Always on the look out for a fashion label that combines comfort and fashion? Look no further than Amanda Monique, a Gold Coast-based fashion label established in 2017. Born from a love of style and a desire for comfortable fashion that fits, Amanda Monique taps into the heart of what every babe wants: to feel good while looking good. Each garment is lovingly handmade in Australia with ethically-sourced quality fabrics for a guilt-free purchase. We sat down with Amanda Yarsley, the designer and founder of Amanda Monique to find out more about her perfect for everyone creations.
Q: It’s clear you have a real flair for design. Is this your first fashion venture or have you been in the industry for a while?
A: This is my first fashion venture, although, I have worked in the fashion retail industry for the past 9 years, and studied my Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology here on The Gold Coast.
Q: What inspired you to create your label, Amanda Monique?
A: I have always loved being creative and doing creative things, whether it’s drawing, painting or craft projects and I have always been a fan of making my own clothes too. Both my mum and grandmother sew, so I probably picked it up from them. I just wasn’t as good as them until I went to college. I loved the idea of creating my own prints and designing the clothes that I wanted to wear so I created Amanda Monique.
Q: How were you able to create dresses that flatter such a broad cross section of different body types?
A: After struggling to find clothes for myself, with most things made for a small bust, I wanted to create designs that would be flattering on girls or women with a bigger bust. I tried the styles on girls without a bigger bust and they still looked really good, just a little looser in the top. Because the styles come in at the waist, it doesn’t make them look too baggy on the slimmer girls, but also keeps the nice shape of the waist on the curvier girls. The styles were designed so that they could be worn either fitted to show the figure, or more relaxed and loose. The dresses look different but amazing on everyone and the style of fit you will get really just depends on your body type.
Q: Do the locally sourced fabrics you use also contribute to the fit?
A: They sure do. Having worked in fashion retail, I was exposed to a lot of different fabrics over the years, seeing how they wear, hang, wash, etc. My favourite soft, casual fabric for dresses and t-shirts is viscose jersey. I specifically wanted to use this fabric for that reason. There are some pretty rubbish types out there though, so it took a little while to find one that I was really happy with, that had the quality and feel that I wanted.
Q: We are glad you finally found the one! Your designs are not only designed in Australia but made her too. Why did you decide to keep your garments Australian made?
A: I wanted to keep the garments Australian made because I think it is really important to support not only the Australian economy, but local businesses. With everything outsourced to developing nations due to cruelly low labor costs it is damaging what we can offer in our own country, because how can anyone compete? It is more expensive to manufacture here, but I know that my garments are made ethically and locally and gives me a chance to be more hands on during the manufacturing process.
Q: Why is ethical fashion so important to you as a designer?
A: Ethical fashion is important because we should all be trying to better our world instead of doing anything to make a quick a buck. I want to be proud of what I am doing, and I don’t think I could be if I wasn’t doing it in an ethical way.
Q: It’s so unique that you hand drew all of your own prints. What was the inspiration behind them?
A: One of my friends loves a star print so I think that’s the main inspiration behind that one. I like the idea of using shapes, but not in a perfect way, so that was the x’s and triangles print, and I have a few pieces of jewellery with feathers or arrows, which I love, so this inspired me to create a print with these.
Q: What can we expect for future collections?
A: More prints for sure, but besides that, we will have to wait and see.
Interview by Kristy Hawkins