Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Aurore Martins, CEO of LIA M.W on a womens' polo shirt range tailored exclusively by women.
Aurore is originally from France but now resides in Ireland, and wanted to create a label with a subtle combination of traditional clothing and new fashion trends.
The whole process was really fun for me to work on, right from our initial consultation where we discussed the design ideas, the viability of the brand, and Aurore's concerns and questions regarding launching a fashion brand.
Next came the design stage, creating colourful prints ( which are still to come) as well as feminine yet colourful polo styles which were different with their cut and sew panel detailing, contrast details and trims.
With further consultations we prepared for dealing with factories, sampling and production.
I recently interviewed Aurore on what it's like to set up a clothing line and here is an overview.
Can you introduce yourself, your position and your brand
My name is Aurore Martins and I’m the company director of LIA M.W clothing label.
I’ve recently launched this label that I’ve imagined and created with three amazingly skilled women : Michelle Ramsay, a 15 years experienced fashion designer;
Violaine Malie, who is a very talented web designer; and Trazanne Norwood, an award-winning professional photographer.
This fashion label is a subtle combination between traditional clothing and new fashion trends.
Our first summer collection features four elegant and very girly polo shirts.
What do you sell and who are your customers?
LIA MW. polo shirt range has been tailored exclusively by women and for women.
We specialise in women polo shirts. All our designs are unique, timeless and elegant.
Our polo shirts have been designed to be comfortable to wear and to last for decades in your wardrobes.
And our future collections will also feature more items to complete your looks (such as jumper, chinos…).
As mentioned earlier, LIA M.W celebrates women as creative team members, but also celebrates women around the world.
Indeed we will donate a considerable amount of our net profits to a charity, which helps women accessing to education.
What was your background prior to launching in the fashion industry?
I have been working in sales for years before creating my own marketing company three years ago.
What I love the most about my job is the fact I am now able to create/offer services and customer experiences I truly believe in.
What drove you to set up your brand?
I have always been interested in fashion. I also love creating, being able to see my ideas come to life.
I have been thinking about launching my own brand for a couple of years. However, I was too busy to really work on it.
But last year, something triggered in my mind. After giving birth to my son Leo, I suddenly felt the need to focus on what makes me truly happy. I was finally ready to take up this new challenge !
How long did the launch take from concept to product?
It has been a long process!
First, I took some time to gather all my ideas, to create a business plan and set up the business.
Once I knew exactly which direction I wanted to take (and aware of the fact I am not an expert), I have hired skilled professionals to help me in this process.
We have worked hard on every single before seeing this concept come to life!
To sum up, I would say it takes some time, hard work and determination to launch a new brand.
What have been your main challenges with regard to being new to the fashion industry?
To my mind, the hardest part is to get some visibility.
Being new to the fashion industry means starting from zero, and building brand awareness is not an easy task.
Which of my services have helped the most and why?
Fashion design : Launching a brand wouldn’t be possible without and skilled fashion designer.
Michelle is very talented and she has been very patient to bring my ideas to life.
Mentoring : our sessions covered different subjects such as project timelines, manufacturer selection, sampling, visibility / brand awareness.
This mentoring helped me having a better understanding of the fashion industry, and to prioritise tasks.
What are your plans for the brand in 2019?
My plans are to build brand awareness by focusing on social medias and marketing, and sell the first stocks.
Then if everything goes well, I would like to launch a wider range of products for the Autumn / Winter collection.
You can see more online at http://lia-mw.com/
and follow the label here https://www.instagram.com/lia_m.w/