Goals for 2017 achieved

And yet another stockist added to the list

Earlier this year I realized that I was on the right track with Aimmea but I still felt that I probably needed the rest of the year to get things exactly how I wanted them to be. So I set a few goals for myself, the help me get where I wanted to be.

First, I wanted to find my signature in designing. I realized I should not try and design for others but rather create designs that communicated who I am.  It made me realize who my customers really were. And that is key.

Another goal was to find the right stockists for my label. The first store was added in February, the second soon after. And now, while the year is coming to an end, a gallery selling art and fashion contacted me which quickly became the 4th stockist. Now 4 stores in 4 different cities on two different continents are selling Aimmea. 

Another thing on my mind earlier this year was getting the processes and back office where it needed to be. I'm a total spreadsheet geek but you can't track movement of stock in Excel, believe me. So finding the right cloud based inventory system was just as important as finding my customers.

Now that the administration is sorted, I can give all my attention to doing what I love most. Working out new ideas, sourcing fabrics (we have found an amazing new supplier too) and planning and doing photo-shoots.

As you can imagine I am already setting new goals for 2018. I am busy visualizing what I want to be writing on this page this time next year. Where I want to be and where I want Aimmea to be. It is never easy, but always thrilling! I am working on something I can not say too much about just yet. But if this is happening, Aimmea will step things up big time in 2018!

As always, thank you so much for reading!

M.

Aimmea now also selling at Eva D Designershowroom in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. You can see a list of all Aimmea stockists here.

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Introducing; Our new Brand Ambassador

Aimmea found a fabulous brand ambassador in brilliant, established South African Hair- and Make-up artist Rene Ferreira. His company Ultimate Glamour has done work for local celebrities, tv-shows, films, magazine covers and fashion photoshoots. This is actually how we met, in July 2015 Rene did our first photoshoot in Johannesburg when we launched Aimmea in South Africa.

Rene Ferreira, Aimmea brand ambassador

Rene Ferreira, Aimmea brand ambassador

Soon after this shoot we became friends and since he loves my designs so much it was inevitable for him to become the official brand ambassador for Aimmea in this great city of Johannesburg. Go check out his Instagram feed here.

Our equal ways of thinking and overlapping life philosophy combined with crazy high ambition also gave birth to something brand new for the South African market that I cannot say too much about just yet.

What I can say is that we are working very hard to get this exciting new concept going. And I suspect that it will blow every ones minds!

I also have some exciting news about Aimmea very very soon!!!

It is funny how setting goals for yourself, working hard and keeping a grateful attitude towards others and life in general eventually delivers your dreams to you ... 

As always, thank you for reading, please share and keep an eye out for my news later this week!! M. 

Edit: And my news is... We are now exclusively available in Johannesburg at JVR Couture !!! 

New store!

It's mid September and I am traveling through Europe looking for stockists and visiting family in The Netherlands. As I write this blog post I am in my hotel room having a short break in Bordeaux, France. I fell in love with this city. I found amazing little antique stores and lots of nice restaurants and places to enjoy a glass of Champagne (!!) while overlooking the beautiful buildings and people. It's a student city which brings a certain creativity that is resembled in how people dress and express themselves. I adore this city!

Something else that I adore is finding a store that matches your brand's philosophy and the owners loving your work. And I am therefore ecstatic to announce that Aimmea is now available in-store in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Not only that, but the stock I had brought to showcase Aimmea ended up in the window display the day I came to visit and immediately started selling.

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So if you find yourself in the proximity of the Twijnstraat in Utrecht, hop on over to have a look, it's in the centre of the city amidst lovely cafe's and restaurants. If not for my designs you should go there for the unique ambiance and plenty of nice (some of which sell vintage!!) stores in the neighborhood. 

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My plan for the near future is to slowly add more stockists that match Aimmea, selling unique designer labels. Offering an alternative to the mainstream fashion shops. If you know a boutique like that I'd love to hear from you!

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As always, thank you for reading! And please check back very soon as I am about to share images from the photoshoot we did just before I left for travels.

M.

PS: LIVStores is located in Twijnstraat number 41 in Utrecht.  

