So Christina, what is your background and how did FORMULA get started?
My background is in marketing, sales and retail. I’ve worked for some incredible brands and retailers from the beauty & premium beverage industry. I kept hearing the same comments from friends and women in my office that they wanted their clothes to work harder, to be more versatile across work to weekend; an interchangeable wardrobe with both classic and contemporary, weaving them together when they felt like it.
This fascinated me, so after a lot of researching & planning, the idea grew until I realised it’s now or never, so took my savings for a house and decided to take the leap to start FORMULA.
How did you come up with the name FORMULA?
From the concept to combine. The name itself popped into my head at 3am one morning, when I woke up and shouted ‘it’s called FORMULA’, much to my partner’s annoyance.
Tell us a little bit about your typical FORMULA shopper. Who is she?
Our core customer is aged between 30 and 47. She is a predominantly London-based professional woman who works hard and knows what she likes. Time is rare for her, so she wants good quality investment clothes made available to her. Clothes that meet the gap between unwearable catwalk trends and high street fashion.
I started to get a sense of who she was and all was confirmed at our first pop-up shop. It was so refreshing to meet our customers, listen to their needs and see that we are really making a difference to the way they shop.
How have you selected your featured designers and how do you find they complement each other?
I spent a long time knocking on doors and investigating brands. I knew I wanted a mix of much-loved and up-and-coming labels that had a good story to tell. I knew who I wanted straight away and as we’ve grown we have discovered a few new British labels to add into the mix.
Taking the best items from two brands that are right for the audience and combining them for one outfit is the fun bit of fashion, and introducing brands to people who later become loyal fans has been great.
Why do you think supporting new brands is so important?
There are some incredible new labels out there with great stories that are yet to be seen and when introduced to the right audience really flourish. I’ve met some amazing independent brands, who you are able to work dynamically with and create incredible collaborative working relationships.
Do you have a favourite piece or designer on the site?
It has to be The Outsider Jacket by Francis Leon. It’s stylish, feels like a second skin due to the incredible materials the team use and I never fail to get compliments whenever I wear it. For me it’s the perfect understated jacket I’ve worn on weekends with jeans and over a shift dress as a blazer for meetings.
The Personal Formula service you offer sounds really exciting, how does it work?
The FORMULA woman loves the convenience of being able to shop online, anytime—she needs this flexibility in her busy life. However, the pop-up shop really helped us to appreciate the value of adding a tangible face-to-face service or tailored edit delivered to your door, in the form of Personal Formula.
There are two services:
1) Your Personal Edit delivered to your door, where we create a tailored style edit that comprises variations in colours and sizes. The customer chooses what they wish to keep and pays only for those items then returns the rest to us, free of charge.
2) For London-based customers, we offer a Face-to-Face service. We will personally deliver a style edit and talk it through with you at home.
Everyone loves the idea of a fashion office, what’s the FORMULA HQ like?
It’s light, bright and always full of music, many a mood board and of course lots of sample clothes.
How would you describe your personal style?
I always say I am a feminine dresser with a tomboy edge. So a typical outfit would be tapered trousers, silk tee, adding a stylish bomber jacket or statement bag. I am a big fan of ‘Sports Luxe’ as a trend; the materials and shape allow the look to be inadvertently sexy and comfy for running around in.
Go-to place in west London for a summer evening/after work cocktail?
Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill for their cocktail menu. For more intimate chats and a good selection of summer cocktails mid-week it has to be the Jolly Gardener’s pub in Putney.
What is your statement outfit for office to evening drinks this summer?
Invest in a good jumpsuit. For the evening, take your blazer off, have a change of accessories and add a sweep of bright lipstick.
Any fashion or life rules you live by?
My fashion rules: killer heels and accessories are a must! I am only 5ft 1 and the all-important half an inch. So it is rare you’ll see me in flats. Jewellery-wise, I love layering up gold necklaces, rings and bracelets.
Life rules: do what’s right for you. I am aware that I am not someone who follows rules; I know I am someone who goes with my gut. There’s always someone that wants to have their say about how you should run your life/business. Have the courage to know how to handle things that feel comfortable for you.
Finally, be curious, ask questions—I am a talker and I want to know why. It opens lots of doors if you listen and ask questions.
Jetting off to anywhere exotic this summer?
Well, half of my family is Greek, so I am planning to get a little bit of Greek sun later this summer for sure.
And finally, what can we expect from FORMULA over the next 12 months?
We’re going to be experimenting with the way the clothes are viewed online. We are in talks with some exciting new brands and the end of the year sees us take up home at Nancy Victor Gallery, just off Charlotte Street, for our second pop-up in December.