Hi! I am Cassandra.
I graduated from Central St Martin’s School of Art and spent several years afterwards in London developing my own brand. My thing was making limited edition designs by upcycling vintage clothes using my fabric collection from all over the world, and sold these at the London markets. I also sold fashion fabric prints to DKNY, Isaac Mizrahi, Gap and many others. Finally I launched my own printed womenswear label: Cassandra Postema London, which was awarded New Generation sponsorship by the British Fashion Council.
My brand got coverage in Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and other high profile magazines through sales in London boutiques such as The Cross, Koh Samui and Anna, where celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Kelly McDonald and Sophie Anderton bought pieces. But although being in the London Fashion Week system was exciting, it just didn’t match my way of working. As a small fledgling brand I had to conform to everything, including sourcing materials from wholesalers which limited my creativity.
So after a couple of years I decided it was time to go back to Asia, having grown up in Singapore, and ended up in Hong Kong, earning a living on the production side of things. For a couple of years I worked with high end fashion brands (Cerrutti, Dolce Gabanna, Cacharel, Evisu etc) and fast fashion brands (Lane Bryant, Warehouse, Miss Sixty, Primark etc), and everything in between, helping them develop new fashion and prints. I learned a lot about the fashion industry, and in particular how prices and seasonal schedules were squeezing designers and manufacturers at both ends.
I searched for a way to use recycling and sustainable practices to make a difference with my design skills. In Cambodia I found many charities trying to help marginalised people groups through income generating projects. I also talked to various struggling artisans. Finally, armed with production, sourcing and brand concept knowledge, I launched Emi & Eve in 2013.
Emi & Eve works with artisans to make jewellery from war time bullets and artillery shells. This journey has spanned Cambodia, Bangkok, Singapore, Rome, Bali and soon Ethiopia. It has been an epic story of hope and survival despite many obstacles. Some of which:
- Working with producer groups with very different (unhelpful) work ethics
- Landing a distributor deal before production had ever been scaled
- Realising the business concept was not feasible the way we had set it up
And some of the milestones:
- Landing a 5 year distribution contract, while that company even helped with rebranding our logo.
- Being able to donate products and contribute funds to the NPA and their landmine detection dogs and women dog handlers
- Being asked to speak and then mentored in jewellery making at Loupe, the art foundation owned by Chow Tai Fook, only China’s biggest jewellery retailer
- Still recycling wartime bullets and artillery shells from Cambodia, Java and Ethiopia
In amongst the chaos, I managed to follow the path of the story I am selling.
Are you a designer or marketer, looking for ways to tell your story so that it resonates? Are you overwhelmed by the many voices around you and trying to find a clear path?
Now is the time to find your story and your brand, as the fashion world finally opens to listen to the independent sustainable way. Get in touch if you need design help or consulting. Happy to chat without obligation.