 

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Slow fashion

what it means to me

You will have heard about slow fashion by now I'm sure. The fashion world is buzzing about it. But what it means to me says a lot about my designs and how I approach life in general. I have always had a love-hate relationship with fashion. From the early days on when I worked in retail and saw how narrow-minded the fashion world can be, I did not recognize myself. I didn't like how the whole world seemed to evolve around the next collections coming out. As if nothing else mattered or was important. As if my favourite garment from last year suddenly had to be thrown out just because it didn't match the latest trend. At that stage in my life I decided it was not for me, and I quit fashion all together.

But fashion found me again in a later stage in my life. When I realized I could do it my way. In stead of designing new collections replacing previous ones I design pieces that ad something to previous ones. It is how I have a relationship with my own wardrobe as well. I have a little black jacket that I bought more than 15 years ago. The lining it falling apart and I will have it mended so I can cherish it for a few more years. I pair it with something new and ad another piece that I'm fond off creating a whole new look with both old and new pieces.

This is how I want my own designs to be cherished as well. From the limited editions to Aimmea | Basics. I want you to love them as much as I loved designing them. 

Slow fashion to me is not your typical fashion trend. Slow fashion means staying true to yourself, expressing yourself through fashion. Finding a piece of clothing that you love not because the fashion magazines tell you you should love it. Being confident about what your style is and not caring about what people think. It is about being proud to not look like everybody else. By not blending in he crowd but rather stand out.

This is what I wish for Aimmea to be.

As always, thank you for reading! I so very much appreciate it.

M.

Same day shipping

As of now!

I am so excited to write this blog post!! We did it! All these months of hard work and now the time is finally here. When you order before 2pm, we ship the same day from Amsterdam! The product description of each item in our shop mentions where it will ship from. Depending on your location you will receive your order the next day or the day after.

This also means that we now offer free shipping, not only in The Netherlands and Belgium as before, but shipping is free for all European Union countries.

Even more good news

To celebrate this milestone we have decided that our VIP's also pay less for our Aimmea | Basics designs. We already spoiled our VIP's with 25% off for Limited Editions. Now we also offer 10% off the original price for all our basics.

VIP's not only pay less, you also get priority and get to see previews of limited editions. Sign up with your email address, we don't spam. We hate it just as much as you do. If you are not into monthly Newsletter simply follow our VIP account on Instagram.

We are working on some new designs to come later this year. Watch this space!

As always, thank you for reading, I appreciate it more then you know!

M.

Another successful photoshoot

I had planned a big shoot for June weeks ahead, we needed to cover 30 looks on 3 different models in one day. And on top of that we wanted to shoot some creative shots with a smoke machine in the garden. But we ran out of time... Surprise surprise!

But Janice rocked it that day and nailed every single shot! Rene, my friend and hair- and makeup artist at Ultimate Glamour, who now also models for Aimmea brought his amazing personality to the shoot and made it work like a pro. He became a model for us a few weeks ago when a model didn't turn up for a test shoot and he turned out to be rocking it in front of the camera. 

Anyways, these lovely days shooting with Chris, Daniel (Lionwolf) and Rene make me realize that I have such a close team of creative geniuses and warm hearted good people around me that I sometimes forget it can also be very different. It also means we have been very lucky with so many nice and utter professional models who wanted to work for Aimmea. I am so grateful... you all know exactly who you are!

Re-shoot

Because we ran out of time on June 6 we came together again this week to nail the last few looks for Aimmea's lookbook. Daniel and Chris arranged a friend of theirs,  lovely plus size model, to model for us and Rene brought his fabulous self again that day too. I can't wait to see the end result of those fab shots!

I have added a few behind the scenes images I took during both days. Hope you like them!

I will be adding the retouhes to the online store as soon as I receive them. A few are up online already!

Thank you for reading!

M.

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Smoke!!

Daniel working his magic in the garden

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Art director gone landscaper?

Sneaky

I am known for my sneaky #BTS ;)

Some nice tunes are essential!

Can't wait

to see this result!!

Next day delivery - as of next month

Shipping from Amsterdam

Since the beginning of this year demand for Aimmea is growing steadily, especially in our home country The Netherlands. This made us decide to start shipping from Amsterdam. It is the logical thing to do as it will make ordering from us online even easier and quicker in The Netherlands. 

My sister in Purmerend will handle all online orders and ship them personally. This means that when you place an order before 2pm on a working day, she will ship the item the same day. As before, if you have any questions you can contact me personally via my email address.

As always, shipping in The Netherlands (and Belgium) will be free of charge.

