CYFR WORLD’s Founder Olive Hooper Chats to CLR About All Things Brand and Being Seen in the Fashion Industry.
By Amira Hasan | 31st July 2020
CREDIT: OLIVE HOOPER
When you start a business, one of the most important things you need to define is your niche. Without one, your marketing prospects can fall a little flat. Cue CYFR WORLD, a label entwining music with streetwear, which epitomises what it really means to have a strong niche from the get-go.
“I want to create what hasn’t been created already. I want to build my brand with artists and merge their process with mine; piecing it together to make fashion more personal.”
- Olive Hooper, Founder of CYFR WORLD
Fashion Designer and Founder of CYFR WORLD, Olive Hooper, has formulated a design concept merging streetwear with up-and-coming artists, all while maintaining sustainability and a sense of exclusivity throughout. It’s more than just a label you buy - CYFR WORLD is designed to be a community for music lovers. Olive explains that “at the start, people thought this was just artist merchandise,” which couldn’t be farther from the case. The label’s collections aren’t the standard ‘printing a logo on a Fruit of the Loom t-shirt’ process, they are instead formed of unique pieces that can’t be found on the high street.
“I want an artist to feel that their merchandise doesn’t have to be just a t-shirt.”
Shortly after studying fashion design and development at London College of Fashion, Olive dove straight into building CYFR WORLD. She had already built a clientele in her last year of university and found herself thinking “why not?” Once her vision was clear, she focussed on continuing along the path she manifests for herself.
Having interned for Puma, and being offered another internship for H&M at the same time, she explains how in the industry she “didn’t find it particularly difficult to be seen [as a person of colour].” Even with a fundamental lack of light being shone on POC in the industry Olive believes having the right mindset is key and that her goals are not affected by the colour of her skin. Whether that be during her time at university or at work, she never focuses on any negatives that come with the territory of being a black woman in the fashion industry.
Determination to delve right into her creative pursuits proves that Olive’s skills and creative direction always come above struggle. That said, she touches the fact that being the only black woman in her work environments meant she was not able to “relate on a deeper level” with her colleagues. The fashion world is “difficult to elevate yourself within regardless.” Olive has overcome these struggles by pouring her energy into establishing a brand where relatability and elevation are paramount. With CYFR WORLD, her aim is to design pieces which ensure all her buyers, no matter their background, can “relate to the music, the artist and their genre.”
At its core, CYFR WORLD is what collaborations are at their finest; Olive works with up-and-coming artists who influence each collections garments, bestowing the clothing with exclusivity. This exclusivity is amplified by the brand’s commitment to sustainability.“Everything I make is made from end-of-roll material or pre-existing clothing and is exclusive because I end up with 5 to 6 pieces per collection.” Olive intends to build relationships with companies who focus on sustainability and clothing manufacturers who will provide her fabrics on this basis, to ensure long term production of clothing that is not harmful to the environment.
“It’s cool to have only a few people owning my pieces. As CYFR WORLD evolves, I want it to be seen as a label that is accessible while maintaining a small collection.”
One year into her business journey, she has learnt that knowledge is key. “Without knowledge, you have to get everyone else to do the work for you” Olive is a leading example as a young black woman running an independent brand with an approach that is both inspiring and admirable. Her mantra of “keep practicing, keep doing the most” is motivation for any person of colour aspiring to work in the fashion industry.
Diverting from the conventional route of working for another brand, and instead building her own from scratch, Olive has created CYFR WORLD in spite of the negativities faced by POC in the fashion industry. In doing so, she has demonstrated that “always doing the most” with your work and creativity will always pay off with positivity.