With sparkles, tulle and other beautiful embellishments Andrea Rembeck’s gorgeous tutus are a little girl’s dream come true. As the founder of Tutu Du Monde, Rembeck is the creative mind behind the ethereal brand that has struck a chord with mothers and daughters alike. Here she talks about who she would to see in one of her creations, the inspiration for her business and how she creates garments that are so uniquely magical…
What inspired you to start Tutu Du Monde?
My daughter Alyna inspired me to start Tutu Du Monde. She is incredible strong-willed (surprise, surprise nothing like me) and refused to wear pants ever since she since could voice her opinion. So, through my endless search in a market of polyester tutu costumes I realised that there was an opportunity to design and produce a children’s brand with more soul and authenticity. Something using natural materials, cottons and silks with beautiful embroidery and bead work.
The range is gorgeous. How do you stay inspired to design each collection?
Thank you. Inspiration is rarely the problem, more often it’s the lack of time that’s the challenge.
The creative process often starts with travel and scouring vintage stores and markets all over the world in the search for beautiful, timeless pieces with exquisite craftsmanship, which ultimately provide inspiration for my tutus. Once the collection has been designed and sketched I hop on a plane to India and spend a week or two in the workshop sitting with the beaders to transform my ideas and sketches into reality. It’s such a beautiful experience as I get to shake the hands of the creators.
Who would you love to see wearing one of your designs?
Our goal is to make every girl feel like a princess. We are blessed to have so many mothers and daughters who take the time to share so many stunning images with happy and starry-eyed girls wearing Tutu du Monde. It’s beautiful getting so much love. So we love how accessible our clothes are to everyone.
Having said that it would be an honour to dress a real princess one day, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge comes to mind…
What do you enjoy most about designing a range for children?
Bringing happiness and joy to little girls is the most rewarding part of this ‘job’. We’re hoping to create so much more than just a piece of clothing – memories of a moment in time – something that stays with the little girl and her mother, father, grandparent etc. for years to come.
What’s a typical day in the life of for you?
I usually start the day swimming/running at Bondi Beach so I feel like I’ve had a life before I hit the office. We start the week off with a team meeting where we map out the week ahead, and then I’ll be on the phone for a few hours each morning to the USA before they go to sleep. We have a rather large network of photographers, magazines, stylists and celebrities abroad, so I invest a lot of time making sure we’re working harmoniously together. We have three collections per year, and so we’re pretty much always working on designing, smaller capsule collections and collaborations with retailers or other like-minded- brands. Ideally, I try to find some ‘creative’ time every day but sometimes it falls by the wayside due to so many other business or PR related obligations. Apart from the creative, I have to steer the business as well and oversee all aspects of it.
What’s been your biggest career highlight?
Despite highlights such as dressing some stunning young ladies for premieres, shooting campaigns with very talented and inspirational women and seeing Tutu Du Monde hang in world class stores, it felt like we’ve made it when we moved into our new premises last year that are many times the size of the original Tutu du Monde office. It now feels like a ‘serious’ business.
How did you get into fashion design?
I’ve studied fashion design at French fashion college ESMOD. Upon graduation I started working for a local design house but was soon asked to design for Escada. However, I decided to follow my dreams of emigrating from my home country of Germany to Australia and, after working for a number of leading Australian brands, I started my own label which was sold in Australasia and the US.
What do you hope to achieve with Tutu Du Monde in the future?
We have an amazing collective of staff, photographers, stylists and artisans we collaborate with around the globe. I have a direction and vision for each collection which is then translated by these amazing people into what becomes available to our customers through finished products and photo shoots. My goal is to continue to balance the art of fashion and working with these amazing people with the commercial realities of running a business. We hope new categories such as our swim S/S17 will resonate with our customers and S/S17 collection being shot in Palm Beach will firmly secure Tutu Du Monde as the go to children’s brand for stylish mothers around the globe.
You’ve launched Tutu Du Monde Bespoke – what inspired you to branch out into customised garments?
We love luxurious and exquisite embellishments and dresses and sometimes we’re a little constricted with the required price points in our main collection. The Bespoke collection allows us our customers and ourselves the opportunity to get involved in the design process.
Why do you think the brand has been so successful?
I think and hope that our customers are aware that Tutu Du Monde is unique in many ways. Our garments are not mass produced, they’re made one by with the intention to be handed down as heirlooms to the next generation, rather than going to a landfill. Our garments capture an innovative confluence of cultures – we work with artisanal communities in India to create pieces with an adventurous spirit using the ancient wisdom of beading. Each are very precious.
We design with sustainability on our mind without compromising style.
But on an emotional level, it’s almost like the moms (including me) are re-living or re-imagining their childhood – with clothes they would have loved to wear (had Tutu Du Monde been around). Surely, there’s nothing wrong with being taken back to our childhood.