Francesca (Francki) Harrell is the designer of The Secret Society of Ex Mermaids, ‘a fashion line for girls who were once mermaids’.
She just presented her first runway collection at New York Fashion Week and the 15-year-old photographer Sophia Wilson took some snapshots that show Francki’s creations perfectly. Moreover we did a little interview with Francki. So this post is full of magical snapshots and garments and inspirations! ☆
Hi Francki! We were really happy receiving an email from you because the work you create is sublime! Was it always a dream of you to start an own fashion line? And could you tell us a bit how it all started?
I really admire the magazine you’ve created and especially your fashion aesthetic, so I am super excited to be included! Yes, I have wanted to do fashion design since I was a little girl. I studied women’s wear design at Parsons School of Design in New York City and I worked with several designers in New York. Later, I began to work doing social media, styling, and illustration..and then one day it felt like the right time to build a fashion brand that I could launch on social media and e commerce. It’s still an experiment…!
Your fashion line is called The Secret Society of Ex Mermaids. What is the meaning behind this name?
An Ex Mermaid is a human girl who was once a mermaid. But it’s really anyone who feels like they are starting over in a new world where they don’t quite fit in and they are misunderstood. The Secret Society of Ex Mermaids is a way for these rare and amazing people to connect.
Do you believe in fabulous creatures? And we would like to know what your favourite fairy tale is and why?
I have to believe in fantastic creatures! I have to believe that there are still parts of this world that are undiscovered, or there would be nothing to day dream about.
Of course, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is my favorite fairy tale! It’s deeply sad and so beautiful, but best of all, it’s strange.
Your fashion was presented at New York Fashion week this autumn. It would be really interesting to hear how the whole process of being a participant of a fashion week proceeds.
Fashion week in NY is exciting because there are so many editors, press, bloggers, and models in town and fashion is just in the air everywhere. I presented my show as part of a charity event during fashion week, which is a nice way for emerging designers to have a show. It’s chaos doing a show that week, because all of the models are working so much and so are the sample makers. One of my tops wasn’t finished and it was delivered backstage minutes before the show! I was sewing too, until hours before I had to go set up. Fashion week is important because it’s a moment where everyone is focused on what’s new. Being a part of that moment was a like a dream come true.
We love the mainly pastel colours and the combination of a dreamy and cool look of the pieces you create. What inspires you the most?
Lately, I’ve been very inspired by Japanese fashion. I went to Tokyo for the first time this summer and I wanted to bring home every single thing! I am also inspired by certain tumblr and instagram accounts and some of the communities on those platforms. I like to see girls who are expressive with their style and are unique and fearless. Lately, there is a big trend to just show a lot of skin and pretend that is fashion. It’s inspiring to see girls who actually wear clothes well.
You are based in New York City. What do you like about this city and what do you dislike?
I love New York so much it hurts! I lived in London for almost 5 years and I was so happy to come back. New York has a special energy and it really never sleeps! But it does get exhausting and people focus too much on work. I also miss the street fashion in London!
Where do you prefer to shop in New York? Could you recommend really good shops there?
I do a lot of window shopping here- mostly in Soho. And then I actually shop online at Asos way too much. I hit a lot of sample sales, too since I work in the garment district. American Twoshot in the East Village is a cool shop.
Do you wish to move to another city or country or is New York your absolute dream-place?
No…Paris is my absolute dream city! Tokyo would be next.
If you could book a journey spontaneously where would you go?
I have always wanted to see Morocco. But right now, anywhere that it’s summer sounds good!
What are your future plans?
My future plan is to get Sky Ferreira to wear Ex Mermaid! And also, to have Anna Wintour attend one of my fashion shows.
Thank you! ♡