ALCIEMAY DESIGNS WORN BY ELLA KATE THRUPP, THE PERFECT SUMMER BIKINI
Launched in late 2014, AlcieMay Designs has upped the standard of innovation in the Australian swimwear industry, offering individually crafted and designed pieces, all selected by the consumer. I talked to the mind and creativity behind the venture, Alice Litzow, about what brought on the idea for the young label.
Studying in Brisbane, Queensland, Alice Litzow didn’t expect to end up in swimwear design. “All along I thought I would get into high end evening wear. I won the student design award in the Gold Coast Swim Fashion Festival in 2013 and it was a natural progression to launch my own line of swimwear.”
Knowing success as young as she has, Alice has learned a lot on the path to where AlcieMay is today. “I’ve had to learn a lot about the business side of running my own label. The designing and production comes naturally, however the business aspect has been quite a learning curve.”
With a sporty and athletic feel, AlcieMay Designs pieces come from a strong belief in the need for well fitting and comfortable swimwear, as well as an added unique array of photographed fabric designs that Alice believes is a focal part of her collections. “The fabric prints are designed from photos. I take photos of anything that will make a distinctive and unique print that tells a story. For example, the ‘Altered Lines’ collection of prints is manipulated from photos of buildings taken while on holiday in Tokyo and a graffiti wall in Melbourne was the photo inspiration for the ‘Tag Yourself’ print.”
Alice also commented on the prominence of paneling and binding in the swimwear, matching and contrasting fabrics to create something special – the resulting possibilities made even more exciting by the customers ability to make these decisions themselves.
Customers can also decide on the cut of a bikini, catering for the wide demographic of girls that AlcieMay is geared towards. “A broad age range can wear AlcieMay swimwear as we offer pieces with different amounts of coverage. Some are quite modest and for those who like something a bit cheekier, we cater for them as well. We have found young mums really like our swimwear as many pieces offer the coverage and support they want, whilst still looking fashionable at the beach.”
This versatility has proved to be important in the Australian swimwear industry, which Alice has admitted has been very competitive at times. “Other, larger brands have such a loyal following, however, I’m sure there is room for many of us to be successful on a global scale.”
The presence of e-commerce as well, has created a much more effective springboard for the growth AlcieMay Designs, among other local labels. “Most emerging designers rely on e-commerce to be able to launch their brand without the expense of a shopfront. For most of us, it would be otherwise, impossible. As AlcieMay swimwear is custom-made however, it is our aim to have a shopfront in the future in addition to the online shop.”
The ongoing success of AlcieMay is part of a bigger story, on the topic of locally made fashion and Alice is determined to keep production on shore, despite the hurdles. “I think that Australians in particular want to get behind young Australian designers so that more and more of our fashion can be home grown. Getting production done locally is a challenging aspect for new designers whether it is in Australia or internationally.”
Even with these challenges, AlcieMay has known support as a local designer, being stocked by Australian owned and made online store, The Dress Collective.
Ella Kate Thrupp x