A year and a half after opening the doors at No. Eight Faraday Street, friend of Denizen and Faradays Co-Founder and Creative Director, Constance von Dadelszen, gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of an entrepreneur in the world of luxury.
My husband and business partner Edward and I founded Faradays with the aim of providing a globally relevant and redefined luxury shopping experience to New Zealanders. Faradays caters to a breadth of clients, from seasoned luxury shoppers to those who are more broadly lookingfor an immersive fashion, décor or dining experience that leaves them feeling inspired.
As the borders have gradually reopened it has been a delight to also welcome visitors from all over the world. There’s something really special about meeting people who have heard about Faradays internationally and have made a point of coming in to experience it in person — from brand lovers looking for that globally sold-out piece, to architects, interior designers, and even professors who’ve taken photos to share back home with their staff and students (and for that we must give thanks to our wonderful partners at Cheshire Architects who helped us bring our vision to life).
As both a co-founder and the creative director, my role changes everyday as it sees my governance across every element, from the pieces we stock to visual merchandising, and even marketing creative, all the way down to our packaging, gift wrapping, interior scents and in-store playlists. It is an all-encompassing role that ensures every touch point speaks to the story we are looking to tell, be it for the season, for a designer, or for the Faradays brand as a whole.
When it comes to buying, it can be difficult in this industry not to become a slave to trends. To ameliorate this, I analyse every piece that I am presented, asking who is the client, how would this fit into their lifestyle and will they be happy with their investment?
My philosophy is to balance seasonal items with what we call ‘core’ or ‘library’ products from each brand, meaning that someone can repurchase that iconic pair of trousers in different colourways year after year from Alaïa (for instance) if they absolutely love the fit, whilst also feeling as though their purchase is a timeless one.
A recent favourite brand arrival has to be Olivia Von Halle. Aside from the exquisite quality, Olivia just has a way of designing the most beautiful pieces and fabulously fun prints that bring pure joy to everyday life. I love that her versatile pieces can be worn just as comfortably as sleepwear or loungewear and is as appropriate for the day as it is for nighttime occasions.
In terms of what’s on the horizon, securing Celine has been a part of the Faradays dream since our inception and we are beyond delighted to be exclusively stocking the brand’s full ready-to-wear and accessories collection from winter this year, as its appointed flagship store in New Zealand.
I’ve been a Celine fan for decades, having collected vintage pieces since I was in my twenties, and I couldn’t be happier to see its incredible growth under Hedi’s tenure into a now highly-respected household name.
Our most recent buying trip was to Paris earlier this year, for our first official Celine buy. It was a short trip compared to our usual fashion week escapades, with just a whirlwind five days on the ground.
When it comes to packing for trips like that, I always work to a particular colour palette, so I know everything will work well together. I also think about the meetings we have or the suppliers we are seeing, to ensure I’m representing a little of each brand and am always appropriately dressed for the venue. One of the things I adore most about Paris is that restaurants have dress codes and people are respectful of them, so I tend to pack my more glamorous or bold pieces (as I know I’ll actually get the chance to wear them).
Everytime we go to Paris for work, we try to make a habit of staying somewhere different, so as to be able to experience different areas of the City. In our most recent trip we stayed at Madame Rêve in the 1st arrondissement. I loved that it was so close to the Musée de l’Orangerie, one of my favourite museums, as well as the fashion offices of our suppliers.
For me, a typical buying day in Paris usually starts at 6am with coffee and patisserie. My new favourite is Les Copains — listed as the best gluten free pâtissier in the whole of Europe. My husband is not a baked goods kind of guy, but even he admitted that the baguette here was life changing!
Once sufficiently caffeinated I check in with family and my Faradays team back home. After that I’ll run through what we need to buy for the season. I’m buying collections that are between six months to a year in advance of when they land in stores worldwide, so I’ll also review what else will be in store at the same time, to ensure that everything feels cohesive.
