We’re getting very close to the end of 2019 – what an action-packed, crazy (in a good way) incredible year it’s been so far for all of us at Fashion Equipped. We’ve attended innovative industry events, held successful SYFB meetup and Live events at our Melbourne headquarters, and launched our shiny new Free Online Masterclass (have you taken it yet?) We’ve also continued to meet lots of aspiring Fashion Business owners, eager to find out who we are and what we offer at Fashion Equipped.


Since launching in 2012, founder Elizabeth Formosa has assembled a superstar team of experts from a range of disciplines – from Marketing to Creative Direction to Design to Sourcing (there’s a lot to cover!)

Each of the Fashion Equipped team members shares Elizabeth’s drive to equip up-and-coming fashion business owners with the skills, motivation and most importantly, confidence to succeed.

So without further ado, we’d like to introduce YOU to the faces behind Fashion Equipped – our team of passionate experts, some who have been on the FE journey from the beginning, and some lovely new faces we’ve welcomed onboard over the last 12 months.

ELIZABETH FORMOSA – Founder + Fashion Business Consultant 

Elizabeth founded Fashion Equipped after nearly two decades working in the ever-competitive and fast-paced fashion industry. Her passion for sharing her wealth of fashion business knowledge spurred her to launch Fashion Equipped back in 2012. She’s known for her enthusiasm, attention to detail and genuinely investing in her clients and their fashion business journeys. Through her consultancy and mentoring, she has helped dozens of fashion business owners find the confidence and skills to grow their business.


What’s the best thing about running your own business?
‘Running your own business is dynamic, and I love that! Every client, each day and every project varies to the next and that’s exciting! Most of all, I love being in a position to help others. I’m passionate about passing on industry knowledge, connecting our clients with the industry and bringing together a collective team who want to do the same!’

What’s something you couldn’t live without?
‘At the moment, that’s regular yoga and daily meditation! Running a business, working with multiple clients and managing a team is dynamic and lots of fun, but it also takes a LOT of energy and it can deplete you at times. I am all for a bit of self-care and avoiding burn out. I’m still not perfect, but it has been a big 2019 goal of mine!’

What’s something you wish you’d known when you started your business?
‘When I started my own wholesale business, I had already been working in the Fashion Industry for 15 years. But this still did not stop me from going through feeling isolated and overwhelmed. You see the people I worked with ‘in’ the industry all wanted to help and meant well…but at the end of the day they were not ‘invested in my business’ and they had limited time.

So I wish I knew who to reach out to as a professional mentor, where to find help, guidance and how to upskill quickly.’

MANUELA CASTELLUZZO – Product Development + Sourcing + Creative Consultant

Manuela is a senior member of our Consultancy team, and has been with Elizabeth since the beginning of Fashion Equipped. She’s loved by our community for her style, creativity and wisdom, and has over 20 years’ experience in fashion design and product development.

Her areas of experience include Creative Direction, Design, Product Development, Offshore Sourcing, Sales and Team Management. She’s worked in a variety of disciplines including Womenswear, Menswear, Childrenswear, Sports Apparel and Accessories.


Why do you love working in the fashion industry?
‘Fashion is who I am, and I think of it as my life’s greatest passion. It all started when I was 3 years old, and I started creating dolls clothes from the offcuts that my mum and Noona gave me as they were making clothes in their sewing room. This gradually grew into a lifeline project to never stop creating and using things that others may see as ‘offcuts’ to create something truly unique and beautiful.’

What’s your best insider fashion advice?
The fashion industry is a ‘way of life’, NOT a job!’

What’s a quote you live by?
“Do what you are PASSIONATE about and you will never work a day in you life” – Mark Twain’

ANNA DOVE – Client Experience Consultant

As a fashion business owner who completed the SYFB Programme herself, Anna joined our team as our Client Experience Consultant who’s role involves supporting, nurturing and growing the Fashion Equipped and SYFB community. She uses her firsthand knowledge of the SYFB experience to onboard new members to ensure they’re getting the most out of their experience and feeling completely in their element from day 1. 

Anna also manages all enquiries from those wanting to join our community, and is the friendly face who ensures our clients and prospective clients are taken care of. We think you’re a superstar, Anna!


