
“Some major inspiration for me was Tommy Hilfiger. I wear one of my Dad’s old shirts that is navy, light blue and red. Those colours look so good together and I knew this would be the colour combination to get”
But it’s not all about fashion for Emily. Like many teenage girls the world is her oyster and she sees beyond the sewing of tracksuits and the feeling of selling your designs, seeing them on Instagram and in the streets. Leaning towards studying a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Georgia in the United States in 2018 is the ultimate goal, but right now it’s all about those tracksuits, and all about that geometric printing.
I chatted to Emily about EPS Apparel and how it all began.
SB: How did EPS Apparel begin?
I made my own tracksuit first, then I made another for a close friend. I loved it and she loved hers, a few more friends indicated they would like one too.
I knew I could sell at least 25 so I decided to get a loan and take the plunge. Before the fabric arrived I came up with the name EPS Apparel from my initials plus I wanted each sale to be special, I made a pillow case bag for each tracksuit. The first 10-15 tracksuits took a long time, so as soon as I earned enough money I upgraded my machinery.
SB: Explain the geometric printing of the suits; geometric prints and tracksuits don’t often go together!
The way that the patterns are cut out onto the fabric means that so much of it goes to waste. So this is where I decided to cut the pattern in half at the arm and the leg – and create a pattern that would then turn out to look like ‘colour blocking’ tracksuits. This was where I started to think of the idea of making tracksuits and selling them. So I came up with the idea that instead of buying patterned fabrics, I would ‘mix and match’ the colours to create unique tracksuits. I still had to order the fabric in rolls – meaning that I had enough to make at least 50 tracksuits.
SB: Why did you choose tracksuits as your primary garment?
I thought comfy tracksuits were essential and there didn’t seem to be any good quality comfy tracksuits available anywhere. I like the tracksuits to be individual and special for each customer, but they need to be affordable too.
SB: What can we expect from EPS in 2016?
As I am still a student, juggling school and extra curricular activities with a demanding small business has become quite a lot of work. I am planning on expanding the business and hiring someone to help me make the tracksuits. I am also attempting to make my own fabric with my own designs on it- but that is a little bit of a pipe dream. Everything is still in the works but it is all very exciting!
Shop the label here .
Modelled by Faith Kongwa & Edwina O’Leary
Photography by Emily Stollznow