Tutu du monde is such a wonderful brand – turning every little girl’s dream of being a ballerina! Tell us a bit about how you started the brand?
Tutu du Monde began with my quest for a tutu for my own little girl – a four-year-old fussy dresser! Faced with market offerings of uninspired and uninspiring mass-produced, pink polyester, I instinctively drew on my own considerable design experience and decided to create my own tutus. Thus, the brand was born and formally launched in 2009. It’s now stocked around Australia and the world including Harvey Nichols in London, Kuwait and Dubai, ABC home in New York and American retail giant J.Crew. Tutu du Monde is the destination for mothers who want a more sophisticated look for their daughters, but with the old-warm charm and appeal of ethereal French ballet styles in muted dusty pastels.
Your designs are so beautiful and made with such beautiful materials. What goes into designing the garments (where do you draw your inspiration from) and where do you source your fabrics?
The design process often starts with travel and scouring vintage stores and markets all over the world in the search for beautiful, timeless pieces with exquisite craftsmanship, which ultimately provide inspiration for my tutus. I usually take elements and put them into a new more modern context. the collection has been designed and sketched up I hop on a plane to India and spend a week or two in the workshop sitting with the amazing artisans to transform my ideas and sketches into reality. It’s very exiting to get completely immersed in the creative process of materialising the new designs whilst soaking up the hustle and bustle, the sights and smells, colours and languages and tastes of India.
We work with the softest organic cottons, tulle and silks which we also choose when in India.
For those budding entrepreneurs out there, what are the top three tips you would give to them based on your experience in building TuTu du monde?
Start lean – do as much as you can yourself and if possible work from home
Don’t cater to ‘everyone’ – find your niche and stay unique
Think globally – don’t limit yourself to Australia – is a small market
What’s next for your brand?
Last year we visited Japan as we’d love to get more of a presence there but otherwise our strongest focus is still the US which many opportunities opening up. We have a very fun collaboration launching later this year which will excite many little girls – unfortunately it’s still top secret.
But we also just shot our first campaign (Holiday 16) in a stunning old ballroom in LA so we’re collecting a lot of frequent flyer miles going there on a regular basis.
Head to www.tutudumonde.com for the full range and stockists