How do you describe your style?
‘My style for as long as I can remember has always been on the dressier side. I love colour, dresses and maxi skirts. I don’t follow trends too closely. I choose items that I love and know that I will wear for years to come. I buy quality pieces over quantity.’

Who inspires you and why?
Clare Press the Sustainability Editor of Vogue Australia. Clare is at the forefront of sustainability in fashion. She has written two books on the topic, speaks at fashion industry events around the world and has her own podcast. I’ve met her on several occasions. She’s funny, warm and passionate about spreading the word on sustainable fashion (you can follow her blog ‘Wardrobe Crisis’ here!)’

What’s your favourite thing about your role?
‘Listening to our clients talk about why they want to start their own fashion brand, supporting them in the creative and business implementation, and then watching their brand come to life.’

ANA TOTH – Graphic Designer 

We are very lucky to have a talented graphic designer, artist and branding expert on our team! Ana makes sure our visual identity stays fresh and polished, as well as working 1:1 with our clients to develop branding that perfectly suits them. 

Ana recalls that she has always been a creative soul, getting told off in maths class for ‘doodling’ in her textbooks, and receiving a graded workbook from a teacher with the comment “If this was Studio Art then this would be an A+…but seeing as this is Foundation Maths, it’s a D” (Oh dear!). Ana is driven to share her creativity with all of our SYFB clients, and her talent, positivity and energy fits right into the team!


Why do you love working at Fashion Equipped?
‘The diversity of clients. I have had the pleasure of working with children’s-wear as well as ladies apparel, accessories, activewear (to name a few), which keeps my creative mind on its toes. It’s certainly never boring!’

What’s your favourite thing about your role and which 3 words would you use to describe it?
‘Three words would be: Creative, Challenging, Diverse! I love bringing clients’ stories, ideas and visions to life through design, photography and digital content.’

What’s your favourite fashion label?
‘Decjuba or anything black – being born and raised in Melbourne, black makes up 99.9% of my closet!’

ALEX MEAR – Lingerie & Swimwear Consultant

Alex is a lingerie & swimwear designer and expert in preparing tech packs and petters (a skill that is in HIGH DEMAND!). Alex has worked for major brands in the industry and we are lucky to be able to offer her expertise to our clients. She knows how difficult it can be to get a good understanding of the tech side of fashion, so is here to educate and encourage up-and-coming fashion business owners to master it!


What are 3 words you’d use to describe your job?
‘Creative, challenging and technical’

What’s your best insider fashion advice?
‘A good fitting bra is the foundation to every great outfit’

Explain why you do what you do?
‘There’s really never a dull day working in fashion, and I love it! My love of fashion has always driven me, as well as a fascination with the structure of corsets, which got me into the specialised area of contour fashion. Now with many years of industry experience, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others to help them achieve their fashion dreams.’

SONIA BAVISTOCK – Social Media Coach

This woman is an absolute shining star, and we are so pleased to have had her join the FE team over the last 12 months. Sonia is a copywriting and social media guru, and owner of her own business, Scribe & Social. She heads up our Social Media Coaching Programme, which has specifically been designed for fashion business owners to learn about and OWN their social media channels. The 1:1 coaching format also makes this programme a fantastic solution for business owners wanting tailored, targeted strategies with maximum results. 

Sonia is a great example of a passionate business owner and wonderful mentor who is driven by the desire to help up-and-coming business owners establish a social presence with substance and style. 


What’s your super power and how would you describe your role in 3 words?
‘My super power is Brand Storytelling and I’d describe my role as Coaching, Cheerleading and Connecting.’

What’s your favourite thing about your role?
‘I’m super passionate about helping my clients discover their unique stories and empowering them to share those stories in their own voice and in their own way, as well as giving them the confidence to show up, stand out and be seen.’

And to finish on an important note, tell us a random fact about you!
‘Well, I’ll give you TWO random facts:
1. I never learned to ride a bike (yes way!)
2. I can’t swim!
– and I don’t let these things stop me from having one heck of a ride in life!’

