When she couldn’t afford the Madonna outfit she lusted after at age 15, Wendy Morton-Edwards didn’t despair she grabbed a pair of scissors, a can-do attitude and simlpy sewed one of her own. “I was very creative as a child, always making outfits or something or another,” she says. “I can remember seeing a version of a Madonna outfit in the shops and at age 15 it was way too expensive for me to buy, so I thought “I can make that myself!”. I bought lots of lace and went home; cut up a pair of old jeans and within a few hours was sporting a denim and lace ra-ra skirt just like Madonnas.”
Now years later, with a master’s degree in business under her belt and working in commercial operations with MTV Europe, she has the skills and the smarts to design her own label, Firefly. Wendy has built the brand’s solid reputation over the past eight and a half years selling her designs at Sydney’s markets. It’s point of difference lies in its unique 70s inspired prints, which are bold and bright paired with an easy fit styling.
The ‘easy’ also translates to Wendy’s design approach. “I wouldn’t say there is a fixed process,” she says. “I don’t sit at my desk and say ‘right, now I am going to design the new season’s collections’, I am constantly gathering ideas, whether conscious of it or not, my mind is constantly on the go.”
Based out of Singapore, Wendy spends many a day seeking inspiration and her unique positioning lends itself to island hopping across to her favourite beach club on Sentosa or a weekend break to a resort in Bali or Thailand. “My mind is constantly gathering ideas of what women need for comfortable but stylish cover-ups and summer dressing,” she says. “It’s summer all year round here so I have plenty of opportunity to gather ideas.”
Firefly creations are fabricated mainly from Indian cotton to achieve that effortlessly beautiful, soft, floaty and wearable feel. Wendy gives them her own prints and the fabric is all printed exclusively for Firefly. “The quality and fabrication of the garment is of utmost importance,” she says. “It’s all very well a garment looking good, but if it fits badly or does not wear well then customers will not buy your product again. That’s why we take quality, fit and fabrication very seriously at Firefly.”
Firefly will exhibit their new summer range at the new RESORT precinct during Fashion Exposed and Wendy is excited for her brand to be recognised as a separate clothing category. “For a long time resort has been lumped under the Womens-wear banner and I am excited to see that it’s now being recognised as a genre of fashion in its own right,” she says. “This reflects the fact that RESORT is a growing market and is here to stay.”