Despite only forming as a brand last year, Imi Studios is already laying the foundations for a wildly popular and undeniably successful fashion brand. Designing vibrant and colourful pieces, made to order and advertised on socials, brand founder Imogen Evans seems to have tapped into a winning formula.
Originally hailing from Scotland, she showed her first collection at Vancouver Fashion Week before levelling up to show in New York the next season, with a poignant collection that explored the stories of sexual assualt survivors. Now releasing a handful of capsule collections as Imi studios, her focus lies with sustainability, innovative fabric use and disruptive silhouettes. We caught up with her to discuss her journey thus far, and what’s next for Imi.
How did you get started with fashion and design as a whole?
When I was 11, I received a super basic sewing machine for Christmas. I started making garments on the weekends but I had no idea how to pattern cut and everything I made was wonky! Throughout school, I couldn’t wait to leave Edinburgh and start working. I anticipated starting my own fashion brand and I knew that having an online audience would help me do so. So when I was 15 I started an online fashion blog. I would update it every Friday night and would take photos in various colourful outfits and write about them. I’d also post these to Instagram and would obsessively tag brands / creators I liked to try and get their attention.
If you had to identify three core features of your work, what would these be?
Colour, print and deconstruction.
Do you have a piece that encapsulates your brand or ethos the best, and if so what is it?
I think our Echo dress encapsulates Imi Studios. This is because it’s hand draped using my signature technique and I just love the overall look of the set. Unfortunately the fabric has been discontinued but we’re trying really hard to find an alternative!
I know that your work is grounded in sustainable practices – can you speak a bit more about this?
Our pieces are made to order, to minimise waste. Also, all of our packaging is either reusable, recyclable, compostable or made or recycled materials. We also use recycled lycra where we can and often recycle fabric offcuts.
Have you faced any unexpected challenges along your journey?
Loads! You quickly realise that things go wrong in business all the time. I guess you just have to roll with the punches and adapt. I feel as though I’ve learnt so much since starting the brand 18 months ago.
Talk to us about the most recent pop up!
The pop up went really well! It was so lovely to meet customers in person and connect with them. We’ve never done an in person event before but it’s definitely something I want to do again. We’ve had our best month yet in terms of sales – time to make up all of the orders!
Can you run us through your typical creative process?
As I currently design, make orders, run socials and E-commerce, I don’t truthfully have loads of time to spend developing collection concepts with meaningful context. My work used to be inspired by social issues but now it’s more of a case of randomly thinking of pieces I like (usually right before I go to sleep), writing them down and then toiling and making them. We’re currently looking at outsourcing a couple of pieces to a sustainable manufacturing facility in Portugal so hopefully this will give me more time to develop concepts in detail.
What’s next for Imi studios?
We are currently working on a collaboration with one of my favourite brands! I can’t wait to reveal what we’ve been working on.
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