One of my favorite quotes by Coco Chanel, "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different," is what immediately came to mind when I learned about Friday Lynton, a Brooklyn born and raised fashion designer and owner of FRIDAY BY FRIDAY. After attending LIM College in Midtown Manhattan, Friday ventured out to create a brand of her own that is different from any other I've ever seen. She combined her knowledge of business with her creativity and love for fashion to create FRIDAY BY FRIDAY — a line of handcrafted clothing and objects made from chains. I had the opportunity to speak with Friday recently, and our conversation left me feeling inspired and excited for the future of her brand. We discussed the vision behind FRIDAY BY FRIDAY as well as Friday's personal creative process and how it all began.
I started in 2011 and it started as a completely different thing than what it is now. I used to do headpieces and arm candy; I even experimented with super simple body chains. I was really into creating things and using metals and a lot of hardware to create accessories. I really do believe that's because I grew up around my dad and he uses a lot of metal for work. I'm just really obsessed with that type of material and seeing what it looks like on an actual person!
Friday began with some basic designs, but always knew that she wanted to expand more and create items that have never been done before. About two and a half years ago, Friday had the monumental idea to try making clothing with her chain designs. She wasn't sure if it was even possible to create such items, so she did a lot of research, bought the necessary materials and went from there. As she didn't major in fashion design during college, Friday took on the challenge of teaching herself what she needed to know about design and used her education in the business of fashion to make this endeavor a success.
I'm pretty much self taught but I did go to school for the business of fashion at LIM College in the city. That was the greatest help ever because I know that it's wonderful to create because it gives you a way to express yourself, but you need to know the business behind it. If you don't know where to put the product, who to put it on, how to sell it, when to have it out, it's not going to get out there. You can't run a company or a brand off of simply creating and you'll probably find yourself hiring someone to handle the business aspect.
The concept behind the FRIDAY BY FRIDAY brand is all about connecting women, much like how the chain links in her designs connect together. For the current Season 5 collection, Friday really wanted to bring people back to the core of her brand and give greater understanding of the main identity behind FBF. Every project she did for this season was thematic; each project represents women working together. The photo shoot had an all-female cast and the collection presentation was primarily produced by females as well. There were 21 items total in the Season 5 collection consisting of chain skirts, dresses, bags, tops, and archival accessories. Lots of silver, gold, and bronze metals are always incorporated into FBF collections and in this one, Friday introduced rose gold clothing and accessories as well.
When Friday purchases the materials to bring her designs to life, she purchases the tiny, individual chain links and never ready-made or separate chains that have already been linked together. Friday sees individual women in each of those little metal circles; each link is obviously strong on it's own, but by putting them together she makes an amazing work of art in garment form and also increases the strength. Her goal is to show women the connection between her labor and what they experience in their everyday lives. FRIDAY BY FRIDAY symbolizes that women can work together and that we don't have to be in competition; we should feel strengthened by each other rather than intimidated.
We have so much more of a greater purpose when we come and work together; come together, work together, be together and be comfortable doing it. I also want to show women that they can absolutely be super, super comfortable in their own skin and that they are free to show as much or as little skin as they would like to. Now a days in society, we are taught that if we have too much leg showing that it's inappropriate or that we should cover up our boobs and everything else... But it's our body.
I tell girls this all the time — You've raised this body for how many years? You're alive, this is you, so why should you feel ashamed of what you own?? It's yours! With the pieces being somewhat transparent (even though I add more links now to fill it out a little bit more now) I'm so happy to see that women can proudly walk in the street with it on. Say their nipples do show; f*ck it... Be proud of that — it's your body. You shouldn't let anyone tell you how you should dress. We're celebrating women working together, our sexualites and our feminine woes overall. I feel like those are the two main themes of this season and moving forward with FRIDAY BY FRIDAY.
On July 1st, FRIDAY BY FRIDAY held a "GIRLS IN FBF" presentation for their Season 5 collection. The event took place on the streets of SoHo, NYC; a setting which was perfect for the message and aesthetic behind the brand. One week later, the new FBF website launched with a new ordering process for customers. You can browse through products on fridaybyfriday.com all week long, but you cannot place orders until every Friday afternoon when the online store opens for operation from 3PM to midnight on Sunday. FBF clothing has had such a high demand in the past that Friday felt as though it started to lose it's exclusivity... But this new process is a way to maintain the boutique style of the brand as well as a way to allow customers to throughly think through their purchase and consider it an investment rather than an impulsive buy.
Everything FBF is handmade by Friday and it takes her anywhere from 7 to 14 days minimum to create each item, depending on the style. While we talked, Friday shared some career advice with me and she explained how the creative process disciplined her as a designer + what motivates her to keep going in the face of adversity:
"As creatives, there are going to be so many distractions that take away from your passions and what you want to pursue. Like a great paying job that gives you raises and a paycheck, your friends who want you to go out all the time when you really want to stay home and work on your passion, other people who are doing things that are similar to you who can end up discouraging you, money and trying to fund your passion projects... There are so many things that can try to break you down and push you away from what you were put on this Earth to do. But the best advice I can give to anyone experiencing that is to block the noise. Don't let it deter you from what you're really meant to do — you have to know how bad you want this and how much time you're going to put in to make it all happen.
After I started out, I started seeing more and more people do things that were kind of similar to what I was doing and then I chose to stop looking at other people. I completely stopped looking at other designers who even touch chains. I completely blocked it out because those are the types of things that can really bring you down... Because you may look at someone who's on level 10 while you're only on level 4 and think, 'Wow, why am I not doing this as good as them?'
So the first piece of advice is: don't let anyone deter you; know what you want and stay focused. Two: don't look at what anyone else is doing and compare yourself to their achievements because they are in a completely different stage in their life and career... And that has absolutely nothing to do with what you're doing. Your time will come.
Another thing is to stay consistent — don't try to start with clothing and end up completely left field from that. There are a lot of ways in which you can do brand extensions when it comes to clothing, but don't jump to something like from clothing to ice cream. Find out what you want to do first because a lot of times, our biggest issue is that we don't know exactly what direction we want to go into. So find your direction; find out if it's cohesive with your purpose in life because your purpose is what's really going to drive you. Passion will only get you so far because you can be super passionate about something but have no purpose behind it... Then when the passion dies out, what do you have left? Your passion is kind of like your honeymoon phase where everything is so good, and you love this person, and you guys are gonna have the best time of your lives together... But once that dies out, what do you have? What drives that relationship? What will drive your hunger to continue with your brand? — It's the purpose behind it.
You've gotta know that your purpose is way greater than your current situation. For me, I feel like one of my purposes is to help women and people in general who are creative overall... And when the passion would fizzle out at times where I had to be up at 4AM, three hours before a shoot making a dress and I'm just over it and just wanna say, 'F*ck this, I don't wanna do this anymore...' The purpose behind it and knowing that there is a way bigger picture is what drives me.
Last thing is to just have fun. Don't take everything too seriously because then your creative work may start to feel the same as the 9 to 5 job you chose to quit with that manager you hated. Give yourself time off; have fun with your art and your creations and everything will eventually work itself out." — Friday Lynton, FRIDAY BY FRIDAY
You can learn more about FRIDAY BY FRIDAY by visiting the FBF website at fridaybyfriday.com + keep up with what's new with the brand by following @FRIDAYBYFRIDAY on Instagram and Twitter!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.