We were prompted during the lockdown with the initiative by the community of international designers, retailers and execs, seeking the change in today’s fashion industry. Unsustainable production calendar, damaging sales, disconnect from the craftsmanship and the consumer are being questioned through the #rewiringfashion project.
Anamarija Brkić, Founder and Design Lead of A’MARIE managed to resist the need for mass production, focusing on her relationship with her customers.
Once again, we got the proof that a vision of being in sync with your environment, combined with the talent and dedication can take your brand on a journey of long lasting appreciation.
Read on, we hope you will get inspired!
Love, dedication & sustainability
We are always curious about ‘the story’ behind a person and the brand. How did your design journey begin, and what were the major milestones?
I believe that small steps drive big things and that all those positive things we do every day in life at some point result in a bigger change.
Sustainability, which has recently become a trend that all global brands are turning to, is the business philosophy that I have been guided by from the very beginning of the A’MARIE brand.
For me, sustainability and luxury are two inseparable concepts that unite everything that I personally believe in and that we are actively working on within our team. We have never made compromises in this regard. We have educated ourselves about all the new eco-friendly materials and production technologies that have appeared on the market, and implemented them in our collections in order to become maximally sustainable.
I started the story 18 years ago, out of pure love and enthusiasm and with a lot of work and effort it was successfully maintained and became well received.
What is the process of adding a product to your collection, and what are the key dates in your yearly calendar?
New collections are created through the intention to combine art, awareness and the local. We are focused on creating timeless pieces of clothing that will last our clients for years and that are manufactured from environmentally friendly materials in a fair trade system. The emphasis is that each piece has a purpose, and creating an appealing aesthetic while achieving emotion is a big challenge.
I follow my own intuition and try to give my maximum with each collection, respecting the values that I live in private and every day. I just love tradition, I love fashion, I love to create in a positive environment and collections are just the product of that.
Key dates change from year to year. They used to be based on two collections a year, while for now only this year we have launched 6 collections, and by the end of 2020 we still plan (if everything goes well) to present three more lines, which would be a total of 9 collections.
We adapt to the market and listen to when and in what best way to offer. So, in addition to the usual line, we have inserted a line of products for the beach, a basic line, a line of underwear, a line for future mothers, and now a line for sports and recreation is next in line.
Resources & philosophy
Where do you source self-sustaining materials for your collections?
The fabric we use is carefully selected primarily according to the method of production and environmental sustainability, with of course the precondition that the texture and aesthetics met the criteria of my taste.
So the vegan skin we use in this collection arrives from Italy. Cotton, lace and silk are from Japan – made to the highest environmental standards, MicroModal and Tencel, with which we have been working for years, are fabrics made of bamboo and eucalyptus, fibers made in Turkey.
The fabrics we use for bathing suits and our sports line that is currently being prepared are also imported from Italy. It is recycled plastic, collected in the sea, which was created as a product of many years of research and work of well-known companies that we plan to present.
Can you explain the custom approach? It is quite different and unique, and we feel it provides that old sentiment of ‘relationship’ with our clothes that was diminished through the fast-fashion.
I strive to create with true values in mind, such as treating people with care and respect and their traditions. By putting a lot of effort into each creation, you simply create a product that has a story. Consumerism has dispelled some values that we in our team are trying to orient ourselves to, and that is that every item has a story, longevity and quality. The biggest compliment is when I hear or see that my customers wear with pride and pleasure even today, my creations bought more than ten years ago;))
Is it safe to say you know what Croatian ladies like to wear, and how would you describe a woman you are designing for?
It would be too brave to comment but, I can say that my circle of customers recognize and sympathize with my aesthetics. I design keeping in mind the modern femme fatale that I imagine enjoying life with quality, drawing attention to feminine strength, power and charisma, while showing the simplicity of dressing that is possible with perfectly tailored and designed pieces that conquer with their design.
Today, after the world is revisiting its choices, it looks like business people who invested in quality over quantity finally can say ‘we told you so’. What’s your take on that and the initiatives in the international fashion brands trying to change the yearly calendar? (#rewiringfashion)
I totally agree with everything, and luckily I somehow resisted the megalomaniacal development of the brand, which also allowed us to produce locally, less and of better quality. We have also been presenting collections for the last ten years at a time when they need to be placed on the market.
What do you think is a secret of the longevity of the fashion brand?
Love what you do.
What is most important to you when you are designing, and what can create an inspirational roadblock for you?
I start from the fabric and the color, and how they behave and complement each other. I also communicate a lot with my team to create clothes that our customers like without making big stylistic deviations and taking care to always offer them something new.
From which countries we can order through your e-commerce/webshop?
EU, USA, Russia, United Arab Emirates, neighboring countries from the region, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Australia.
Where do you see A’MARIE 5 or 10 years from now?
I will be overjoyed if the trend we have managed to maintain so far continues.