about kimbralou

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​​kimbralou is a mashup of my first and second name, Kimbra Louise and so fitted perfectly for a label name representing ‘mashed up’ fashion which transforms salvaged textile waste into exclusive customised kimbralou pieces. 

From the 3rd June 2017 until now, the Instagram kimbralou serves as a channel to exclusively capture what has been a freight train pace of brand activity with many special entities who have ridden with me.

My name is Kimbra and my brand is kimbralou. In early 2017, I set up an Instagram account called kimbralou to use as a modern version of a Nanas’ Brag Book. Feeling the ‘Empty Nest’ I started a void filling exercise of customising salvaged fashion waste. I decided to sell the small customised collection at Sunday markets where to my surprise they sold out with many comments of, “OMG! this is exactly what I want but can’t find anywhere!” These comments and subsequent sales made me sense that I had something special and creative to offer. The personal Instagram handle ‘kimbralou’ became the label name. 
 
 

 
STAY WOKE

The core of the salvaged and customised process of kimbralou is to take every exclusive design beyond your imagination. When you emotionally engage with the physical product it becomes truely priceless.

The collectors of kimbralou have given me the confidence to say that the benefit of ‘owning‘ kimbralou is that you get consistent compliments from everyone. I’m a strong advocate for ‘owning’ yourself by being comfortable in your skin and not letting anyone take you out of that by editing the ‘extra’ version of yourself down. It is you owning yourself that creates the magic of the overall look.

I personally see and hear from so many of you, who are delighted to own a salvaged and customised piece that it motivates me to continue to create. I call you the ‘Stay Woke Generation’, being so mindful of your unique ‘it’ factor, despite age, pronoun or others opinions. 

Owning a kimbralou piece is the biggest key to help me bring many virgin pieces and textiles back into the fashion lifecycle. 

I am pleased to be with so many in this ‘fashionable’ space, where collectively I feel we all consider the burning question, “Does it cost the earth?” 

SPEAKING MY TRUTH IN KIMBRALOU 

Things shift in a profound way… a truth of Kimbra via kimbralou powers everything. It is important for me to tell you about it. 

I lived my childhood within domestic violence and was kept silent. I attribute the stress as the catalyst for the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis I developed and wrecked my body with no disease modifying drugs available during that time. Today I am disabled and cannot walk without my custom black boots while I live with chronic pain. I realise none of this would be that obvious to you. 

There is one significant story, of many, I need to tell you to put kimbralou into context and the reason I say ‘own yourself’, even in adversity. 

My Mother was a high school sewing teacher and was well known for her fabulous handmade fashion looks. It’s emotionally hard for me to recall but Mother had select ‘surrogate daughters’, as she called them. They would be given special invitations to come to the house for extra sewing tuition outside their class lessons with her while I was firmly told to stay away.

Compounding this, I was failed in Grade 8 sewing by her Home Ec. colleague. As one of the greatest ironies of my long life I have customised all the 29 runway looks and pieces I’ve sold on the old sewing machines once owned by Mother and my grade 8 sewing teacher.

There is a rebellious energy that is transcribed into the brand kimbralou from these experiences. I feel very proud that I’ve always owned myself in the face of adversity with unwavering execution of my many strengths.  

THE ACCIDENTAL DESIGNER

If you want to find out how a 50 year old RN became a ‘Fashion Designer’ late 2017, then here is the story….

Simply, the customised pieces I had randomly started to design, mid 2017, were scouted by RAW Australia and given a Runway showcase. RAW is an international entity that hosts showcases every two months, simultaneously around the world, to facilitate the emergence of creatives. 

I actually consider myself as a social purpose ‘native’ who has done it from the start given my 20 year history of selling salvaged fashion, as a side hustle, to my Nursing career. 

My purpose is to have kimbralou be seen as a viable prong of a paradigm shift in the ongoing searches for something better in fashion that doesn’t cost the earth.



A CULTURE OF PURPOSE

kimbralou's rapid emergence in 2018 intuitively aligned with the rising interest towards gender neutral fashion. The first and second generation kimbralou models, that were scouted from the street, are a significant example of the clear knowing that individuals were using clothing to model deeper values and beliefs.

These exclusively selected models became the face of kimbralou and could project ownership of oneself in the loud kimbralou customised pieces.

  

 Collectively, the kimbralou designs, models and exclusive photographer stepped in real time to the notion of genderless fashion as it overflowed the fashion industry.Many runway events accepted the official kimbralou models to showcase their unrehearsed walk that generated an overwhelming power surge within the audience. It validated the collective ability of kimbralou to inspire an emotional response from showcasing the fearless ability to step outside a traditional mindset.

There were some runway events, however, that revealed a perceived hesitancy to allow the kimbralou models to join the stereotypical. The ideology underpinning the transgender, non binary and the rest of the LGBTQIA+ community, in these instances, were largely rejected and excluded.

kimbralou and it’s special entities, together with the emerging ‘stay woke generation’, will continue to go above the established order to build a stronger sense of belonging.