Q&A: Alex Trimmer of Sosume
Born and raised in Australia, Alex Trimmer left his homeland for a bite of the Big Apple in 2008. He had just graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra and he was getting settled in New York, when he was invited to a barbeque in Brooklyn that would change the course of his next two years tremendously. Now the successful lead designer of Sosume, Trimmer's clothes are known for their luxurious draping and soft organic fabrics. His Fall/Winter collection, which is already a big hit in Australia due to the seasonal difference, is just getting in the hands of American shoppers and LadyLux wanted to be the first to hear about it. Alex Trimmer took a moment to chat about the bbq that changed his career and his dedication to sustainable design.
LadyLux: I heard it all started at a BBQ in Brooklyn. What stimulated the start of Sosume?
Alex Trimmer: That’s right! I was moving into a new apartment in Brooklyn and met my future roommate at a BBQ. I was just starting out designing my own basic tee collection when I was introduced to Paulina, a then Fashion Design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, who suggested I look into organics. I had just graduated with a Bachelor’s in Commerce and thought we could build something great together utilizing our two valuable backgrounds. If we never met at that fateful BBQ, SOSUME would definitely not be where it is today with the current aesthetic.
LL: NY and Australia seem like drastically different places. How do you find inspiration and simultaneously appeal to both?
AT: It can be tricky at times but you’d be surprised. Generally, sub-cultures are the same around the world and with everything being communicated online - images, inspiration, style, design, etc - can all be shared instantaneously. One of the major components that influence a collection for us is the fabrication. As we pride ourselves on using sustainable fabrics, we have a limited fabric selection and are constantly researching new fabrics and materials. We then have to design collections that best utilize these fabrics and their qualities and blend them with our inspiration for a collection.
LL: How would you describe your aesthetic?
AT: SOSUME is a modern, contemporary label that aims at targeting the modern woman. As she is busy, intelligent, and ambitious, we understand that her time is precious and rare. The overall aesthetic therefore, is to make this woman know that she can always rely on SOSUME to provide clothing that has strong lines, clean cuts, always looks sharp, never too dressy and is incredibly comfortable and easy to wear without effort whether or not she’s in the office or brunching on the weekend. As she storms through the airport heading to meetings, she always looks elegant, engaged in her world and is wearing something that gives back to the environment without it appearing so. Through intimate detail in the fabrication and design, she always looks the part. Overall, the underpinning philosophy is that SOSUME provides sustainable clothing that won’t force you to change your style. We compliment the modern woman’s flair and won’t force her to wear a stereotypical flowery sundress in order to bear something that is considered “sustainable”.
LL: I noticed that have eco-friendly garments. Is being green important to you as a designer?
AT: I believe being green is one of the single most important components of modern design. In all types, whether it be in fashion, architecture, industrial or even interior design, it’s vital to realize that the whole “green” movement isn’t just some buzzword used as a marketing gimmick. It’s the way forward, it’s the future, and its here to stay and evolve. It also forces the designer to really think about every aspect of a creation before they begin their creative process because not all materials are available if you can only use sustainable matter. It’s so interesting and exciting to see what designers are now coming up with as more and more are going down this green pathway.
LL: How have your garments been received in the different countries, U.S. and Australia?
AT: SOSUME has had great success in Australia with a really good response season after season. With no practical experience in the industry, we managed to establish relationships with around 24 retailers, including in New Zealand and Japan. The U.S. is much more competitive and I believe takes a little more time to get established in the market but we’ve had great feedback from our recent Winter Collection which is due to drop into stores and become available online in August and are extremely excited to start showing the new Summer 2011 Collection. We want to carefully build strong relationships with key retailers that have a loyal customer base. We value repeat customers and want to keep providing quality garments to them, progressing and maturing with them through time.