Meet the founders – we caught up with Asmuss Clothing founders and sisters, Clare and Fiona for a quick chat about their brand, inspirations and journey.
How did Asmuss begin?
We decided to start Asmuss because we wanted to do it all when we travelled. We wanted to hike in the Torres del Paine, walk the Inca trail, visit art galleries, dine at the best restaurants, drink the local wine and do everything in between.
While organising ourselves for our six-month adventure around Latin America and Europe we found it difficult to find clothing that also did it all.
Although it’s easy to find functional adventure clothing, clothing that is functional, has technical benefits, is well-designed specifically for women, and, stylish, and ethically produced is not.
Have you always wanted to work in fashion?
Clare has always wanted to work in fashion even if it took a little while to officially get there. She designed & made her own school ball dress and started her one label that was sold in a local store as a teenager, well before she studied fashion design and started working in the industry
What has been your journey so far?
After working in the fashion industry over ten years Clare asked Fiona, her sister, if she was interested in teaming up and starting Asmuss. We then started working on what we wanted Asmuss to be and launched in September 2018.
What inspired your latest collection?
Thinking of the strong stylish women who will wear our clothing, what they would want and feel great in is always at the heart of my designing. My own personal travel is also a large source of inspiration. From the functional elements that I feel would enhance the different travel experiences and combining with aesthetics from cultures and places I’ve travelled. This first collection has design elements that was inspired by my travels in Japan. The beautiful unconventional lines of Tadao Ando’s architecture and the traditional dress of Japan, especially the Hakama, a skirt-like trouser.
What has been the highest and lowest point in your journey?
The high point so far has been launching and getting Asmuss out into the world and of course making that first sale!
The lowest point was realising that there was an invisible fault in one of our fabrics so the mill has had to replace it which hasn’t taken quite a bit of time.
How do you cope with setbacks?
We cope with setbacks by looking for solutions or alternatives around the setback and then keep going.
What inspires you?
Art, great design, travel, the outdoors & food are inspirational for us both. We discovered while travelling that while we have very different personalities and skills we both find a lot of the same things an inspiration.
We’re also inspired by the idea that we can help women enjoy travelling more by making it easier to pack, helping them have style when they travel and keeping them comfortable.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Asmuss will be the first name thought of when a woman wants to look great, feel great and experience everything the world has to offer
If you could wear one piece from your collection, which one would that be?
Clare: I really love our Pleated Culottes. I love that I have felt fabulous wearing them to art gallery openings and also hiked through the NZ bush in them.
Fiona: The Asymmetric Pleated Dress is on I wear all the time. You can truly wear it anywhere and I love the way it moves so beautifully, especially in the Tencel/Recycled Polyester blend.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Our grandmother told us to remember, everyone not only loves but needs compliments. Keep telling your friends what you like and admire about them. Always accept compliments too – just say Thank you.
Tell us something random about yourself (anything funny and random!)
Clare: Before I finally gave in to the pull of fashion design I trained and worked as both a Ski instructor and a Chef.
Fiona: Because I travel quite a bit it is difficult to have a pet so I instead I have a lifesize sculpture of a greyhound called Speedy
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
Clare: I couldn’t live without a pair of spectacular optical specs.
Fiona: It would probably be one of the pieces of beautiful hand crafted NZ contemporary rings that have been made with stones collected during our travels.