How Kalila started Namoi designs
Local Adelaide based designer Kalila Stewart-Davis started NaMOI in 2011, incorporating her love of fashion, comfort & individuality to produce the truly unique product. I have decided to slowly rebrand to Kalila to avoid the Namoi/ Naomi confusion, currently using both names, Kalila & NaMOI, as we transition. The brand still embody's a timeless classic style with simple clean lines, attention to finishing details & a contemporary edge fostering the slow fashion movement.
Kalila & Namoi is an Australian fashion label, all garments are proudly designed & hand made in Adelaide by designer Kalila and her seamstress Julie. The luxurious resort wear inspired range is available exclusively through shop & studio, 29 Glen Osmond Rd Eastwood & selected markets.
Kalila & NaMOI produces ranges of basics and statement pieces. Natural textiles in conjunction with drapery allow for an effortlessly beautiful & striking silhouette. The free flowing, care free designs are the perfect match for women who appreciate style & quality.
How it all started
It all started in 2010, I started sewing a few garments in the evenings from my bedroom on the top floor of a terrace house in Surry Hills, while I was studying Fashion in Sydney. My good friend Julia urged me to do a photo shoot, set up facebook & a website. Choosing a name to embody my creations was a tricky decision making process. The logical thing to do would be to name the label Kalila after myself the designer, Kalila Stewart-Davis. However I wasn't ready to do that or preferred to come up with a different name. After seeing the word Namoi in numerous places including on a building in Queen St Woollahra, on a street sign just out of Byron Bay & hearing it in a song I was inspired to name the label NaMOI.
Namoi is a river in North Western New South Wales, the Narrabri region is known for Cotton farming. The name Namoi is derived from an indigenous name for a species of acacia. These earthy elements and my love of natural colours & sustainable fashion lead me to believe this would be the perfect name for my fledgling label.
I didn't anticipate was how confusing this unsuspecting name would be. Namoi looks a lot like Naomi, and not only do customers become confused but google likes to auto-correct Namoi to Naomi.
This is why after 8 years I have decided to re-brand and launch a new website under my name Kalila. My parents found the name Kalila in a baby name book, it took them 6 weeks to decide on the name. The name Kalila is Arabic in origin and is used to describe your beloved. I have dominant Scottish heritage so my name is not necessarily more logical but it is my name. I am under no illusions. Kalila is not any easier but perhaps as I am Kalila it is slightly less confusing than Namoi or Naomi.
After 5 years at 29 Glen Osmond Rd Eastwood and a year on Magill Rd we have decided to move back to Glen Osmond Rd and continue to trade 6 days a week from my shop & studio. Come & visit me 10am - 5pm Monday - Saturday at 29 Glen Osmond Rd Eastwood x Kalila
Where are our garments made?
All Kalila & Namoi garments are made on site at the shop & studio on Glen Osmond RD Eastwood, pop in & see for yourself. Kalila & her staff pattern make, cut, sew & finish all Kalila & Namoi garments onsite at the shop. Ethically manufacturing all our garments in Adelaide.
Kalila & Namoi use a variety of fabrics to suit our customers & their lifestyles.
As a designer I am very aware of the immense impact the fashion industry has on the environment. Natural & synthetic fabrics have an impact & it is very important that as a designer I carefully consider our fabrics & the impact they have. I use rayon jersey, viscose jersey, bamboo jersey, organic cotton, tencel, lyocell, rayon, modal, silk, linen, cotton, polyester chiffon, polyester crepe, Merino wool, Italian wool cashmere & more. Some customers love natural fibers for their breath-ability & biodegradability, I will always offer to make any garment in a natural alternative, I have the means to order in small quantities of these fabrics. I also use a range of synthetic fibres, I do not make this decision lightly. Some customers love the wash & wear longevity of synthetic fibres. I believe it is important to ensure each garment I make & sell will be worn to it's fullest extent, this means looking at the entire life of the garment & how well loved & worn they are.
I source fabrics from distributors who on sell "dead stock" or designer end of rolls. This means that small rolls of fabric that are no longer being used by larger manufacturers & designers can be utilised & thus decreasing waste in the industry.
I also source from a company that produces organic cotton & Australian Merino wool, knitted in Melbourne, it doesn't get much better than that.
I also have suppliers who have stock on hand of our basic fabrics, I am on the lookout for new suppliers who can supply me with consistent supply & with better eco credentials.
Can I do better?
Yes! There is always room for improvement, over the last 12 months I have been sampling garments in new fabrics, offering more options, I will continue to diversify our range of fabrics & be transparent about the benefits & impacts of these fabrics, just ask me... or look out for a blog post on fabrics, coming soon.
I have always tried to minimise the waste generated in manufacturing Kalila & Namoi garments, I achieve this by sampling our range & seeing what the response is from my customers, whatever sells well I make more of & whatever does not sell well I stop making, I am able to do this as I am a small business. This allows me to reduce the amount of stock that is discounted at the end of each season. Kalila & Namoi garments are versatile & trans-seasonal, allowing my customers to wear them for years not just one season.
Through the years I have saved & used as many fabric off cuts as I can, using them for up-cycling projects, remember our tassel scarfs, donating them to kindergartens, schools & opp shops. I hope to invest time into developing a recycling program for these off cuts this year, 2020.
Circular fashion economy...
Our latest initiative, a fashion buy back.... If you have Kalila & Namoi garments in your wardrobe you no longer wear, you are most welcome to bring them back into our store & re-sell them. I have a rack of stock in the shop filled with samples & pre-loved Kalila & Namoi pieces, this ensures that our garments life is extended & also offers a cheaper price point. I can either sell them on consignment or I can give you a gift voucher for the shop. More details will be available soon. Pop in & see me for more information.
I am also working on recycling those garments you have loved & worn until they are no longer able to be worn, they should be properly recycled & disposed of.
Please feel free to email me with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org x K