Born and raised in Australia, Aimee-Cherie Kendall spend most of her childhood in a seaside country town called Geraldton. She moved with her family to Perth when she started high school and then went on to study fashion design and textiles at TAFE.
After exploring an array of different work experience opportunities, she was never 100 percent sure with what she wanted to do within the fashion industry, but knew she wanted some part of it. “I remember practising my ‘fashion illustrations’ by copying Beyoncé’s costumes from Destinys Child as a child. I was always the girl in my group of friends, wanting to dress the other girls up and put on dance concerts or fashion shows for our parents,” Kendall explained.
The first thing she ever made was her Year 12 ball dress which was a dusty pink matte silk satin gown with a delicately beaded sash. “I’d only learnt to sew about a year before that in a class at high school. My grandmother and her sister were immaculate seamstresses when they were younger but it unfortunately wasn’t something that was passed on to me until much later in life,” she added. Most of Kendall’s training is from her time at TAFE, where her course was highly technical and hands on. Kendall added that there were wonderful lecturers who were highly experienced from their time in the industry and had a wealth of practical knowledge to share. “Some of those skills have been the most valuable that I’ve needed to this day.”
She prefers to design, but only because the brand currently makes every single piece themselves. Kendall adds that it is a very labour intensive job and doesn’t leave much time for things she loves like the design and business development side. “We’re currently in the process of handing over our production to an Australian manufacturer so it’s very exciting time of change and growth.”
Ethical and sustainable products are important to the team at Aimee-Cherie Intimates. Especially ones that are produced in a way that helps their local industry survive. “There’s nothing wrong with a product being Australian made, but it’s really sad to see a local industry really suffer from it. There are so many young students wanting to get into this industry and that are so keen to learn and contribute, so why aren’t we giving more back to our local industry rather than the ones overseas?”
The main team is made of Kendall and her studio manager Sharon most of the week, but have other smaller sectors that contribute to what they do, this includes; another seamstress, photographer, hair and makeup team, accountant, and so on. “At the moment, I oversee all roles and wear a lot of different hats from day to day. Each day is completely different whether it’s a full day at the sewing machine, or on our studio sofas doing emails on my laptop.”
Aimee-Cherie Intimates is three years old and started by accident with some bralettes from her graduate collection that she put on Facebook. Now the brand is looking to take on more stockists and open a few pop-ups around Australia. The label is currently available online at www.aimeecherieintimates.com and through a handful of selected Australian and international boutiques.
Kendall’s dream for the brand is to be recognised as one of the few that took the brave and difficult step to staying truly 100 percent Australian made at a luxury level. One day she hopes to be a company that supports many other people’s dreams and careers and that they are big enough to help shape the industry.