The rest of the day consists of back-to-back meetings and buys around the City, lunch with one of our suppliers and a lot of traffic before a quick change back at the hotel, a meeting over drinks at the resident bar, and then dinner out with another brand. Anywhere that the Paris Society Group runs is wonderful; Maison Russe was an excellent night out this time, the décor is incredible, as is the live music.
Before I go to bed (around 1am) I check emails, send social media content to the marketing team and buy drafts to my buying team.
So much that I love is in abundance in Paris — art, fashion, food, wine. It sounds so horrendously cliché but I always feel reinvigorated and inspired when I return home from visiting, even if I’ve had hardly any sleep.
At the Louvre, I bypass the crowds around the Mona Lisa and head straight for the beautiful Salle des Cariatides. Filled with Renaissance statues throughout, it is the most breath-taking room of any art gallery or museum I’ve ever visited.
In January, I also walked past the reasonably new Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection about ten times with the intention of visiting, but I kept running out of time. It will be the first on my list for the next trip.
People-watching is also something else in Paris. As we all know, the French women have dressing down to a fine art. It’s all about balance; if the outfit is showstopping, they balance it with minimal hair and makeup. Conversely if they’re wearing a super casual outfit, they balance it with chic hair, makeup and considered accessories.
I love the way that Parisian women are unapologetic in the way they dress for themselves. They may be wearing one or two items that are ‘trending’, but they always style them in a way that suits their own aesthetic.
On the subject of trends, for 2023 I’m predicting (and rejoicing in) the move away from what I call homogenised dressing. That paint-by-numbers style that we are being told to buy into on social media, i.e. “build your capsule wardrobe with these exact pieces.” While the sentiment of buying quality things to love and wear forever is absolutely my ethos, I think this particular approach has been slowly killing individual style over the last few years.
“I’m looking forward to a return to more distinctive points of view, from both designers and fashion enthusiasts. Holistically, this has always been the aim of what we offer at Faradays, and this year it will only broaden”.
We’ve just confirmed another cult-favourite brand that we’ve worked with for years in production. It will be bringing its own line to New Zealand for the first time later this year, exclusively through Faradays, which is something I am incredibly excited about, and know our clientele will be too.
By the time this magazine goes to print, we’ll have also received our next Alaïa collection which is just beautiful beyond words. We’ve catered to our core Alaïa devotees since day one, but the brand is on such a (well deserved) growth curve of awareness and interest which is so special to see.
Our vision overall is to be the definitive antipodean destination for the world’s most coveted luxury goods, via our store, bar and online emporium; we can’t wait to present what’s next”.
Constance’s Top Picks for the season
Alaïa Black Blazer “The ultimate investment piece that returns season after season. I don’t own this yet, but it’s on my wish list.”
Valentino XXII Squared Sunglasses “Classic with a twist, they are the most beautiful quality and are worth it for the price tag.”
Alaïa Heart Bag “I chose this bag because it adds so much personality to any outfit. I especially love pairing it with tailoring because it softens a very tailored, all-black look. It also brings a smile to my face each time I wear it.”
Alexandre Vauthier Wide Leg Trouser “Alexandre is famous for his party wear but his trousers are also the most perfect cut. I have three pairs so far and will be adding more to my wardrobe in due course, as I wear them constantly.”
Loewe Black Rose Bootie “I have the sandal version of these -— not only are they a work of art, but every time I wear them I get compliments. Coming into the winter, if I didn’t already have mine, I would 100% invest in the bootie.”
Loewe Aura Pink Magnolia “A signature scent of mine, I love that this smells so different and beautiful on different people, it’s an incredibly transformative scent and it lingers all day.”
Bordelle Kora Basque “Bordelle does the perfect crossover between lingerie and everyday-wear, and this corset is my favourite piece by the brand thus far.”
La Bouche Rouge Lipstick “One of the most gorgeous inside-and-out beauty brands in the world. There is never not a La Bouche Rouge lipstick in my handbag or on my dressing room table.”