I AM by Andrea Moore is of course a diffusion line to fashion designer Andrea Moore’s main label
But at the helm is this girlboss, Jacenta Kwan. In case you’re thinking ‘I’ve seen that jacket she’s wearing (above) and I want it!’ you’re bound to have an ‘ah ha’ moment when we remind you that I AM was the brand everyone was Snapchatting and Instagramming like crazy at our Miss FQ NZFW show. So without further adieu, this is Jacenta’s story…
Tell us about your incredible journey to being the emerging designer who now leads the design for I AM…
I have been with Andrea Moore for about 5 and a half years and initially did all the production management for her dealing with sampling and bulk. When I came on board 95% of the production was made in NZ and we have now partnered with the textile company CWT that looks after our production overseas. The IAM label started in Spring Summer 2014 as the Andrea Moore diffusion label and initially started as 10 styles per season in Andrea Moore shops.
How is I AM different from the main Andrea Moore line?
The IAM label is younger in age group and attitude, she is a bit more casual and likes to have fun with her clothing and still wear colour and print. It always has an animal icon as its key theme. She is more playful than the Andrea Moore line and is more preppy in her styling.
I AM was a part of our Miss FQ show at NZ Fashion Week and everyone adored seeing the clothes come down the catwalk! Can you talk us through the inspiration for this current collection?
The current collection is called White Oasis and started from a statement print on a white base filled with tropical leaves and palms. From there hidden birds were placed amongst the leaves. The image of a swallow is made into a geometric pattern and paired with a heart and leaf printed viscose to wear back with. The knitted tops compliment the range with a leaf printed jumper a little swallow icon on a plain grey marle knit.
The range then moves to nautical stripes, anchors and a little boat print. The idea of resort wear is brought in with a large pineapple print you can easily wear to the beach or drinks. This print plays a starring role and the navy and white makes it easy to wear. A tangerine floral called Honey pot finishes the collection in a long maxi and the colour adds a refreshing energy to the range.
Where did the name I AM come from?
IAM was a play on Colin McCahon’s IAM painting symbolising identity as well as the AM being Andrea Moore’s initials. The word IAM is very powerful and makes a statement about who you are and one’s character.
Describe the I AM girl…
We often describe the IAM girl as the quirky niece of Andrea Moore. The IAM brand is all about friendship, comradery and is always illustrated as a girl gang alongside her eclectic friends. She isn’t afraid of colour and likes to accessorise with bold prints.
The range has just gone into Farmers which is a very exciting and accessible move for I AM. What other amazing developments can we expect from your brand in the future?
It is extremely exciting that IAM has just gone into Farmers! It was pleasing to find a bigger home for the IAM brand that is accessible to a larger market. There are more things in the pipeline that can’t be revealed yet… but working on other categories within IAM to complete the IAM lifestyle.
Andrea Moore is such an icon for women’s fashion in New Zealand! What is it that you love about working for her?
I love Andrea’s sense of colour and print the most! I have watched her over the years putting collections together and how she matches colours and designs prints. Andrea has taught me a lot about putting a range together, working on outfits and colour and needing to have depth of options in a range. She always has a different take on something and comes up with ideas I wouldn’t have thought of, she has such a strong eye on styling and photoshoots that she instantly knows what works. Brian and Andrea have always been great bosses that are extremely supportive and they always push me to grow more and given me great opportunities.