Q&A: Founder and Designer Rachel Mellers
In celebration of Women's History Month, we're introducing to you the beautiful women behind Apéro. We couldn't think of any better way to start than to introduce to you the heart and soul of Apéro, Rachel Mellers. Creative director, designer, founder, and all-round amazing woman, Rachel, is a girl boss, a visionary, and an absolute angel to work with. We sat with her recently to find out more about where Apéro began and what inspired her to pursue her passions.
What does Apéro mean to you? How do you think that has evolved?
It honestly started out as a bit of a passion project and a way of creating something that was my own. I wasn't sure boyfriend t-shirts would even take off, but it was a starting point so I just went with it. I never would have expected Apéro to grow so quickly, but I feel so grateful that it has. I absolutely love coming to work every day and doing what I get to do. We have been so lucky to find wonderful people and create a star team that we get to share it with each day.
Why the name Apéro for your label?
The Summer before I started Apéro, my husband and I travelled to Italy & France. While we were there we were introduced to the French tradition of an 'aperitif' before dinner and would go out and have delicious snacks and cocktails before dinner every night (also often with an epic view). It was a great vibe watching people out with their friends, laughing and savouring the social time they had before dinner and was something I remembered about the trip and connected so many amazing memories to. When I thought of the name Apéro for the label, I instantly loved it because it has a great meaning and connected so strongly with me and I knew it would do the same for others.
What's one thing you love about being a woman?
I love the level of thought women put into things. We may get caught out overthinking things a lot of the time, but I think it shows how much women care and is such an amazing trait that women possess. There needs to be that level of thought and care in the world.
What is a charity organisation supporting women that you think people should know about? Why is this organisation important to you?
A21 - this organisation aims to eradicate slavery and human trafficking through raising awareness, intervention and providing aftercare for those who have been rescued. I think it's so easy to forget how blessed we are to be born FREE and with so many opportunities at our fingertips. So many girls and boys around the world are born into slavery. Can you even imagine? It's mind-blowing and needs to be stopped! FREEDOM should be every human's basic right. A21 are an awesome charity fighting for this cause!
What was your childhood dream job?
To be a fashion designer. I have loved fashion ever since I was a kid and use to draw dozens of designs each week. It's pretty cool to now be living out my childhood dream. I recently found some of my designs from when I was young and it was hilarious to look back on. Knowing the cycle of fashion these days I should probably be trying to get inspo from my younger self anyway 😂
What was your favourite piece from your current collection to design?
I loved designing the Poppy Anglaise Top. It was one of those shapes and fabrics that I wasn't sure would work together, but when the sample came back I instantly loved it. It's an easy piece to dress up or down and I know I will have it in my wardrobe for years to come.
What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Self-doubt is a big one and it is one that I have to mentally overcome daily. We are our own harshest critic and it's so easy to compare ourselves to other people and other brands and doubt what we do. I have to remind myself to not doubt myself when I see other people doing cool things, but instead be inspired to work harder and keep moving forward in my own way.
Do you have any advice for women trying to pursue a fashion design career?
Try to get as many fashion internships and hands-on experience as you can before diving in - connections are key in this industry. I found internships were the best way to be able to observe different roles in the industry and get a feel for what I liked and didn't like. Often study is great, but it doesn't always prepare you for the real world and I found the best way to learn is on the job through people who I could look up to and ask a million questions.