In the world of creative fashion these days it’s hard to stand out and be applauded. Here’s an inside look at how it’s done.
Let’s get the name of your company?
Adine Maille and Soie, which means ‘knitwear and silk’ in French, and that’s what I’m working with.
Okay, now that we got that straightened out, particulars if you please.
Adine Atkinson, age thirty-nine, born in New Zealand, raised in Australia. From twenty on, Europe, Paris, Italy, bouncing around and a little in the States. I’m actually an Italian citizen. Single with twenty-year old daughter, and coming to Bali on and off for seven years.
Backdrop on the fashion industry?
When I left Australia I was modelling, working in The States, Paris and Italy. When I went to Italy I met my future husband and then settled down, married and had a child. When my daughter was about five or six, I sent her off to school and I went back to school as well, learning how to make T-shirt patterns, use machines and how to cut patterns. Then I employed my teacher and she came around my house on the weekends and we further explored the making of patterns and so forth. Then I bought myself an industrial sewing machine and materials and started sewing and making T-shirts, primarily for children. That was in Venice, Italy, and so what happened from there was a lot of friends were buying and then someone said ‘you should be selling through a retail outlet’, and so I did. They were really doing well so I started making women’s T-shirts. From there somebody picked up on my T-shirts and sold them like crazy and they suggested I go see a fashion studio in Milan called Seco Studio. They laid out my samples and by the time I got back to Florence they already had three customers and bought out the entire collection. An amazing kick off. The investment money came in and I did my first trade show in Paris and that weekend we sold twelve thousand units and that pretty much launched my career at the time. Producing in Italy somebody told me to come to Bali and do some production. That was in 2009. I made some phone calls and was put in contact with the boys from Religion, Gary and Dan. I flew to Bali, everything was pretty cool and I started manufacturing my gear. After a year and a half, flying back and forth, the boys and I decided to do a line together, meaning they financed and I did the designs. That went on for three years, and then in 2012 I decided I wanted my own line and so I started Adine Maille and Soie.
Besides the t-shirts, you really had no education in the fashion business?
Yes, hands on, from working in factories.
How does your line differentiate from others?
I think because our line, particularly in the sense that we do a lot of special hand dyes that I create together with my tie-die teams, mixes and play, almost like working on a recipe, to come up with extraordinary colours. There are no washes from my garments and I work primarily with knit wear and silk which are difficult materials to work with, but they are my primary loves. When it comes to material and quality, this differentiates me. Everybody else is doing a lot of materials; I’m just focusing on two materials.
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but would you say it’s a sophisticated t-shirt?
I would not correct you, that’s exactly what we do.
Again I see your collection as being very loose?
The way I like to describe my line is, ‘effortless sexiness’, that’s what I‘m all about. It encompasses your everyday dress, it’s easy to wear, the feeling is comfortable and casual, yet it’s got that touch of sexiness that makes it stand out a little.
What does your collection consist of?
Silk tank tops, T-shirts, dresses and layers, only female, although all the guys ask me to make them T-shirts. I may do that for my buddies.
Do you plan on doing anything in Bali?
I would like to do that, I’m always moving around in Bali, it’s one of my favourite places to be, so yeah, why not? Maybe a shop?
Would you say Bali production has come a long way?
Yes, the manufacturers are making sure that the staff keep up with international standards.
What do you see in your future?
First off a flagship store in my favorite city in the world, Paris, is my goal. Resort wear is another future aim.
Eat, drink and be merry, and really treat people with respect, no matter who you’re dealing with.
What would you like to add?
I would like to say that I’m a victim of fashion personally. What I’m trying to do is what I create, allowing women something precious that they can keep in their wardrobes for a long time that doesn’t date. They buy it because they love it and want to keep it in their wardrobe. I don’t do anything fab, I want to be in the fashion industry because I’m crazy about fashion. To have the latest pieces and chic dresses and all that sort of stuff, it’s not my gig.