We are doing another big photoshoot for our online shop in the first week of June. A few unique designs made from a textile print made by Lionwolf are amongst them. We are also introducing a few brand new designs that, if I may say so myself, are pretty damn cool.

More soon! Thanks for reading!!

M.

In the mean time, why not sign up to become a VIP and get discounts and priority on Limited Editions

 

 

Quick update! Next week new stock
This 100% silk print is amongst the designs expected next week

This 100% silk print is amongst the designs expected next week

We will receive new stock next week, some new prints are coming and some of our Aimmea | Basics designs will be re-stocked in our online store.

If you were waiting for our black or white kimono's (both long and short) be quick to pre-order them now as we have pre-orders already.

If you are a VIP you can pre-order without paying upfront via email. Non VIP's can pre-order the item you like online and we will ship it to you when it arrives.

I will have some more news soon! Thanks for reading and if you like, please share!

Maria

Owner & Designer Aimmea

 

 

New store!

With a warm and happy heart I write this post because Aimmea is now available in a second store in The Netherlands. We were welcomed in February in Amsterdam at The New Label Project and since today selected designs are also available at Lady Africa in The Hague. Thanks to my Uncle who visited The Hague last month, a huge thank you to him and my sister!

Besides the designs that are already available in-store, we are expecting more stock to arrive mid May. Those designs are produced especially for TNLP and Lady Africa and wont even be available in our online store!

Amongst those designs to arrive in May are some pure silk print kimono's and unique cotton print trench coats.

You can find more information about where to buy Aimmea here

As always, thank you for reading!! Feel free to share ;)

Maria.

VIP preview

We have received a stunning (!!) new fabric design made by our friends from Lionwolf Creative Services. This design will be printed on a soft natural fabric in April and we wanted to give our VIP's the opportunity to pre-order (without paying up front).

Since these fabric designs will only be printed in low quantities our VIP's get priority and they might sell out before they reach our public online store. Become a VIP by signing up for our newsletter, you will see the new textile designs and you will be able to pre-order. Our VIP's always pay 25% less for our limited editions.

Not into newsletters? We also share them on our VIP Instagram page

Let me know if you are interested in pre-ordering any of the below designs by emailing me directly maria@aimmea.com

Thanks for reading!

Maria

 

Bold new designs have arrived!

I must admit I was a bit nervous on the day of the shoot because the new designs are unlike anything I have ever done before! But with the great eye of photographer Daniel David and the impeccable styling and art direction of Chris Botha I saw the clothes come to life and the nerves were quickly replaced by excitement and utter happiness!!

You will always know which number of the limited edition you have

I think I will order a re-print of the fabric end of April together with a brand new design made by Lionwolf (oh boy if you only knew what's coming !!) Re-print or not, our limited editions remain guaranteed limited edition!

Did you know that when you purchase a limited edition from us you get a little card that mentions which number you have? It's part of our promise to you that when you buy a SeZáre it is for sure a one-of-a-kind, unique garment.

VIP's

We are sharing the new designs first through our newsletter (and on instagram) with our VIP's who get to shop them online before anybody else even sees them. And on top of that, our VIP's pay 25% less. If there is any stock left, the new designs will be added to our public online store

Not yet a VIP? Sign up here or follow our private Instagram page here

A new print made by the same designer as our snake print is among the new designs!

Edit: Since we have shared some of the new Limited Editions already with our VIP's I can share those here now too ;) 

A new print made by the same designer as our snake print is amongst the new designs!
Aimmea flower print kimono
Aimmea - now available in store in Amsterdam

A new CMT

End of last year we decided to change the way of our production and look for a Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) company to manufacture our limited editions. Although the independent tailors we worked with for almost two years delivered top notch quality, it just wasn't feasible any more for me to drive back and forth between the different tailors, fabric suppliers and my work space.

Our tailors also expressed their desire for something new so we parted our ways and I started looking for a CMT. Within a week (!!) I found someone who had been in the industry for over 20 years and eager to get his hands on my designs. 

You will find the quality of the clothes to be as perfect as always, and just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside! As you might know we have a VIP program (previously called members program) which allows you to see our new limited edition designs before anyone else (and you pay 25% when shopping online). Interested? You can become a VIP by following Aimmea_Privee on Instagram or Twitter or signup for our newsletter.

