APOM is the collaboration between Kajsa Kvernmo and Kate Brook, a partnership bound by a mutual affinity for handcrafted techniques, narrative and the natural world. The two met at university started designing together in their final year, both undertaking a second degree, with a dream to pursue, years of interning and work experience behind them, a vision unlocked and empowered by our chance encounter
Kajsa is Sami indigenous Norwegian, which is a group of people who have a rich culture, their own language, and deeply engrained tradition. The Sami have a deep connection with nature, they live by the law of nature and learn from an early age to respect and cherish it. Kate grew up with polish heritage and spending time on her grandparent’s farm in the Adelaide hills. As a child, on adventures with siblings she would dream up dazzling stories assisted by her, grandfathers involvement in horse racing and a her grandmothers closet full of race-wear treasures.
Prints are an integral part of the APOM brand. They work with a local artist each season to design a print that is unique to their own label. Collaborating with local artists to turn their creations into unique prints and an inherent narrative behind each collection, they strive to bridge a connection between the wearer and the creator of each APOM garment. Kajsa and Kate pride themselves on making beautiful wearable clothing that is not too delicate to be lived in. From the high quality fabrics to the carefully designed cuts and details, the collection resonates with those seeking both quality and beautiful design
What is your label about?
APOM is a label dedicated to easy wearable day to day clothing. Beautiful quality flattering silhouettes.
What’s a usual day in the office?
We religiously sit down every morning with a cup of coffee and de brief. Plan the day, talk about what’s happening with the label and have a giggle. Besides the coffee everyday is different from the next depending what stage of the season we are in. We could be pattern making the whole day or visiting suppliers/ customers or the factory.
Did you study fashion? If not what did you study?
Kajsa and I both studied Fashion design in Melbourne.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
We are very lucky to have a career in something we love doing, not a lot of people can say they get to go to work doing something they love with their best friend. Our favorite part of our job is seeing each collection come together, after months of pattern making and toiling seeing a beautiful array of garments is the best feeling.
How did you select the materials you used?
We are always drawn to texture and color, we initially pick out a few key fabrics and try and fill in the gaps with some basics. We work with an artist each season to design a new print based on the inspiration behind the collection.
Before creating your brand did you work for another label?
Kajsa and I both interned in our last year of university.
What made you create this label? Tell us your story
We both finished university and where at a point in our lives where we wanted to create something for ourselves. Tired of throw away fashion we hoped to create something a little more meaningful.
How did you get started in all this?
We always had a love for creating which led us both to study fashion, which eventually led to the label – an outlet for us both to be creative.
How did you get to where you are now with your label?
We have worked extremely hard for the past two years. We started the label fresh out of university and were a little niave. We made a lot of mistakes but learnt hard and fast not to make them again.
How and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration?
We base each collection on a narrative, creating a story inspired by something that has come into our lives during the previous 6 months. It could start with a song, a movie a news story anything that has sparked a thought of inspiration and stayed with us. Before we begin designing again we like to get out of the studio, we often take a day or two and get out of Melbourne to refresh and relax and talk about what we want for the next season.
Who is your target market?
The APOM lady has her own style. She likes to be comfortable but still feel elegant. she has an active lifestyle, and needs her clothing to cater for that. We have found there is no limit on who wears our clothing, we have found women from all ages wear APOM clothing the way they want.
Where is the final product made?
We have a factory in Melbourne that makes about 80% of our garments, all our printed garments are made in India.
What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?
Seeing our first collection materialize and sold in stores around Melbourne. It was the first time we saw our clothing on a rack. These first few months were very exciting times. Every little achievement APOM gets we still get a bit of a buzz out of, the Label is still growing and every day is exciting for us.
Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?
We admire women who have ever lasting style like Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly. We get inspired by local artists and makers but some of our favorite designers are Phoebe Philo and Proenza Schouler for their innovative prints and textured fabric
Special thanks to Kajsa Kvernmo and Kate Brook xx