Âme Moi is a Portugese accessories luxury brand created by design duo Albereto Gomes and Margarde Jacome. In just under three years, the brand has made it to Milan Fashion Week and to the stands of Selfridges and Harrods. Here they talk inspiration, trends and advice for starting your own fashion brand.
How do you draw the Portuguese culture into your designs?
Portugal has vast sources of inspiration, it is a place full of culture and traditions, which is very important for any designer.
The brand was built around a passion for horses, which is a key piece of Portuguese culture. Our designs include the use of horse mane that represents exactly this.
We also seek inspiration in Portuguese architecture and the geometry of its buildings. This is the vein of Portugal the brand focuses on and represents it in a very young, fun and joyful way - a way that not only represents the brand itself but also how we see our country.
Where else do you look for inspiration?
Of course in the fashion industry we need to be aware of everything that is happening in the world. Not only in the world of fashion but also in the world in general, because a lot of these factors influence the system and they do become inspirations.
What is the design process like?
Every season we develop new models. We are a very small team, so within the design process we tend to bring into consideration everyone’s point of view.
From brainstorming ideas and key trends, to rough sketches, to prototyping, it is all a procedure done with great passion and great team effort.
What could the global fashion industry learn from Portugal?
The know-how and skills we have in hand-made leather goods.
Every single artisan works with not only great knowledge, but also with great devotion. Also as I mentioned before, Portugal is full of inspiring places, traditions and history.
What do you think will be the biggest trend for handbags for the Spring/Summer season?
The industry is becoming more and more focused on the busy woman and on the young generation.
In the world of affordable luxury, people seek for quality and uniqueness in products. They look for original pieces that can stand out from the crowd, with new choices of colour, new shapes etc...
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers, who would like to start their own brand?
Be curious about everything that surrounds you, stay informed and most importantly do what you love and focus on that!