With no previous experience in design textiles or fashion, former airline worker and university student Alicia Superina saw a gap in the activewear market earlier this year and took a punt, releasing a unique one-piece design and launching her label, sōlo the staple.
How long have you been in business?
sōlo was in the making for almost two years before we launched on Valentine’s Day this year. Prior to launching, I spent a lot of time researching the perfect fabric. I wasn’t going to settle on a fabric until I knew that it was squat proof, sweat proof, thick enough to feel flattering at all times and beautiful to touch.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
Bodysuits are the essence of the label and I really wanted our name to represent this in some way, so I delved into the trusty thesaurus to find synonyms for the word ‘one’. I spent a few days trawling through words until I landed on the word ‘sōlo’. I decided to complement ‘sōlo’ with ‘the staple’, to represent the fact that this garment would become your ‘go-to’, the piece you would always reach for in your wardrobe.
Did you have a background in the fashion industry?
Not at all. I’ve never even worked in retail fashion, and so I have jumped straight into the deep end in every aspect! People assume that I’ve come from other brands and learned the ropes through previous job roles, but this isn’t the case.
Tell me about your decision to go out on your own.
It was a huge decision. In the beginning, I was playing around with the creation of sōlo while writing assignments for university. At that point, I hadn’t invested much money into sōlo, and so it was more a dream rather than a commitment. Eventually, there came the moment where I had to make the decision to invest in order to be able to launch. I remember sitting at my laptop with the cursor on the ‘transfer now’ button. I clicked the button and it all began. The wheels were officially in motion.
What have been the biggest obstacles so far?
As quickly as the excitement of the launch hit, with orders flying in thick and fast, exactly one month later COVID-19 arrived with a bang. Gyms across Australia were suddenly forced to close just a month after our official launch. I was so incredibly lucky that my first order of stock arrived a few weeks before all the factories closed down. I had plenty of stock on hand to get me through a few months’ worth of sales.
My style icon is… I love @pepamack and the way she pulls simple pieces together. Her feed is a dream.
My favourite Aussie designer… LOVE Stories Intimates. Theirs are the pieces I wear every single day. I just love them. I wish they had their own store in Adelaide.
One person I would love to meet… Elyse Knowles. If I could have a face of sōlo, it would be her. I love how transparent she is as a person and I adore her natural beauty!
If I’m not wearing activewear I’ll be wearing…. faded jeans, a lace cami and an oversized unstructured blazer. Shoes will really depend on where I’ll be going that day, but more often than not you will find me in my pair of block-heeled boots.