ALEXANDRA MCLEOD – Designer and Product Developer

Alex is a fashion designer who has worked for one of Australia’s most iconic retailers, Country Road. After gaining 6 years of experience as a Commercial Women’s Designer, as well as working for the leading designer platform, NJAL – showcasing and nurturing contemporary fashion pioneers – Alex took the leap to forge her own creative vision by starting her atelier, MARIANNE.

In addition to launching MARIANNE, a women’s silk shirting and scarf label, Alex has come onboard as a Fashion Equipped Design Consultant to help others on the same journey. Alex is dedicated to good design with strong execution and is excited to assist fellow SYFB members bring their designs and concepts to fruition.  


Tell us a bit about your background (where you grew up and how you were drawn to fashion):
‘I grew up in the country and have a strong memory of sitting on the floor as a young girl watching Mum be styled by her favourite shop stylist in clothes all the way from the city (Melbourne). That’s where my love of refined fabrics, shapes and fit comes from.’

Why do you love working in the fashion industry?
‘People should have choices and feel good in what they wear, whether that’s the way the fabric feels on their body or how confident it makes them feel when entering a room.’

Who inspires you and why?
‘Phoebe Philo for her vision, talent and sensibility and Maya Angelou for her kindness, wisdom, determination and love.’

KATIE O’KEEFE – Designer

Katie is a womenswear apparel designer with 15 years’ experience working on brands in the UK and her adopted home of Australia.

She’s currently the womenswear designer for a Melbourne youth denim brand, but has also worked on streetwear, outdoor and technical clothing and has a background in textile design. Katie has strong creative, colour, graphic and trend analysis skills and a broad market awareness to help build a commercial range. Having worked in smaller businesses, she’s also highly experienced in production from initial concept to manufacture (she also likes to think she’s a bit of a whizz at Adobe illustrator and tech packs, and we definitely agree with her!)


Why do you love working in the fashion industry?
‘I love that I get to work in an industry that lets me be creative every day! It’s fast paced and no two days are the same, I also get to work with an amazing team of people to bring our designs to life.’

How would you describe your style?
‘I’d describe it as eclectic – a mix of high street, vintage and lots of denim. My style is quite feminine but I love toughening up a floral dress with sneakers and a leather jacket!’

What’s your favourite thing about your role?
‘I love seeing someone walk down the street or on Instagram wearing one of my designs…nothing beats seeing your designs coming to life’

ANDREA GOULDING – Kidswear Business Mentor

Andrea is our latest wonderful addition to the Fashion Equipped team, starting as a 1:1 Consulting client in 2014 with her gorgeous childrenswear brand, Kapow Kids. She’s a fantastic addition to the team because she knows hands-on not only what it is to be a fashion business owner, but has also experienced the end-to-end Fashion Equipped offering. 

She will be providing her expertise when it comes to planning, launching and growing a Kidswear brand and business. Her passion and love of helping people is unparalleled, and we’re so glad to have her on the team.


What’s your favourite thing about your new role?
‘I love helping people – it’s something that I can’t help from doing! And I love to motivate people to follow their dreams, just like I did when I first started my brand, KaPow. If I can do it, anyone can.’

Why do you love working at Fashion Equipped?
‘I’ve been working with Elizabeth since 2014, I love how knowledgeable she is on all things fashion. She has helped me so much to get my brand to where it is today and I have learnt so much so now I want to pass on my knowledge to other brands who are beginning their kids fashion journey.’

And finally, what do you do to relax?
‘To relax I am at home, in my pyjamas with my two kids and hubby! And probably doing a face mask (I’m obsessed with beauty in addition to fashion!)’


3 Steps You Can Take: 

Step 1: If you want to make The Fashion Business, YOUR Business and would like to work with Elizabeth and her Team, then book a FREE 15-minute Discovery Call with our client experience consultant Anna Dove to find out how. Click here to book yours!

Step 2: Take our FREE Online Masterclass, and gain access to a Complimentary Mentoring Video Call with Elizabeth valued at $250. Book your spot and start learning today.

Step 3: Join our ‘Start Your Fashion Business’ Programme & Community to learn online, join Coaching Calls, gain access to WGSN, receive invites to exclusive live events and get lifetime access to our Private Facebook Group. 

Sound good? Find out more HERE!