Friends of FMF: Esther Ng
As part of a new series, "Friends of FMF", we will be talking to various people from around the community to get their take on all things fashion, while also hopefully letting you learn a little more about them.
For the readers that don't know you, who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
"I'm Esther, 20 years old, from New Zealand and I run Goodbye."
When did you first get involved/interested in fashion, and how long from then did it take you to start Goodbye?
"I started paying attention to fashion when I was like 14 (2011) I just remember being obsessed with what Raf was doing at Jil Sander. Oh yeah and that super Lolita Miu Miu collection, that was tight. I didn't realize fashion was actually something I wanted to pursue seriously 'til last December. So that's when I started taking Goodbye seriously."
What prompted you to start the label and what is your aim for it?
"This is kinda funny actually. I'm a giant dork and wanted to build myself a new PC, so made up an e-com store just to fund stuff like my graphics card and CPU. Goodbye started getting more attention than I expected so just kept working on it."
As someone with a sizeable online following, what is your opinion of social media? How has it impacted you personally, as well as your business?
"The impact of social media is incomprehensible. It's surreal to think about. If you'd asked me 3 years ago what I thought about it I would have told you it was superficial and that I wanted nothing to do with it. If I didn't embrace it I probably wouldn't be doing interviews like this. I've also met a bunch of really fucking cool people through Instagram so I'm thankful for that."
How did your expectations of running a label line up with the realities of running one? What have been the biggest challenges you've faced?
"I didn't really have expectations. We're about improvisation at Goodbye. I think I get that from Rick (Rick and Morty)."
You just returned from the Underground Society event in Melbourne, tell us a bit about the day and your experience as a retailer?
"The event was fun. We ran out of shit to sell in the first two hours. I was mostly just in awe of the support, I love Melbourne and everyone who came by."
What's in store for Goodbye in the future?
"I'm not sure yet, but I'm gonna work on it 'til I get to a point where I can start dropping soft toys and other whack shit I've always wanted to make."
So far you've released your products in small drops, what prompted that? Do you plan to continue it or do you see yourself moving towards more typical seasonal collections?
"I'm kinda not into deadlines, and since we're hemispherical I don't really see the point in seasonal collections anyway."
Give us your take on fashion at the moment - where do you see things going, who do you think is worth watching?
"I haven't really had time to scope out what anyone else is doing...to be honest it's hard to keep up with others when you're constantly trying to maintain your tunnel vision. I saw Gucci was making memes tho. That can stop..."
How do you feel about fashion in New Zealand, do you think it is harder to get something off the ground here than it would be in Europe or the U.S.?
"I think if you have the drive geography is never an obstacle. But you do run into shitty problems you wouldn't have if you were to operate somewhere like America. Just shit like logistics and sourcing is difficult here."
Finally, do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start their own label?
"Fail hard and fail fast. Make mistakes now so you can learn from them."