 

The New Label Project

Fast forward to today where I had a meeting with the CMT to look at the second batch of samples. I am starting to seriously fall in love with the calico fabric that we are using! It's seriously stunning!

Now that the samples are screened, production will start straight away to make sure we keep the deadline of March 6. Then, when everything is ready, we will be shooting with Lionwolf again shortly after (I can't wait!!).

We will be uploading the images to our online store hopefully end of March. But our VIP's get priority on the limited editions which means they might not reach the online store at all.

But most importantly, as of this week, a few selected designs, are also available in store in Amsterdam! (I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself!!)

It all started during my last visit to Amsterdam in November, I came across this concept store at the Rozengracht 75 that sells unique handmade goods from designers from all around the World. It is called The New Label Project and I hope that when you find yourself in Amsterdam you will pop in and have a look at all the amazing designs they sell, from clothing to jewellery and beyond.

Only selected designs will be available at TNLP so if you are interested in a particular Aimmea design you can email me first to make sure they have stock.

You can check TNLP out on Facebook or Instagram

We are still looking for a few more stores that are willing to stock our limited editions around Europe so please don't hesitate to send me an email if you know a cute store or own one!

Thank you for reading! I appreciate it soo much! And if you like, please share!

Maria

Aimmea available at the New Label Project at the Rozengracht 75 in Amsterdam

Aimmea available at the New Label Project at the Rozengracht 75 in Amsterdam

Seasons greetings

2016 is coming to an end and it made me think about how amazing this year was for us. I want to share a little overview with you and I will end with some news about what we are working on for 2017.

2016 started out with a great photo shoot at Adrian Abrahams Studio in Johannesburg in February.

Jite Okotie and Shané Davids were modeling our first ever winter collection while Adrian worked the camera. Rene Ferreira who does most of our hair and makeup was there too creating amazing looks for the models. Although it was a very successful shoot and I loved all the images that Adrian produced, I wanted a different angle for Aimmea.

While trying out a few things we ended up working with Chris and Daniel from Lionwolf - Visual Arts Production in June. It was the start of a great working relationship for the rest of the year producing many amazing  catalogue and editorial images.

With Lionwolf bringing our brand to another level we received a lot of social media attention. This helped us find a few boutiques in Europe who will be featuring our designs next year, and one particular one already as of February! I can't wait to share more information but we are still working on the details so check back with us soon to find out where you can buy Aimmea in store in Europe soon.

And then there were the new prints off course. I am so excited about this! I have wanted to do our own prints for so long. I love monochrome fashion but I also love to add some prints here and there.

Working together with the textile designers creating unique prints for our limited editions is so much fun and it ads so much to the limited edition part of Aimmea. You will not find these prints anywhere else and they are made in low quantities, guaranteed. 

Below you see the first print created especially for Aimmea by Tina Cloete. Next year we will be printing another one of her designs as well as digital art work created by Lionwolf. I can't wait to show you.

We have also teamed up with another independent textile designer dying her own fabric coming early next year as well. 

The new year brings so many new opportunities and great people towards me that I feel overwhelmed and grateful. I hope that we will be working together with everybody for a long time to come. 

Thank you so much for reading! Happy New year and I wish all your wildest dreams may come to be true in 2017!

Check back soon! Maria

Paypal added to our online store

And we have changed the currency of our store from USD to EURO

Our website runs on the Squarespace platform and we are very pleased they just made checkout with Paypal possible. Paypal is the easiest and safest way to pay online and you don't need to fill in your credit card and address details every time when checking out. 

Because Paypal is now available we changed the currency of our site as well. This change from Dollar to Euro will not affect your shopping experience what so ever. You credit card or Paypal will be automatically converted into your currency.

We have adjusted the prices of the clothes in our online store to reflect the new currency, the difference between the dollar and the euro is minimal at the moment and some items were not changed because of a new production facility we are implementing and because of fabric cost fluctuation. However, if you had your eye on one of our designs and you feel the price change affected it unfairly please let us know.

We hope this change will make your shopping experience even better!

Thank you for reading,

Maria

The results are in

While I was away looking for a few specific boutiques in my hometown Amsterdam to stock some of our designs, the photographers finished the images from our October shoot. There has been a time where I became nervous about this process, but since we have teamed up with Daniel Webber and Chris Holty from Lionwolf Art Direction & Photography this is just a lot of fun and excitement all together.

