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Friends of Trouva: Freya Simonne

Last updated May 17

Date created August 5

Delve into the whimsical world of Freya Simonne, the sustainable fashion designer giving deadstock fabrics a new lease of life, now turning her hand to homeware for our sixth Trouva Exclusives collaboration.

Having cut her teeth in the dizzying world of commercial womenswear, Freya Rabet travelled far and wide, learned how to design for the real world and collaborated with a host of exciting makers. But the speed and demands of the industry on both the planet and its people wore her down, and Freya began looking to alternative ways to produce beautiful clothing with minimal resources.

Back in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, she finally found the time and space to think creatively for herself once again. What started as reworking old pieces that had lost their appeal quickly evolved into a much broader upcycling process and the founding of her own sustainable brand Freya Simonne. Now giving vintage and deadstock fabrics a new lease of life through handcrafted contemporary designs, she creates romantic dresses, jackets and accessories with a patchwork of retro florals and pastel hues.

Now, Trouva has collaborated with Freya on her very first foray into homeware. The Florentina Collection, our sixth Trouva Exclusives collaboration, is a limited edition offering of table linen created using vintage materials. Inspired by summers spent in Italy and made for gathering friends around the table, the collection is an extension of the Freya Simonne world.

We sat down with Freya ahead of the launch to chat honouring timeless craft techniques, the work-life balance as a new mum, and drawing inspiration from her grandma’s fabulously kitsch home.

Hi Freya! Tell us about your brand’s ethos:

I think we can safely say that the planet has enough to deal with, without us using more of her resources to make new clothes that, ultimately, we don’t actually need. I want to provide an alternative approach that exclusively uses materials that already exist. Reducing waste and what would ultimately end up in landfill is central to the brand, and forms the basis of every decision I make.

How would you describe your signature aesthetic, and what inspires it?

Feminine, modern, nostalgic. My inspiration really comes from the fabric itself. I often drape a new fabric over me to decide the shape of the piece. I love nature, and the more pastel and floral the better. I love mid-century and vintage styling, too. My grandma, Simonne, my middle name and the inspiration behind the brand name, had the most beautiful house, full of pink florals from wallpapers to toilet covers, as well as a wardrobe full of beautiful clothing. I often think of her and my childhood spent in her beautiful home when I’m designing.



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“My grandma, Simonne - my middle name and the brand’s inspiration - had the most beautiful house, with pink floral wallpaper and a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes. I often think of her when I’m designing.”

Why patchwork and quilting, what about those traditional crafting techniques in particular do you love?

I love the time and thought that has already gone into these beautiful, very special fabrics. They’re often pieces that were often passed down through generations, so I feel like I’m continuing their life span by reworking them into modern heirlooms that can be worn and loved for years to come.

What does a typical day look like as a small business owner?

It’s super varied and even more so since becoming a mum, trying to juggle looking after my daughter full time alongside running the business. My work happens when Arabella is napping. I usually spend that time catching up on emails and packaging orders. I do bigger sewing jobs in the evening. I often have Friends on the TV in the background with either tea or coffee and some sort of baked goods - I love all things sweet. If not Friends, it’s usually a podcast. Table Manners, How To Fail and Wardrobe Crisis are some of my favourites.

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“I rework pieces that have been passed down through generations. I feel like I’m giving them new life by respectfully reworking them into modern heirlooms that can be loved for years to come.”

This Trouva Exclusive collaboration is your first foray into homeware - what inspired The Florentina Collection?

I love italy, Italian food and summers spent bathing in the sun. My mum actually lives in Italy, so we spend a lot of time there and I wanted to create something that echoes the beautiful colours of the lakes.

I love the idea of incorporating quilting into table linen as it's something I’ve not seen before. I love hosting too. Sitting around a table and being present with loved ones is such a special time, even more so in this crazy world that we’re now living in.

I’m really excited to work with Trouva. Their ethos of supporting small business is obviously very aligned with my own values, and that they are really focused on bringing down their environmental impact too is a great thing.

What’s up next in 2023 Freya Simonne, the person and the brand?

Up next is a big celebration for Arabella turning 1 in May, alongside delivering my first wedding dress of the season and another very exciting dress collaboration with the Daily Dress Edit.

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