Head Designer Angelique Essmann and her partner founded LAUDEM DEO in 2014 after living in the Cayman Islands for two and a half years, working and traveling extensively. She had studied fashion in Cape Town and graduated, so while in the Caribbean she looked for flattering dresses, something sophisticated to wear in the heat. Not finding the look she wanted, she took swaths of South African fabrics and began draping them in different ways and this became her “look.” She immediately began receiving compliments from so many women, asking where they could buy these dresses.
When Angelique returned to South Africa, she decided to bring these styles to life, starting her own brand, LAUDEM DEO to feature her uniquely exquisite wrap dresses, adjustable garments that fit perfectly and look flattering on women of all sizes and shapes. Angelique’s beautifully designed wrap dresses are now being worn by discerning women everywhere, women who want to look and feel their best every time they walk out the door. LAUDEM DEO’s customers are professional women who range in age from 30 to 50, as well as stay-at-home moms with active lifestyles that embrace who they are, their femininity and the confidence they feel when wearing our designs.
ON BEING AN ETHICAL BRAND
Angelique and her partner’s time abroad reinforced their belief in and commitment to South Africa and it’s profoundly unique cultural abundance. They embraced their opportunity to launch a truly distinctive women’s wear collection that celebrates the woman’s natural form. The “icing on the cake” was being in a position to support South Africa’s fashion industry, to create jobs for women who had been struggling in a depressed economy. South Africa had been battered and torn for many years, disenfranchised due to apartheid. LAUDEM DEO is helping to rebuild the country and the fashion industry by headquartering in South Africa and manufacturing all their clothing within Africa. Their hiring practices demonstrate their belief that all humans are valued and have talents that must be rewarded.
Garments bearing the LAUDEM DEO brand are made with only high quality, ethically sourced fabrics. Every dress is meticulously handmade, sewn by a seamstress who otherwise would likely be unemployed. A great deal of attention is given to construction, ensuring that every dress drapes perfectly and has a beautiful finish. Women wearing these pieces will feel and look feminine, sophisticated and luxurious in these naturally flowing classic designs that transcend seasons and can be confidently worn for years to come.
As a brand, LAUDEM DEO aims much higher than designing and creating women’s fashion, although it is certainly passionate about that. We also recognize that in the great scheme of life, clothing and fashion have little significance in the face of human suffering and hardship. We strive to take our love of creating beautiful fashionable women’s clothing beyond simply succeeding in a crowded market. We do this by focusing on all the people who make up our very intricate process, by considering who they are, what they’ve been through and caring deeply about the kind of lives they and their families lead in a country we love and will continue to support.