Inspired by a love for extreme sports, music festivals, chicks who rock and her TAFE studies, Amy Schwarze and her creative team have developed the Ossix lifestyle brand , specialising in custom made, unique swimwear … that’s going global.
Tell us a little about Ossix and how you got started.
The concept of Ossix started back in 2006 around a table at a local bar over a couple of cold ones. In the company of a few talented and creative minds, Cambo, Kingy, Muzza, Big Gav and myself, some ideas of developing a clothing label were thrown around. At that time, I was still studying fashion at Port Macquarie TAFE. I already knew one day I would like to own my own fashion label, but it was from there I got the inspiration to later go on and develop ‘Ossix Swimwear’. My TAFE teacher, Jill Woodlands, had faith in me, and all it takes is one person to believe in you for you to be able to believe in yourself.
Since then, I have been having a blast surrounding myself with an incredibly supportive team; it has been a lot of fun. It’s been really lighthearted so far, as I’ve just been trying get a feel for the market and working elsewhere to finance the business.
The girls who have joined the ‘Ossix team’ and modelled the cossies are some of the coolest, down to earth girls I have met. Not to mention how stunning they are … they have also become some of my closest friends! Nationally recognised model Evy La Feurve jumped on board and really helped give Ossix the initial kickstart it needed to get us up and going – thank you EVY! 🙂
Evy introduced me to our incredible Photographer Laurie Klippel; he is an amazingly talented human being and works all the magic behind the lens. Between the two of us, over the years, we have managed to avoid a photo shoot on the beach (with one exception – GPM Focus!) The goal here is to be creatively different and utilise other cool locations! So far we’ve had a photo shoot in an old Sydney Army Barrack (that was covered in graffiti) and at Middle Head Fort in Mosman; it was built in 1871 and was an amazing place to shoot in. We also had fantastic shoots at the Bago Winery, Horton St in Port and at the old local skate park. Speaking of the skate park … how awesome is the new one? Wouldn’t mind getting the girls in their Ossix gear down there to do another shoot!
So up until now, we have been getting a feel for the industry, letting all the cool chicks know we are here and that we have something different from all the mainstream brands!
Describe the style of Ossix Swimwear?
The Ossix philosophy is based and inspired by our love for extreme sports, music festivals and chicks who rock. For us, it’s a lifestyle – not just about the cossies. The swimwear has a unique hardcore edge, offering something different than the existing mainstream brands. A pair of Ossix cossies can be anything from fluorescent stars, to studded rockstar inspired pieces. Each pair of cossies has a unique quality and individual class.
In next year’s line we’ll be seeing bright, bold lines, cute frills, new fabric designed by artist Adam Murray, and I have even introduced a little lace for an extra sexy look.
What’s the design process for your swimwear?
Well, the first step is the conception of the design! I draw inspiration from latest industry trends, other inspiring labels and music artists! Lady Gaga is full of interesting ideas! I actually get pretty pumped up and come out with some good designs when I’m listening to the Hilltop Hoods and Bliss n Eso – nothing like Aussie Hip Hop to pull your finger out!
So after getting some ideas together, I’ll draw up a few designs, taking into consideration the fabric and accessories I have available to me. Then it’s to the pattern making and design room (my lounge room floor), to get the patterns drawn up and cut out. Once I’m happy with the patterns, I’ll lay out the fabric and cut out the pieces. Then it’s off to the sewing room (the garage, also known as my sewing dungeon) for the next step, which is sewing all the pieces together – kinda like a puzzle! And then a sample is born! I take a few pics of the new sample and show the results to a few key people to get some feedback. If the feedback’s all good, the sample will make the cut and join the Ossix range!
I also specialise in custom made cossies, where I’ll sit down with a client and design a swimsuit to suit them. That’s a lot of fun, and we come up with some fantastic designs.
You now have an online store up and running?
Yep! It’s a very basic site, but it does the job! You are able to check out all the current designs, contact us, find out about Ossix and what we are up to and purchase the swimwear! Online shopping has become a major part of our society; we have a great exchange policy, to make sure you get the right fit. We also have a Facebook page you can like to keep in touch and check out all the gear. Check out the website: www.ossix.com.au
What’s the future for Ossix?
The future is very exciting; the stars are the limit! I’m hoping to start stocking stores up and down the coast to expand the label. Macca from Saltwater wine has been great and gave us a foot in the door. We’ll be breaking into the international market down the track, after getting in touch with a few key industry reps and being featured in a European magazine. We’ll be holding ‘Ossix launches’ and shows throughout the New Year, which are a lot of fun for everyone involved!
We are also looking at holding our own competition: “So you wanna join the Ossix team” to give some new girls an opportunity to join the modelling team! We are always on the look out for talented surfers, bodyboarders, skaters and snowboarders to Join the Ossix ‘RIDE’ team and represent Ossix.
Continuing to support youth mental health in the Hastings, the happiness and wellbeing of our teens, is something I’m really passionate about. Raising awareness about depression and other mental health issues is important to us, and we are looking forward to seeing the new headspace up and running here in Port Macquarie!
A board short line could be on the cards; I’m constantly getting asked by the boys for boardies! I’ve actually had a few young guys ask for budgie smugglers! I’m always up for making those if the boys are game enough to wear them! Basically, the future of Ossix is about having a lot of fun, enjoying the ride and bringing as many people along the way to enjoy it with me!