We always find ourselves on the eternal search for the perfect pair of black sandals come summer, and we're not alone. A.EMERY designer Anna McLaren was doing the same, and thankfully decided to do something, about it.
Launching her affordable yet luxury leather sandal brand in 2017 with a range of all black styles, we are willing to place bets that come summer, A.EMERY will be the sandal on everyone's feet.
Tell us about A.EMERY, this is it’s debut collection, how long have you been working on the label?
A.EMERY’s debut range is a considered collection of all black sandals. Designs that are refined and tailored, sandals to be paired with timeless wardrobe pieces for both the urban and holiday environment.
Our first collection was about stripping it back to the basics. Starting with a foundation of black and exploring silhouettes and textures. Black sandals will always be the core of our range, but in the coming summer months we are excited to introduce additional colours into the range.
The concept of A.EMERY is something I had been considering about for many years. Sandals are such a staple piece in the Australian summer wardrobe, but I found myself spending the entire Australian winter searching for the best pairs in the international market. The styles I liked with minimal, clean designs were always well out of my price range.
This hole in the market is what drove me to start A.EMERY. I began to really invested my time into A.EMERY it in late 2016. From this point on it was quite a fast journey with just one year passing until we launched in December 2017.
While there are many ups and downs of a start-up journey the most challenging part of the process was finding a supplier that met our high standards and quality requirements.
What were you doing before A.EMERY?
Over the past 7 years I have been working as a womenswear designer for a large Australian retailer. The experience and the knowledge I built during my time was instrumental to starting A.EMERY. I built up a knowledge base of not only design but product development, costings and working with offshore suppliers. The move from apparel to footwear is an exciting one, full of challenges and highlights.
I am also lucky to have the support of my husband as my business partner. His many years as a Chartered Accountant have really helped us start the business on solid footing. Our partnership is complimentary in many ways, I am able to look after the design, product and visuals side of the brand while Richard is able to focus on the back end business and finance.
You collaborated with Albus Lumen for their Resort 19 Runway collection, how did this come about and why did you decide to offer your designs in a deep brown come summer?
The collaboration came to light through the wonderful world of Instagram. As a newly launched brand our marketing budget is small so we decided to focus on sharing high quality content on Instagram to spread the word about A.EMERY.
Marina Afonina and the girls from Albus Lumen came across our page on Instagram and we started the conversation about collaborating for the Resort 19 show at MBFWA. We worked on both black and chocolate brown sandals for the show in our three key silhouettes, the Beau, Quinn and Jasper sandals. The Albus Lumen show was full of such beautiful warm rich colours inspired by Pablo Piccaso and his wives, the chocolate colour sat back perfectly.
These warm tones are such important shades for SS19 and offer a softness against the core black collection, the decision to offer chocolate was obvious. Saying this, we have still kept our black sole, something that runs consistent throughout the range.
Tell us about the quality of the A.EMERY sandals
The quality of A.EMERY sandals is extremely important. Before launch we did a lot of sampling from different regions of the world (China, Indonesia, Italy and India) to ensure we offer the best quality for the price point.
Keeping the sandals under $200 AUD was important to me, as a consumer of luxury goods myself I prefer to invest in pieces that will last for decades, such as boots and bags. Sandals, I always prefer to be more affordable but still of very high quality.
The decision to produce in India was obvious upon seeing the first round of samples. India specialise in working with leather across apparel and footwear and you really see this in their handwriting. All the sandals are handmade from leather upper, leather insole and outsole.
Your designs are minimal and timeless, is this something that’s important to you and the brand?
The ethos for A.EMERY will always be minimal, timeless, considered designs that can be paired back with both your city wardrobe and resort wear. I really focus on the way the sandals sit on the foot, it’s important that they are flattering and elongate the silhouette of the body. My favourite outfits to pair back with A.EMERY sandals is vintage Levis and a white t-shirt or a simple slip dress with a blazer.