I am very hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed that Aimmea will be available in Amsterdam soon. It's not an easy process because we want to be exclusive and stay away from mainstream fashion stores. Luckily Amsterdam has a few boutiques that match our philosophy brilliantly and with some luck we will make it work. If you are reading this and know of a special boutique or you are the buyer or owner and you are interested, please contact us! Next year we will try our luck in other countries in Europe.

Aimmea

For now I am delighted to share a few images from our latest photoshoot with models Malcolm Henderson and Anastasia Iskra from Ice Models Johannesburg.

There are more to come but our members see them first!

Thank you for reading!

Maria

PS: You can become a member for free here, don't worry about spam, we don't!

Another succesful shoot

This month has been phenomenal! Last week we had another great shoot with the team (although sadly enough, our friend and makeup artist Rene Ferreira could not be there) But nonetheless, I think it's our best work yet! I am ecstatic about how things are going lately and I feel a change is around the corner! I will be sharing new designs soon! (And remember, members see them first, pay 25% less and get priority) I will send out a newsletter to our members with the new designs mid November. 

We also had fantastic news via Vogue Italia who chose 3 images from Lionwolf Art Direction and Photography to feature on their Photo Vogue best off pages. This is not an easy thing to achieve and I want to congratulate both Daniel David and Chris Hölty Gotha with this amazing accomplishment. 

Without revealing too much about new designs, below a few behind the scenes images made by our friend and artist Hanne Kjaer

Thank you for reading everybody!

Maria

PS: Please share!


Behind the scenes @Aimmea
Behind the scenes @Aimmea
Behind the scenes @Aimmea
Behind the scenes @Aimmea
Behind the scenes @Aimmea
 
Behind the scenes @Aimmea
Aimmea
New designs

We had a little delay but they are here!

We did two photo shoots in September and both of them went extremely well. Not just because of the fantastic models involved but also because of great team work. 

It has been a long term wish of mine to have such a team of creatives around me to help get the looks out that I envision for Aimmea. And that time has arrived! I am beyond excited! Thank you Daniel and Chris from Lionwolf I love the images you guys produced! And you  Rene are always amazing working your magic with hair and makeup. And Janice and Logan, you just rock!

Since our members always see new designs first they have already been sent the images last week. If you would like to see new designs first as well (and buy them for 25% less) you can sign up with your email address here. Don't worry about spam, we don't!

I would love to hear from you, if you like,  leave a comment below. 
Thank you for reading,
Maria

PS: Members can also follow @Aimmea_Privee on Instagram to see new designs first

Exciting new designs

It has already been two weeks since the photoshoot with Lionwolf and it is getting increasingly difficult not to share anything on social media! The team behind the new shoot was fantastic! We are so excited about the new designs and the art direction done! But luckily, for them and me, our members get to see a #sneakpeek before anybody else! Checkout our new Instagram for members and private clients here.

Not yet a member? You can sign up here. Don't worry about spam, we don't.

Aimmea #sneakpeek
Winter is coming - but so is summer!

I love Johannesburg weather where this time of year the evenings are getting cooler while during the day you can still enjoy the warmth of the sun. Where the days are filled with stunning blue skies and whiter then white clouds. 

Soon things will change and the nights will make way for colder temperatures that make you want to stay inside and hide underneath a pile of blankets. Call me crazy but I am actually looking forward to the colder weather. Don't get me wrong, I adore summer! But I also love the seasons changing so I can light the fireplace and wear my beloved boots and winter scarfs! 

And while I am planning my favorite winter outfits to wear I am also designing for summer. Fashion is weird like that. 

I can't say much yet about the designs themselves but I can reveal the team who is going to visualize them. We have found an amazing photography team for our next editorial whom we are very excited to work with. Back when we were still in Maputo we started doing research about people to work with in South Africa. And Lionwolf was the first we came across online. That we are going to work together now is just awesome! Have a look at their page and you'll see what I mean.

This all means that while our current collection is getting amazing response,  the next one is being worked hard on and I can tell you. It is going to be fantastic!!

Oh, and before I forget! Selected Aimmea designs are now available at Journey Lifestyle in Johannesburg. A gem of a little boutique in the middle of buzzing 4th Avenue in Parkhurst. Why not follow them on Instagram @lovejourneylove 

 

Thanks for reading!I I'll be back with an update soon!

M.