What is D&D?
Guest editor for a week: Amanda Fox
Our first piece of media coverage was in Vogue Australia. I awoke one morning with a phone call from someone called Damian who I thought said he was from ‘Globe Magazine’. Thank goodness I mis-heard him because if I had of known it was Vogue I would have stuttered and stammered my way through the interview.
From then, we received lots of exposure and our Wedges sold out. It was time to grow the brand and to add new products. I started making jewellery from the kimono remnants. It was important to maximise the number of shoes we could make per kimono, so once these were made I took the remnants and made them into rings, pendants and hair accessories, making sure every little scrap was used.
I was living in a brand new city (Melbourne) with no connections and had to ‘start from scratch’ in a place filled with talented people and beautiful products. For the first time in 10 years, I didn’t have a full time job. It was make or break time.
I started selling my shoes, bags and jewellery at a market in South Melbourne and from that found my first stockist. I was also lucky enough to meet the curator of Fashion Exposed who encouraged me to apply for Debut at Fashion Exposed – a curated launching pad for up and coming designers. I applied and was accepted. The pressure was on because I had to design an Autumn/Winter 2010 collection and my target market were not ‘end consumers’ but ‘shops’ and ‘stockists’. I had never worked this far in advance before and had 3 months to pull together a complete collection that would appeal to shops and also be conducive to the winter months! I basically didn’t sleep for 3 months.
I incorporated suede with kimono and created some lovely new shoes styles, and added an Australian made boot, hair accessories and a new collection of jewellery.
Somehow I pulled it off and Fashion Exposed happened! In August 2009, Dames & Divas exhibited at the event and it was a complete success. We gained stockists and people loved our products.