Susan Dimasi: Fashion Designer
Christina Morrison: "Your label, “Material By Product,” is front and centre of the (necessary) push for sustainable fashion. Can you tell us a little about your use of particular fabrics which allow you to embrace this environmentally-sound concept?"
(below: The fashion designer, Susan Dimasi).
Susan Dimasi: "High quality silk, wool and leather are my three top material choices for crafting sustainable fashion because they make women feel beautiful, powerful and at ease. Anything that can make a women who is busy running her own business feel like that will be a “go-to” and a “keeper” which is why they tick my sustainable boxes." (pic: The designer, Susan Dimasi).
CM: "Relocating your atelier from busy Collins Street to rural Victoria is a bold move. Will you be expecting more online fittings to evolve from this choice?"
SD: "Yes all new clients will be ushered into virtual fittings. The benefits of having their your own shoes and accessories at their fingertips and the time to linger in their fashion pieces in the comfort of their own homes is even more effective than face to face for building their confidence and command in this process. There is also the obvious time-saving which helps them prioritise time to connect more deeply in the exclusive members' salons."
CM: "Can you tell us about the process of creating an online fitting? How difficult is it to create an authentic fitting experience via a digital setting?"
SD: "The complex part of a virtual fitting is the fifteen years of hands on experience I’ve had fitting thousands bespoke garments and developed the skill set to do Virtual Fittings. For the members it’s quite easy! We jump on a video call and check all the details, head to toe. They roughly stick pins in where needed and I can take it from there based on what my trained eye can clearly see. I make notes and they do a verbal video sign off and return the piece in prepaid post package provided. 24hrs after the fitting they will be given the opportunity to communicate any further adjustments that might have come to mind with an email prompt."
CM: "It seems that most of your clientele are high-powered entrepreneurs…Is it difficult to offer suggestions/advice to people whom may be more accustomed to setting down rules for others? How do you go about forging a relationship which encourages your clients to trust that you know what’s best?!"
SD: "Members are hand picked via a thorough consultation process before they are invited to join. The consultation process establishes if there is any common ground where I can help and if their values align with the community. This process establishes a code of conduct and sets the terms so that I can create the best possible outcomes for them. Moreover it immerses them in a discovery process which taps them into their source of creativity as a source of power. This source of personal power is increased by connection with other like minded women." (below: Susan Dimasi presenting to clients).
CM: "What are you looking forward to most about moving to Mildura? Are we going to see a trend with more creatives moving to rural locations?"
SD: "I take an alternative and preventative approach to my health but like most intensive creatives and business owners there is a real risk of burnout. Now, I am looking forward to leading a healthier lifestyle that will on a very practical level will extend my creative life. On a spiritual level, I look forward to deepening my internal growth through being in a more supportive and connected environment."
CM: "Any plans to move back to Melbourne or elsewhere or do we have to wait and see what’s in store?"
SD: "I think the over aching trends are to simplify life, be less busy and more connected. For me I wanted to bring my life goals, to be more connected with family and nature together with my business goals to systemise, continue to leverage and scale utilising a different skill base and deploying a different product model. All of the industry disrupting changes I have implemented over four years combined with technology that can bridge geography and circumstances gave me a window of opportunity to make a bold move."
CM: "What inspires you creatively?"
SD: "Once I would have simply said 'process,' from a very academic and design-centric stand point. Now I will say the magic that sparks when my process is ignited by collaboration with an intelligent woman who really wants to express herself."