Artist Audrey Hamilton: "Fast fashion was something we didn't want to be part of" |  She.ie

Artist Audrey Hamilton: “Fast fashion was something we didn’t want to be part of” | She.ie

“We now live in a world where if you can make anyone smile, it’s gold dust.”

Irish artist Audrey Hamilton has had quite the year, with her works more successful than ever, she has branched out into the world of fashion, bringing with her collaboration with her own work.

Not to mention that she’s expecting her first little one in just a few weeks, life is definitely going her way.

Sitting down to talk with Her.ie, Audrey told us what inspired her to bring her artwork into the fashion industry, the obstacles she faced during her pregnancy and the one item in the line that means more to her than anything.

“During the pandemic we launched our clothing line, my husband and I were sitting on the couch drinking rosé like everyone else during the 2020 lockdown and art was doing really well thankfully. I was like ‘ I would love to get into fashion, it’s always been a passion of mine, and it made sense to put art on clothes because I only wore solid colors and when I started painting, that’s when I started wearing more colors,” Audrey said.

“It’s the fun of plays, people have told me so many times, the one thing everyone says is it makes them smile. We live in a world now where if you can just make people smile someone, it’s gold dust. I didn’t think my art would speak to people so much. It makes sense that what you’re wearing also makes you smile, if you’re wearing something comfortable and colorful, you you feel better, you smile more. That’s what it’s all about, being bold, taking risks with fashion.”

When it comes to her fashion line, there was one element that was indispensable for Audrey: durability. In a world of fast fashion and unethical labor, Audrey didn’t want that attached to her name.

Pursuing the best quality and knowing that the products were made sustainably, she could sleep at night. Opting to have them made in Portugal by the same production team that creates clothes for Versace and Burberry, she knew she was in good hands.

“That was the most important thing to do, as soon as we were cleared to fly we flew to Portugal and met a few manufacturers, and one, in particular, stood out. I had a great vibe from them, so we checked all their certificates, everything was ethical and sustainably sourced,” she added.

“We describe our business as a slow fashion brand, fast fashion was something we didn’t want to be a part of. There’s no plastic involved, it’s all ethically sourced, but at the end of the day, j I feel like people are trying to fill their cabinets a bit more with real parts that will last longer.

“I try not to buy from [fast fashion brands] and redo what I bought them. I’m not going to say I’ll never buy from them again, it’s just about limiting the amount of fast fashion you buy. What is our position on this, we are trying to create an ethical brand, which is sustainably sourced, there is no plastic involved in its manufacture and these are pieces that people will have forever.”

The line launched in June, with a pop-up allowing people to come see the collection for the first time in person. With plans to take her to other towns in Ireland, there is a small obstacle in the way that she must first overcome.

At the time of our conversation, Audrey was 31 weeks pregnant with her first child and with motherhood approaching, she knows she is going to have to take a step back from the business for a while, to which she not used to it at all but had a little unexpected experience when she was in her first trimester.

“We got so many messages from pregnant women who bought them [her t-shirts] after having their baby that they’re actually great for breastfeeding because there’s so much material, and now I know I’m going to wear them,” she said.

“In the first trimester I had normal morning sickness, but it was just the smell of things, I couldn’t. I went into the studio one day to start painting and squeezed the paint tube on my palette and just the feeling I had to run to the bathroom I gave him the three months until the morning sickness was gone and then I went back into the studio I was like ‘oh my God, is this what writer’s block looks like?'”

Over the past few weeks, nothing has stopped Audrey from organizing everything for her new arrival, and although she is happy to continue working, she joked that she was delighted to go to bed once the baby arrived.

“I’ve never taken a break from painting before, and I know I’m going to have to take a break from the business for maternity leave. I’ll probably take four weeks off and then take the baby into the workshop maybe, so I’m going to have to take some time off but I think it’s okay,” she joked.

“I don’t know when is the nesting period that everyone talks about but I can definitely feel I’m starting to slow down a bit but Jack is amazing he does so much around the house he’s so brilliant with it all kind of stuff and whatever I want, he’ll do it. I kind of took advantage of that the last few weeks. Being my own boss, I’m gonna say ‘I’m gonna give you a day off today Audrey, come on to swim’.”

Audrey Hamilton Apparel is now available at audreyhamiltonapparel.com, with pieces from €55.

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