Produced from deadstock leather in a small family-run factory in Bulgaria, By FAR is the fashion brand turning out effortlessly cool sustainable shoes. Tapping into their digital ecosystem via Instagram, the brand is truly global and counts A-list fans around the world from Alicia Vikander to Haim to the band. We speak to Valentina, one-third of the trio behind the label:
You founded By FAR with your twin sister Sabina, and close friend Denitsa. Can you describe your working dynamic?
First and foremost we are a family and doing business together makes perfect sense. It’s very much a passion project of ours and the fact that we’re so close is a big plus. Sabina is really good with finance and operations, Denitsa is of course the creative director and artistic vision and I handle PR and marketing. So although we cross check with each other, each of us is concentrated in a specific aspect of the company.
Why the name, By FAR?
By FAR is derived from the first letters of our son’s names; Filip (my son), Alek (Sabina’s son) and Roman (Denitsa’s son).
Your label is based between Bulgaria and Sydney. How do you make that work?
We design in Sydney and produce in a small family-owned factory in Bulgaria. We travel almost every week to Paris, London and NYC. We’re truly global and that’s the beauty of it.
Did your Bulgarian background have an influence on By FAR?
Bulgaria has a great tradition in craftsmanship and many luxury brands produce there (Jaquemus, Prada, Max Mara etc). We decided to explore our options and fell in love with our small factory that’s just a 2-hour drive from Sofia.
What is the sustainability scene like in Eastern Europe today?
Our mindset has always been to be a global brand, we never benchmark with Eastern European brands. At the beginning people were so confused when we tried to explain our sustainability factor – one buyer even asked ‘is this legal?!’ Now everyone is into it and its quite common for brands to work with surplus materials - there’s an understanding that luxury and sustainability can walk hand-in-hand.
Where do you source the deadstock for your shoes?
We have an agent who is constantly collecting left-over leathers rescued from premium Italian material. We hold them back until we find the right style for each of them. Sometimes we’re lucky and get a big quantity, sometimes it’s very little which we use for exclusive small-run Limited Editions for our online store.
How important is social media to your business?
Instagram is the most important medium for the industries that convey beauty, whether that’s in architecture, fashion or lifestyle. It is the digital space where our entire ecosystem comes together; clients, supporters, editors, influencers, creatives, contributors, buyers and even just people who are inspired by our visuals.
What does your day-to-day wardrobe look like? How do you style your By FAR Shoes?
White T-shirt, vintage jeans and By FAR boots!
What does 2018 hold for By FAR?
Next season we’re surprising everyone with our first collection of bags. We’re so excited to share them with you!
How can modern women make more ethical choices when it comes to fashion?
Firstly, Instagram is a great place to be inspired on how to style your existing wardrobe, so there’s no need to buy new items every season. Secondly, look for classic items that you’ll wear at least 30 times, such as a white shirt, jeans and the perfect boots. And finally, choose brands that are more transparent and expensive, because that way everyone in the production cycle gets their fair share.
Shop By Far shoes here