Mayfield Muse: Julia McCarthy // Friends with Frank 


Name: Julia McCarthy

Label: Friends with Frank

How did you start?  

Friends with Frank was a side hustle for me for many years when it first originated, but the brand really started to blossom when I took the plunge and quit my full-time job and focused on the business as my number one priority, which was about four years ago. I haven’t looked back since that day and am so grateful to be doing what I love every day and working alongside my amazing team. 

What inspired you to create your label?

 I thought there was a real gap in the market for well-made and considered wardrobe classics at an accessible price. I design pieces that I love to wear. I have built on this every season but many of our styles have been core classics in our range season after season (for example our Camilla coat and Mimi jacket and most recently our Cleo dress).

 Describe your brand in three words… 

Classic, quality, wearable

Favourite item this season?

 I must say that this season is the most 'me' collection I’ve ever created. The stripe Rae shirt is my absolute go to which I love to wear with our Drew trousers.

 Who’s your style icon? 

Phoebe Philo, who was the Creative Director of the iconic 'old' Celine, is probably the first influence that comes to mind. Her style epitomises that effortless French sensibility. 

First big fashion splurge you ever made? 

My first big fashion splurge was an Acne Studios leather jacket from Green with Envy. The quality and classic shape has stood the test of time as I’ve had it for ten years now and still wear it every winter. 

Biggest ever fashion mistake? 

Loud large-scale prints. 

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A quote someone relayed to me once and has really resonated with me as a small business owner: “What is on the other side of fear? Nothing.” 


Morning beverage of choice?

Extra hot almond latte. 

​Something you’ve read/watched/listened to that has inspired you lately? 

I love listening to Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast. It’s very humbling listening to notable people being vulnerable and talking about the mistakes that have shaped them into the people they are today. 

Favourite colour (or fave colour right now) and why do you love it? 

I’ve been drawn to all shades of green of late. I love our apple hue for Spring Summer and moss and sage which feature in our recent Autumn Winter 21 range. We’ve recently finished renovating our family home and I found myself drawn to adding green into our interior choices. We even have a beautiful green carpet in our bedrooms. 


Favourite place to holiday?

 My heart is always in Italy. My mum is Italian, and her love of Italy has filtered down to me – I think I’m in love with their simplistic lifestyle. I’m hoping my husband Tom and I can take our daughter there one day soon. My ultimate dream would be to produce some beautiful Italian made pieces in the future. 

What’s next in the world of Friends with Frank? 

So many exciting things are on the horizon for FWF so stay tuned! But first I’m excited to be back in the office with my team (and off zoom!) after being in lockdown for a lot of 2021.


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