Fourteen years ago, when Amaia and Ségolène founded Amaia Kids, they believed strongly in mindful small production, ethical manufacturing and perpetuating the noble skills of traditional clothes making. As mothers of seven children between the two of them, they believed in beautiful, elegant, practical, top quality clothes to live a child’s life whether it involves rough play in the park or being a maid of honour at a wedding. They believed in a European brand sold worldwide: founded by two Franco-Spanish friends, designed in London, made in Spain mostly but also in Portugal. They believed in clothes made with great love, care and attention to details.
In 2018, this willingness to produce the best quality clothes in the most traditional way is almost an act of resistance in our global world of fast fashion!
Today, we would like to invite you on a journey through the creation process of a collection and to welcome you to Amaia’s ateliers in Spain. It is for us an opportunity to pay tribute to our fantastic team of exceptionally talented craftspersons.
- It’s all about fabrics!
The first step of a new collection is the careful selection of fabrics. The Libertys are bought in England, the country of Liberty, while other fabrics are bought in France and Spain and some fabrics are even exclusively created for our brand.
When choosing a fabric, Amaia and Ségolène favour the pattern, the colour palette, the material, the quality and, of course, they also trust their instinct when they have a crush on a fabric!
They always keep in mind two concepts which lay at the core of Amaia Kids’ brand identity: “Hand me down” and “Matching”.
An Amaia fabric is indeed a fabric that will not get out of style and that will stay in its pristine condition in order to be handed down to younger siblings or friends so quality, sturdiness and a timeless feeling are crucial.
As for “Matching”, it does highlight two aspects: the importance of family with siblings wearing matching clothes and also the importance of colours’ harmony: the collection’s garments have to match together.
After selecting the fabrics, Amaia and Ségolène draft some mood boards by colour palette and they start building up the collection with themes and families.
For example, Amaia’s 2018 Winter Tartan Theme includes three different Tartan Families: each tartan fabric comes in clothes for girls, boys, baby girls and baby boys in order to dress a whole family with the same fabric!
Once the collection’s prototypes are signed off, they go to production. The items are then allocated according to their requirements between our different sites mainly in Spain, but also in Portugal, two countries renowned for their textile excellency.
We produce small quantities to avoid waste. The beloved leftover fabrics are stored in our stock room (a real Ali Baba Cavern!). Because we love all the fabrics we once chose, it’s not difficult to find ways to use them again, albeit always in a different style!
2. It’s all about people!
We believe in close relationship with our suppliers and clothes makers, we have been knowing them for years and we value immensely their talent which is alas endangered by fast fashion.
We would like to introduce you to Carmen; our head of smocks. She lives in Andalousia and perpetuates the skills she learnt from her mother and grand-mother by creating our handmade smocks in the comfort of her home. Nowadays it proves fairly difficult to find talented people like Carmen who still know how to handmake smocks as they require time, knowledge and patience. Carmen has such a creative mind that when we ask her to submit a draft of the smocks’ pattern she intends to sew for a fabric, we always immediately approve her first draft!
Welcome to our couture dresses atelier: a very traditional workshop in Madrid where seamstresses have worked for more than twenty years. Our bespoke garments will be made by the most suitable dressmaker for each style and fabric; if it’s just one lady who is the best for this fabric, then she will be the only one to sew it!
Our exclusive prints, like the sashes and cummerbunds of the bridal party of HRH Princess Eugenie whose pattern was made from an artwork of Mark Bradford, are created in Pepe’s workshop, near Barcelona. He has some of the few traditional fabric printers left in the world. With is team, he can manually design any print, in any colour, like they used to be done a hundred years ago.
Coats Let us introduce you to Manoli and Sergio, brother and sister, who inherited their talent, knowledge and tiny workshop from their parents and grandparents. They work six months per year to fabricate our traditional beloved coats with boiled wool from Austria. They are extremely specialised and only produce coats, but the best!
Now let’s go back to Madrid to meet with Rosamaria and her brother who maintain the skills learnt from their father. They only make 100% woolen garments which are sewn on traditional weaving looms. There used to be more than 60 people working in their atelier and now they are only 18 left, so for us its very important to continue to support their amazing work season after season.
We hope you have enjoyed your short journey on Amaia’s creation process and meeting our fabulous team of dedicated and talented artisans. For them and for us, it’s all about excellence, tradition, transmission and talent to create the best clothes for your children.