& Mara Tonetti
Tell us about Thursday Sunday’s journey…
We don’t have typical fashion backgrounds—rather, graphic design and commerce. We got into fashion because it allowed us to transform our passion into a legitimate business. Our design philosophy has always been quite simple: to design firstly what is important to us. We continue to do this by surrounding ourselves with the right people, and working hard to constantly challenge ourselves and continue learning.
The fashion industry is a tough one to navigate, and you can find yourself lost within it. We need to constantly remind ourselves of who we are and to stick to our ethos to ensure we are on the right track. We are lucky to have a very supportive crew around us to help motivate and keep us in check! Our journey has been tough at times but it’s very rewarding. To quote Drake, we ‘started from the bottom, now we’re here’ 🙂
How do your personal values shape your business?
Although we have built a business together, we have been friends for over 20 years. We have heard from many people that you should never go into business with your friends; however, we feel this has actually worked in our favour. There is complete trust and honesty grown from our friendship and that transcends everything we do, including Thursday Sunday. There is this natural humility, as we are confident in each other’s abilities and strengths—business and design—and we feel that these complement rather than clash.
The slow fashion movement means…
Appreciating that less is more. Being more thoughtful and taking the time to reevaluate what fashion ultimately is. This means thinking about who you are purchasing from and how your values influence these choices. For us it’s about being a part of the whole process. This has helped us appreciate the time and effort involved in creating collections, from design through to production. It’s something that involves countless long hours and lots of input and skills from many different people.
“There is complete trust and honesty grown from our friendship and that transcends everything we do, including Thursday Sunday.”
How would you describe your relationship with fashion / clothing?
As with anything you are passionate about, it is definitely a love/hate relationship. When things are going well, we are confident and on the biggest high, and that reaffirms our choices. But when we face roadblocks we can feel pretty miserable. That aside, challenges are great because the intensity and thrill makes us reevaluate what we do and prompts us to strive to do better. It’s all a learning curve. In terms of the wider scope of the fashion industry, it’s a scary one. When we start to think about fast fashion and its impact on the environment and small business, it’s actually quite sad. But to create collections in our small way, and to have customers appreciate and acknowledge what we do is a great feeling. We are already seeing a slight shift, but hopefully in the near future there will be a wider shift towards supporting small business in Australia.
Have your attitudes toward fashion changed as you've aged? How so?
Absolutely! We’re now more realistic about the industry and, more importantly, have developed a huge respect and appreciation for the makers and designers behind the scenes. At the end of the day, it’s not rocket science, but for us it’s what keeps us motivated and inspired. With time, your attitude towards it shifts and you put more focus on what it is you want to do. As we continue to grow, we try to focus on exactly what we want our brand to be, rather than on what others want it to be. This way we know that we are creating something we can be proud of. This is something we need to constantly remind ourselves of, because we can get caught up in trying to please everyone.
Who / what do you look to for style cues and why?
Honestly, this is a hard question as each season it changes. For example, for our latest winter collection we took cues from old-school Kung Fu movies. It’s hard to say how this has shaped our designs; for us it’s more of a feeling. We try to get this across with the lookbook shoots and campaign imagery for the season. One thing that never changes is looking closely at fabric, as this dictates our designs. A certain fabric will inspire and bring forward ideas for the new season. There’s never one person that we look to for style cues, as we feel that this is quite limiting.
What is your personal uniform?
IRIS: Trousers, a linen shirt and a hand-knitted sweater.
MARA: Same but mainly black and white. I also love socks.
"As we continue to grow, we try to focus on exactly what we want our brand to be, rather than on what others want it to be. This way we know that we are creating something we can be proud of. This is something we need to constantly remind ourselves of, because we can get caught up in trying to please everyone."
Is there a garment that has had a special place in your life or is linked to a treasured moment?
A hand-knitted piece from our first collection; this thick pure Italian wool oversized olive green jumper. Super soft and slouchy, but very luxe! At the time we were exploring classic hand-knitted techniques, and were drawn to how slow but therapeutic the process was. And perhaps more importantly, how unique and beautiful the finished product was.
What tends to keep you up at night?
Passion and uncertainty. We are constantly thinking of new ideas, and ways to grow and improve our product. Always fine-tuning processes and refining our ideals. As this is not just another ‘job’, it can be hard to switch off when we leave the studio. Nothing is ever perfect, but we can lose sleep over that never-ending pursuit to achieve perfection. The uncertainty of owning your own business is one that definitely keeps us up at night. We constantly question how things will be received, and if it will work the way we envisioned. We are newbies to the fashion world so, as we said before, we are learning every step of the way. At the end of the day, we are doing our best and that’s what counts.
Who has impacted your life the most and how so?
Our families. We are super close with our families, and our relationships and upbringing have really shaped who we are today and in turn, what shape Thursday Sunday has taken. Regardless of what we have achieved, they have always been our greatest supporters. Like all families, they are honest (sometimes brutally) and keep us grounded, so that we remain true to ourselves and don’t get carried away in the industry. From when we started to where we are today, they have always been the same and are reminders that there is also life outside of the label and it is there to be enjoyed.