I have a wonderful interview with Andrea of Tutu Du Monde to share with you all today. Ballerinas and tutus are a staple in any little girl’s dreamworld, and what makes Andrea’s creations so special is that hers possess a heirloom quality. The tutus are hand dyed in lovely pastel and ombre shades with expertly cut crinoline to give it just the right poof. Read on to find out about her inspiration. And keep on the lookout for an upcoming post depicting some of Andrea’s pics from her sourcing trip to India!
What is your background? Have you always been creative?
Having been classically trained as a fashion designer at French Fashion College ESMOD I decided to leave my home country of Germany and immigrate to Australia. The relaxed life-style, pleasant climate and can do attitude sold me on the move. After working for various local fashion brands I started my own which was represented in Australia and the US. My expansion into retail coincided with meeting my husband. I remember vividly our first dinner when I complained how much I used to enjoy it but now it was so big and all consuming. That is why when my daughter was born a couple of years later I decided to re-prioritize. Spending time being a mother allowed me to reflect on what I enjoy. Alyna my daughter soon decided that girls only wore dresses with the associated princess, ballerina and fairy embellishments. That is when Tutu Du Monde was born, something close to my heart, simple and beautiful that will grow with my daughter while allowing me a creative outlet doing something I love. I’ve had a passion for fashion (since I was a little girl playing dress-up), traveling and exploring.
My travels usually see me scouring the vintage stores and markets finding those beautiful timeless pieces with exquisite craftsmanship, which provide inspiration for my tutus, be it for color or embellishments.
What inspired you to create Tutu Du Monde?
My daughter refused to wear anything other than dresses from an early age (she is about to turn 6 and still going strong), preferably as theatrical as possible. After failing to find anything I would want her to wear I decided there was a gap in the market for tutus made from natural materials, cottons and silks. Tutus in beautiful soft tones, preferably with beading, reminiscent of a vintage garment, delicately hand-made like couture.
I wanted to create garments that transcend the pure purpose of being a garment. Tutu Du Monde tutus as an ornamental feature in a bedroom or a future heirloom.
They are made with the intention to last, not to be another item ending up as non-degradable landfill.
Do you have any plans to make tutus or accessories for adults?
I get asked all the time if my tutus come in adult sizes? Therefore I am currently working on tulle skirts for women, a fuller Fifties inspired style and also a slightly slimmer longer ballerina style. I can’t wait to see the results and the reaction of a more grown up customer…re-living their fairy tale dreams maybe…or teaming them with biker boots and a torn t-shirt…
Has your daughter influenced your business? Does she give you advice?
Without her I wouldn’t have this business to start with but also as she has grown the collection has evolved. The color palette now contains black – an absolute no no just months ago.
I am grateful that she made the transition from career obsessed fashion designer to work- from-home-mom really easy. I can do what I love most but also enjoy spending time with my daughter. She loves the fact that mommy makes tutus (for obvious reasons) and since she has inherited the creative gene, she enjoys working alongside me making little story boards, draping fabrics and various embellishments (more is more!) on mannequins AND OF COURSE she loves to give me her input which can be anything from completely absurd to constructive. After all she’s the right demographic!
Tell me about a day-in-your-life, how do you balance work and family?
My day starts early with either a 6am yoga session or a run along the cliffs from Bronte to Bondi Beach (in Sydney) which gives me the opportunity to set the mood for the day. Then I take my daughter to school which is only a 10 minute walk from where we live.
After that I try to focus solely on work from 9am to 3pm when I pick her up again. Then it’s either activities or home work with me answering emails at the same time.
My daughter is obsessed with cooking (and cooking shows) so most nights she helps me cut vegetables and herbs for dinner, many of which we grow in our own organic garden.
After my daughter’s bedtime I usually spend some more time in front of the computer or on the phone communicating with our overseas sales agents and suppliers (their day starts when ours is over).