Fred loves fashion so much he hates it. It frustrates him no end – the thing he loves most is the one thing he will never be able to figure out, to categorize and box into one moniker. You’ve seen his proclamation of hatred plastered on walls, popping up on websites, spreading through YouTube. But just who is Fred?
I sat down with the masterminds behind FHF – Hinny Tran and Danielle Boudville - to answer that very question.
Thara: So what is Fred Hates Fashion?
Hinny: Fred Hates Fashion is a fashion event where runway meets fashion film. It focuses on the collaboration between designers and us (the filmmakers). Basically it makes sure it focuses on the designer’s vision while bringing a new medium to the industry
Danni: The show is also a unique experience for people. It’s different because you find out who the designers are and what their story is. I know that with a lot of creatives if you show someone something and they don’t get your idea it’s really disappointing and frustrating ,cause you’ve put all this work into it and they just don’t see what you want. So that’s what we’re doing with the films and the interviews we do.
Hinny: It’s pretty much a creative way to allow the public to relate to the brand, and overall create a lasting relationship between the two. And also, with the designers they know what they want but they don’t know how to articulate their ideas so we help them out with that – that’s where our expertise comes in.
Thara: What were you doing before Fred Hates Fashion began?
Danni: The first time we worked together was at a charity event I ran last year. I was the organizer and we asked Hinny in the last minute to do a video for us. He saw that I was struggling a bit in terms of my team so he said “I’ll make you a promo video” so he organized this whole production for us. It was awesome.
After that he did some more videos for us as well. After that I was asked to be runway director for a couple of L’Oreal shows, and I asked him to come with me cause I didn’t want to do it by myself. It was kinda fun, cause neither of us had done anything like that before, but it was really…rushed
Thara: Where you guys friends before this happened? How did you manage to find Hinny?
Hinny: Danni dated my brother [laughs]
Danni: And we kinda met at a family function, but we didn’t really talk much, but I knew what he did
Hinny: Yeah I never really talked to her, but my brother told me she was working on this fashion show. When we bumped into each other I sort of jumped on board. I said ‘Yeah your event’s great, but your marketing is terrible. Let me help you out”
Thara: What do you guys do when you’re not working on Fred Hates Fashion?
Danni: I have a background in multimedia, so I have a graphic design job that I sort of do really really casually. I’m also studying science, which is what I thought I always wanted to do [laughs] so it’s really hard, but I’m willing to finish it. However I know now that this is what I want to do. I want to run events.
Hinny: I come from a marketing and business background. I’ve always been confused about what I wanted to do. So I’ve always changed courses and like – I wanted to be a designer, I wanted to do industrial design, then interior design – just always something creative, but I’ve always been quite business focused as well. After being so confused, one day I picked up the camera (three years ago now) and I made a video of myself [laughs]. My first video was of myself and my obsession with fashion – it was just about me changing into thirty different outfits
Thara: Is the video still available?
Hinny: Well I had to take it down cause all these Thai people kept adding me on Facebook [laughs]. On Youtube it allows you to track where all your traffic comes from, and I found it on some Thai boy website and I was like “Ahhh this is terrible!No wonder I have like 50 Thai people adding me!”. Anyway, I took that down – it is still on my Facebook so my friends can still see it.
But what I learned from that was that I got a really good response. People were saying ‘Hey, you made something quite entertaining, you should keep doing it” so I kept doing it, and kept making fashion videos. My friend had a vintage fashion shop so I made a promo video for her, and it just sort of snowballed from there
Thara: So you’re self taught?
Hinny: Yeah, yeah, just a self taught film-maker I guess. And yeah it just kept going from there – people started paying me to make videos for them
Thara: And then you teamed up and both of your skills have just melded together
Danni: Yeah it’s really strange to get a partnership like this. Cause you can’t just go out and try and find it, it just doesn’t happen. You might clash or you’ll just have totally different ideals. So it’s just really bizarre when you say something and someone else just agrees with you, which is what I find with Hinny
Thara: In terms of Fred Hates Fashion, how did that come about?
Danni: So we worked at a couple of events for L’Oreal and MSFW and well we were a bit disappointed with the whole thing. It was a lot less creative than we expected, and we felt like the designers were put second best. The event’s people didn’t really care about them, they just wanted to get stuff out there to run the show. We were backstage and we were talking to the models and the fashion designers and they just had such great stories to tell and they were so passionate about what they did – the event just didn’t do it justice. Later I was talking to Hinny and I said “Do you want to just do it? Just make one [an event]?”
