Amber Watkins SWIM
Amber Watkins SWIM
1. What lead you to start designing?
It all started as something fun to work on that would satisfy my creative bug. I began sketching my ideas during university, and sewing pieces for myself. My girlfriend knew that I was designing and creating clothing for myself at home and she asked me to be a part of a fashion competition she had organized at a local venue. That was over 4 years ago, and for the 3 or so years following I participated in numerous fashion shows and competitions, including Art of Fashion in 2010.
2. What is your favourite piece you have ever designed?
That's so tough! I try not to show pieces that I don't feel completely proud of, and every collection I've made tells a different story. If I absolutely must choose, it would be a royal blue monokini with a braid down the centre that I made 2 years ago. It was a crowd favourite and the model who wore it looked phenomenal.
3. You were a past finalist for AOF, how did you find the experience?
I really enjoyed the AOF competition, for many reasons. I work best when I have a theme and specific directives, and it gave me a completely new challenge to face when designing my collection. I was very happy with the pieces that I created and additionally I enjoyed the challenge of creating a space that would display them in a creative way. It should be mentioned that it was also my first Toronto fashion competition, so that provided a new level of experience, and a new city in which to display my designs. I loved the media coverage and interaction with the observers and I was very happy to be a part of the excitement.
4. Where do you find your inspiration?
That depends on the intent of the design. For competitions, I enjoy really getting into the assignment. For example, the year I participated in AOF, the theme was "La Belle Epoque". I did a lot of research and then designed a collection that combined my swimwear specialty with some of the major fashion themes of the time. I was really happy with how it turned out. For my current swimwear collection, I incorporated vintage cuts using modern textiles and colours.
5. What is your favourite quote?
I admit I mostly quote movies, but this one is pretty relevant:
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola (1840-1902)
6. In 3 words how would you explain your personal style?
I'm going to need more than 3, hahaha. Feminine, mood-inspired, mix of classic cuts and current trends.
7. What obstacles have your overcome to get to where you are today?
Oh wow, quite a few. I would say that first of all since I did not go to school for neither fashion design nor business, I have followed a nearly 90 degree learning curve. When I decided to start the business in June 2011, I really didn't know exactly what was in store for me, so the last year has been a continuous sequence of hurdles. I am proud of all that I have accomplished in such a short time. It is so rewarding to look back and see where I began and what I can achieve when I make small goals and build on them. I've said this before and am a firm believer in its truth: If the goal is what you are meant to be doing, it should take work to achieve, but never be a force pushing against you. Every goal I have reached has taken effort to meet, but generally I have felt the path has been a natural one to follow.
8. What do you think will be big for swimwear in 2013?
Great question! I checked out the Mercedes Benz Swim 2013 Miami images, and there was a good mix. Lots of patterned fabrics, which I really liked. It looks like colour blocking is still in as well for next season, as well as asymmetrical and cut-out styles.
Images below are from Amber's current line:
Post by Jenelle S. of Nelle Creations