The brand name is an abbreviation of Ausrie Felice, the real name of its owner, a Lithuanian artist, model and designer who has lived in the UK for many years and is currently based in Peterborough.
Her trademark designs are eyecatching, glamorous bodycon garments, many decorated in gothic/rock/ heavy metal style with inverted crucifixes, iron crosses, ankhs and other appliqué symbols, not to mention a liberal sprinkling of studs and chains.
The Ausrie Fel designs you’ll see in this article’s galleries, in her Etsy store and on her Facebook and Instagram pages, include some items made in multiples. But one-offs are the designer’s primary focus.
“I love making one-offs to offer people a chance to have something unique they cannot get anywhere else,” she says. “This is what I love doing most as it keeps me creative and happy as an artist.
“I find it really hard to concentrate when I have to remake the designs I’ve previously made and offer them as ‘made to order’ as it doesn’t excite me at all. However, it’s good for business to have that option.”
She models and photographs a lot of the clothes herself — two jobs for which, it must be said, she is well equipped — and works with a variety of other models and photographers sympathetic to her aesthetic.
And as for the pronunciation of her name, she explains, “the first syllable is like ‘mouse’ without the ‘m’, and the second is pronounced ‘ria’, as in Austria”. Got it? Good!
I tell her that when I Googled ‘Ausrie’, practically every search result referred to her or her label. So using her own name for her business turns out to have been a great choice for search engine optimisation.
I ask her how advantageous she has found this to be.
“I haven’t given it much thought to be honest,” she says. “Lots of people are having a hard time spelling it correctly, ha-ha, but personally I love it since I wanted to call my line under my actual name.”
It turns out that her decision about where in the UK to base herself was equally without artifice. She didn’t actually travel more than a thousand miles from Lithuania with the specific intention of setting up a latex label in the wilds of East Anglia.
“I’ve relocated about 13 or 14 times since moving to the UK due to various circumstances in my life,” she explains.
“Peterborough wasn’t a place I was instantly drawn to move to, but it just happens my cousin lives here in a place by herself, so she invited me. I’ve only been living there since spring 2018.”
Reading her bio on Facebook, which is short but still about 500 percent more detailed than most latex
With interest in veganism rising, quite a few fetish labels have latched onto latex clothing’s vegan credentials as a potential marketing angle.
But I think this is the first time I’ve seen a latex designer use the words ‘cruelty free’, a term more frequently found in the marketing of cosmetics. So how important is this to Ausrie Fel — or to her customers?
“I created that page a million years ago,” she explains. “But yes, I was very focused to mention ‘cruelty free’ everywhere I could back in the day.
“I have customers occasionally asking if casein [mammalian milk protein] is used in latex sheeting production, or if my other fabrics are vegan friendly — since I love to use different fabrics in my design production.”
The first appearances of Ausrie Fel as a designer on the web seem to date back to 2013, when she launched a latex collection called Love Spell.
It was distinctive for that time, but with its contrast trims and bows, was characterised more by cuteness than by the in-your-face sexiness the label is now renowned for.
However, it transpires that 2013 was only when the designer first went public with her latex creations.
“I began playing with latex much earlier; actually I bought a ‘latex making kit’ when I first arrived to the UK. I used to make little items for myself just for photo shoots, as I used to model a lot back then.
“In 2013 I started making more daring items such as dresses, my first pair of leggings and then a catsuit eventually — which was very challenging for me since I had no idea what I was doing or how patterns work, but I kept going.
“I made lots of mistakes, wasted a lot of expensive fabrics, but it was all worth it in the end. It was pretty much just a start and that’s how Love Spell was born.
“I have always known, however, that ‘cute’ isn’t the style I want to go for, as it does not reflect me as an artist nor a person either. And it doesn’t please me enough to continue, so I moved on from it quickly.
“As a lover of metal and rock I quickly realised how much energy I had to express my craft and show it to the world — or else I’d go mad. So I just followed where this energy guided me. Simple as that.
“Moving to the UK definitely helped to broaden my horizons. It was hard living in the country I’m from, as it is still quite close-minded on many levels.
“Don’t get me wrong; I still like to make a cute outfit now and then. But cute in a gothic/romantic way, I guess.”READ MORE – GO TO PAGE 2 OF 2 QUICK LINK:
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