Interview with the Founder of First Base – Alison Cotton

Photo: courtesy

As soon as we came across the brand First Base, we were hooked.

This Australian brand exudes a carefree approach to life with adventure folded in and offers pieces that are unique to the marketplace. Additionally, the brand just recently collaborated with O’Neill on a collection that you will want each and every piece of – more on that later.

Photo: firstbasefit/instagram
Photo: firstbasefit/instagram

Shop the Above: First Base Low Impact Sports Bra for AUD $59.00
First Base Performance 3/4 Legging for AUD $109.00.

Although, with that said, we had to learn more!

Cue our Otter Ten where we got to chat with First Base founder, Ali Cotton.

1. If you had to describe your home area of Perth in three words, what would they be?
“Sun. Salt. Sand.”

2. What do you love most about surfing?
“The rush. It’s not like anything else.”

“Plus, just being in the water with good friends and having fun – it’s like being a kid again.”

Photo: thisisfirstbase/instagram
Photo: thisisfirstbase/instagram

Shop the Above: First Base High Cut 90’s Swimsuit for AUD $109.00.

3. What do we find in your beach bag?
“A lot of coconut oil, a hat, sunglasses, a good book and my iPod.”

4. What would we find you reading right now?
“I’m currently reading Tim Winton [and David Tredinnick]‘s ‘Island Home.’ I love Tim Winton.”

“I just finished the Alexander McQueen biography [by Andrew Wilson], ‘Blood Beneath My Skin’ – amazing read.”

Shop: Island Home: A Landscape Memoir | Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin

5. What would we find you doing on your ideal day off?
“Sunbaking, surfing and swimming – just being at the beach. That’s my most favourite thing to do in the whole world. I’m a much better human when I’ve had time in the sun. No one wants to be around me in winter. Rightly so.”

Photo: thisisfirstbase/instagram
Photo: thisisfirstbase/instagram

Shop the Above: First Base Sex on the Beach Bikini Top for AUD $54.00
First Base Sex on the Beach Bikini Bottom for AUD $44.00.

6. With a lot of traveling, how do you prepare for a long flight?
“I always drink a few litres of water beforehand to try and hydrate, and I make sure I have ear plugs, an eye mask and something to read. They are my absolute essential things I need to travel with.”

“I generally just try to switch off on flights.”

7. What has surprised you the most about the transition you made from surfing/studying marine biology to designing and running First Base?
“Well, I never surfed professionally – that has always only ever been a passion (and not one I’m particularly good at these days), so I cant really compare the two. They are so different.”

“Running First Base is amazing – I live it. I have a great crew of girls which make my days really fun. We make great products, we have Friday beers and occasionally get in a pre or post work surf or swim. It’s a good life.”

8. What has designing for your own company offered you?
“A lot of freedom and a lot of boundaries at the same time. You get to create anything you want but then you have all the responsibility of making it work, making ends meet, making sure your staff gets paid and all that stuff. It’s quite jarring.”

Photo: firstbasefit/instagram
Photo: firstbasefit/instagram

Shop the Above: First Base Fitness Halter Crop for AUD $59.00
First Base Performance 3/4 Legging for AUD $109.00.

9. Of course we are certain this will be hard to narrow down your list, but what’s something from First Base you can’t live without?
“That’s easy! Our Black and White Check shirt – I have three and wear them constantly. Also our V Necks – I don’t even know how many I have of those, but there are multiples in every colour hanging in my wardrobe.”

Shop: First Base Women’s Classic Mens Shirt in Black Check | Killer V Neck and Babe V Neck

10. What designer or brand would you love to see First Base collaborate with (outside of O’Neill of course)?
“I’d love to work with someone like Levi’s – a really old school cult vibe – that would be so great.”

Bonus Question: You’ve mentioned being authentic is important for the brand, including on social media, has there been any stand out challenges or successes you’ve encountered with this model so far? We should note – we love this approach!
“I just go with the flow. It’s not a planned thing. What we post is a reflection of our lives and what we are doing, so it comes easily. Somethings people love more than others, and I feel like there isn’t much rhyme or reason to it – I just try to not be too attached to the results.”

“It’s an outlet to tell the world about the brand and what we are doing. [That’s] pretty cool.”

And, before we close out this Otter Ten, as promised, here’s more on the O’Neill x First Base collaboration.

P.S. We are thinking you should snatch up these pieces before they are sold out, as this is one Otter-approved collection. You can shop the O’Neill x First Base collaboration here.