Sophia and her cousin Rose wearing Tutu Du Monde
Andrea Rembeck is the Sydney-based designer behind the stunning children’s label Tutu Du Monde. Her whimsical tutu designs are my go-to when I’m looking for something special for the girls to wear. Here, I chat to Andrea about her tricks to balancing work and motherhood, what is on her bucket list and the best advice she has ever received.
What is a day in the life of you?I usually start the day either running or swimming at Bondi so I feel like I’ve had a life before I hit the office. No one day is the same at work. However, we generally start the week off with a team meeting where we map out the week ahead, and then I’m often on the phone or emailing partners in the US 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 3 main 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.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
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 artisans to transform my ideas and sketches into reality. It’s such a beautiful experience sitting with the beautiful women and seeing ideas take shape.
One of the gorgeous Tutu Du Monde tutus hanging at home
How did you start your business?
Upon the birth of my daughter Alyna, I took some time out to enjoy being a mother. When Alyna turned three and was able to voice her opinion she refused to wear anything non-girly and asked for tutu. I embarked on a quest to find one that was not mass-produced, hot pink and polyester. I couldn’t find anything made from natural materials, cottons and silks – that’s how Tutu du Monde was born, in 2009.
Who do you admire the most?
Successful women in business who follow their vision with passion and kindness whilst trying to keep balance in life such as Zena who is founder of House of K’Dor who keeps a busy schedule and an amazing mother.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Prioritise, don’t sweat the small stuff, cut out the noise and the unimportant. But most of all be true to yourself and have a clear vision.
As a mother, what is your trick to multitasking?
Thank fully my husband and daughter are very supportive, and I like to compartmentalise my day. When I’m with the family, I’m 100 per cent present and don’t compromise my time with them thinking about work. And then when I’m at work, I focus on managing the team and the tasks at hand. My days are very full, so structure with my great team help!
What is top of your bucket list?
Sumba (Island in Indonesia), Bhutan and Iceland
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood, J.K. Rowling, Grace Coddington, Elon Musk, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tim Walker, Arianna Huffington and Gwyneth Paltrow.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would love to rewind and re-live our recent campaign shoot in Palm Springs, California in early June 2016. I think I was so overwhelmed and excited that I didn’t soak everything in.
Every time I reflect on this campaign I get goosebumps (strange considering we were in the depths of the desert). Tutu du Monde took a departure from its signature campaign style to the wild allure of the desert to shoot on location. We were Californian dreaming… carefree, spirited and West Coast cool, and had girls fly and drive in for miles from every part of the States, eager to shine their light and become a Tutu Du Monde model.
The cast and crew drove off the beaten track to parched Californian roads; palm trees, cactus and dusty rocks decorated the landscape. The ground was so dry it cracked under our feet.
There was something so special about watching sequins dim in the dreamy desert light when the sun went down. And well I guess you could say I personally had a moment. It gave me goose bumps- a feeling of achievement where I looked around the room and saw a collection of internationally recognised and fabulous people who had come together to bring this vision we had only weeks ago authentically come to life in the genuine surrounds of the sands.
I’d love to go back except maybe at a slightly cooler time of year.
What is the favourite fashion piece you own?
An amazing white beaded vintage dress from the sixties with ostrich feathers down the sides that I bought some years ago in New York. I’m still waiting for the right occasion to wear it, it’s rather opulent.
Which has been your favourite Tutu du Monde piece?
I love the Cosmic Dust Cape in Cloud and Mink which is collared with playful pom poms and provides a theatrical statement about being spirited, carefree, and cool. It’s part of the new Desert Daze collection and is pure Hollywood glamour. But there are a few pieces in the Secret Garden Baby Collection (to launch in August) that I just love! Including a little dress perfect for [my daughter] Grace. It’s peppermint and features sequinned organza petals embellishing on the bodice and an intricately pleated four-tier ruffle. The whole collection is a tale of wondrous adventure.
What do you like to indulge on?
What is your favourite room in the house?
We love being outdoors and having people over to our home. The entertainment area is an extension of the kitchen, opens all up and helps bring the outdoors in. We just added super comfortable and stylish oversized beanbags for slouching around. I love foliage and have an assortment of pot plants and succulents in the courtyard- a stunning shell beaded chandelier also decorates the frangipani tree. It’s very mid century-boho-chic. It’s our private oasis.