There are two reasons why Australian boutique label The Fable has us utterly captivated.
First up, there’s the obvious lure: the clothes—an edited collection of silk blouses that fall perfectly on the body. They’re the type of wear-me-everywhere piece you can pull out of your wardrobe on any day of the week and feel confident that you’ll look (and feel—this stuff’s soft) like a million bucks. And for under $100, that’s not something you should ignore.
Then, there’s the story behind The Fable: The label’s founder, Sophie Doyle, is in her early 20s and quit her luxury marketing gig in an Eat, Pray, Love–style move that saw her visiting a yoga ashram in the Himalayas. While traveling through India, she stumbled upon a textile factory, and the idea for The Fable was born.
Each shirt is 100 percent silk, and (thanks in part to the Australian exchange rate) delightfully affordable. The classic, slim-fitting cut is available in black, navy, mint, and polka-dot, with a white version coming next year.
The line might be brand-new, but it’s already gaining buzz on Instagram and among the blogger crowd, so we chatted with Doyle to learn a little bit more about her line. If you want to snag a shirt for yourself, head over to The Fable’s website and shop online—the label ships all over the world. This is one impulse buy you’ll be wearing for years.
What sparked the idea for The Fable?
At the end of 2014, I left my corporate job at L’Oréal Luxury, where I had spent four years marketing Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. From there, I traveled to India to spend time at a yoga ashram in the Himalayas. A period of subsequent travel and a series of chance encounters lead me to a textile factory in Jaipur where I saw the production possibility of a product I felt was missing in the market. This was the beginning of The Fable.
How do you make your shirts feel so crazy-soft?
The Fable shirt is 100 percent silk—specifically 16mm sand-washed Indian crepe. It is custom produced by a weaver in Bangalore. I was adamant the fabric must be soft, thick, and weighty yet hand-washable, so this required custom production.
Why have you chosen to specialize in the blouse?
The silk shirt is a product I have for a long time had an affinity with, yet I’ve struggled to find one that met my needs in terms of both quality and price. In other words, I have never been able to find my dream shirt, so I decided to make it myself.
Will you expand into anything new?
In 2016, I will introduce a short-sleeve silk shirt and a new range of colors and prints in the existing long-sleeve.
Whom do you picture wearing and loving your brand?
The Fable woman appreciates quality, considered design, and attention to detail in her wardrobe pieces, although she does not like paying a fortune for them. She sees the value of the silk shirt as a staple and versatile piece to work across her corporate, social, and weekend wardrobe.
What’s been the biggest challenge about getting your label off the ground?
The process of patternmaking and shirt-size grading is highly technical. I completely underestimated this, and it has definitely been the hardest part of the process so far. It took two trips to India, over 50 samples, and a lot of time spent trialing shirts on real people before I approved the final patterns used for production.
And the most rewarding part of starting your own label?
The most rewarding part was when random customers first started purchasing The Fable shirt. People whom I didn’t know or who had no vested interest in supporting me who had chosen to become a part of the brand.
Blue Granite Shirt, $85; at The Fable (Photo: The Fable)