By Renae Leith
We can all relate to that burnt-out feeling, and trying to unwind at the end of the day in an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt, but those days are now over thanks to this new fashion label, The Silk Robe.
Mimi LaMontagne is just 27 years of age, and with no fashion design experience has launched her own sassy, elegant, luxury loungewear range.
She works in marketing for Rip Curl, based in Victoria’s Tourquay. Almost 9 years ago she moved to Australia from the USA and did an internship in surfing magazines, which led to her job as Global Communications manager for surfwear brand Ripcurl 3 years ago.
It’s a glamorous job which sees her travelling the world to be at the forefront of the world’s biggest and best surfing events as well as of global surfing culture.
But travelling the world with pro surfers wasn’t enough for Mimi LaMontagne. She now has her own fashion label for women, and it’s a sexy, sassy loungewear brand called The Silk Robe.
“I came to Australia as I thought there as more writing experience here for me (than America),” she says.
“But I ended up in surfwear, and all of my experience is in retail, not in design, but I could see a gap in the market.
“I would get home after a big day at work and put on old track pants and an old t-shirt. At some point it did not make sense to me that I was wearing old clothes when I wanted to relax in luxury.
“I went out and looked for a product that filled that need that I had, and I couldn’t find one. I quickly found that by asking friends they wanted something like that too – clothes they could chill in, that still looked and felt sexy.
“Whilst I am not a designer I have a lot of friends who are, and who are photographers who guided me a lot along the way. Launching the brand has been a huge learning curve for me.”
Mimi’s vision was to create elegant lounge wear, but she was insistent on silk as the only fabric to be used for the garments.
“I wanted silk for the feel against the skin, but I wanted washable silk. The vision was relaxed luxury.
“It was a big journey and a huge challenge finding the right silk as there are just so many different types of silk fabric. The fashion world is very different.
“And the style I wanted was bed to bar, something you could actually wear sitting at the bar with a pair of heels on but also something you could wear in bed if you really wanted to.”
The current range of tops, dresses and bottoms is available online here.
For the future Mimi wants to expand the range for different seasons and create different cuts and designs to suit different body shapes.
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