Before she moved to Melbourne in 2006 and started calling it her home, Amber Koeman had been living a global life, growing up in eight different countries including Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, England and the US. Her brand ‘amber chloe’, dubbed after her first and middle name, takes inspiration from this exceptional melting pot of cultures and lifestyles.
“My time experiencing new cultures and meeting new people has really influenced the aesthetic of amber chloe, especially my time in Hong Kong. People weren’t afraid to take risks there and were always one step ahead of the trends,” Koeman said. At the same time, though, the label has its roots firmly planted in Melbourne, each one of its garments being manufactured there and inspired by the city’s edgy sophistication.
Sometimes fashion runs in the family, and that’s definitely Koeman’s case, since her parents were involved in the industry, she was always surrounded by it to some degree. This led her to pursue a career in a creative field and, after a five-years experience in marketing and communications, in 2014 Koeman finally took a leap forward by establishing her own fashion design business. It certainly was not out of the blue.
“I have always known what style or fabric I wanted to wear, and what look I was going for. Still, it was hard to get what I wanted, a formal dress that was both unique and affordable, so I began drawing my own outfits. That’s when I realised I was onto something,” Koeman said.
Since the beginning, the brand’s core idea was to provide modern women with glamourous, high quality, locally-produced clothing. “An amber chloe woman won’t compromise on quality. She’s always on the lookout for pieces that show off her unique style and let her stand out from the crowd. Our aesthetic is classic, but with an edge, because I believe a woman should never show too much,” Koeman said.
Her first collection, still available for sale, featured a silver striped leather dress made with European leather, which is Koeman’s favourite fabric to work with, besides lace. Metallics, neutrals and shades of blue add to the label’s seasonless simplicity.
Three collections are set to be launched every year. Currently, amber chloe’s pieces can be found on its online store (www.amberchloe.com) as well as in selected boutiques in Melbourne and Mosman, New South Wales, and within the next two years the brand could even open its flagship store. Future plans involve expanding in Queensland, Western Australia and overseas, getting more global recognition.
Until then, amber chloe and her founder have to face the hurdles of any new label. “Finding the balance between the creative and the business sides of things is a continuous challenge, and I also strive to make space in my day to think and create. But I strongly believe that in every challenge lies a lesson. Needless to say, I’ve learned many lessons along the way, and all of them have helped amber chloe grow in the right direction,” Koeman said.
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