Hinny: I thought it was a joke [laughs], I was thinking “I’m too busy! I can’t start a runway show!”. But we did our last show last year in September, and Danni called me up one day a few months later and said “I can’t do this anymore. I need to do something creative. I’m just going to die”
Danni: I was just a bit dramatic [laughs]
Hinny: So she called a meeting and we met up at a cafe and she had already designed the initial logos. After that the ideas kept coming in. What we found most prominent when it came to defining our goal was that we wanted to brand something that people can relate to. How we went about that was to find what people loved about fashion. What we found however, was as we went on we just felt like “It’s too much! There’s too much that comes up when we think about our love for fashion” and we ended up feeling like “Oohh I hate fashion” [laughs]
Danni: We couldn’t decide, and yeah we just argued with each other about it, and that’s how the idea of ‘Fred Hates Fashion’ came about. One can love fashion so much that you end up hating how much it consumes you. We thought that if you put a name or a person to it then people can connect to it more. That’s why we made up ‘Fred’ who now is iconic. People are like “Do I know that guy from somewhere?” just cause they’ve seen it and we post it everywhere.
Thara: So what current projects are you working on? Your most favourite project you’ve worked on so far?
Danni: In my life, it would be this [Fred Hates Fashion]. Everything else I’ve done has been because other people have told me to do it. This is working so far for me.
Hinny: I do filmmaking outside of Fred Hates Fashion also, so I get just get to do more of what I love. I am currently working on a Jack London shoot, which is pretty exciting. I’ve been hounding them for a while about trying fashion film as a new medium
Thara: So do you guys go out and contact brands asking them to collaborate with you?
Hinny: Yeah we do both hot and cold contacts. We’ve got lots of friends in the industry who we’ve worked for in the past so they all have databases. All we do is say “Hey, we’ve put together a project, send it out to everyone you think would be interested.” So they do, and everyone’s read it and got back to us. We created a website and did our own marketing and generated heaps of traffic and publications that way. But yeah mainly it’s our own marketing.
Thara: So what are your goals for the future? Where do you want to take Fred Hates Fashion?
Danni: As far as it would go [laughs] I want to take this everywhere, even globally. We feel like in Australia, Melbourne is the place to be for events like this. You know Sydney’s up there, but for cultural diversity and creatives getting together Melbourne is the place. I don’t see why we should just limit ourselves to just here – we should go all out, and try do a show elsewhere. Collaborate with both designers overseas and maybe bring some people from Australia over there
Hinny: I think everything we do now is global in a way. On our website we’re getting traffic from overseas – there’s not much consistency from which country it comes from but really anything you post up on the net goes to anywhere in the world in an instant. So with what we’re doing now in terms of films, people all over the world can see it
Thara: So through your journey – start to now – what struggles or obstacles have you encountered?
Danni: This is our first show so we’ve had to cold call everyone. You know, it’s not like we’re a big company that has connections to everything. It’s challenging to get the word out, and build up contacts in the first place. We have a decent amount of people we know here, cause it’s our home town, but we are amateurs and to get people to listen to you when you’re first starting out is really tough
Hinny: I have a particular story I can share [laughs]. Earlier on in the project I thought it’d be great to call – I won’t say who it was – a certain collective designer brand shop, and I was thinking “Wow their brands are great, I should pitch this to them to see if their designers are interested”. So I called them and I told them about the show and they just, grilled me. It killed me. This was at the very beginning of FHF and they were asking me these really hard questions like “Who are you? What do you do? How is your show different?”. I couldn’t answer a single one on the top of my head. It took me by surprise and I was slow to answer. What I got from that was “I don’t ever want to feel like that again. I’m going to go and write down everything he asked, refine our concept and our goals and make sure that never happens again.”I felt so belittled, so I said “No, next time that happens I’m going to be prepared. I’m going to show them”
Thara: What advice do you have for any new starter out there who have plans to create something like this but don’t know how to begin?
Danni: Just do it. Everyone talks about how they want to do something, but how many of them actually do it? With FHF, we just did it. We just jumped in. Once you start you can’t really go back, you can’t give up. You tell people of your plans and what you’re going to do, you’re not just going to say “I’m not doing this anymore” in front of them. You have your dignity, and that motivates you to keep going even when you feel like giving up.
Hinny: I highly recommend making a media kit [laughs] – put together a good media kit, find yourself a good graphic designer, and be nice! Being nice gets you everywhere – you never know who you’re going to meet, or who you’re meeting will end up becoming. Same as yourself. Everyone has potential, so treat them the way you’d want them to treat you. Be consistent with your personality, don’t pretend to be bigger than you are – be humble. Don’t fall into the ‘snobbiness’ of the fashion industry.