Before LAUDEM DEO, I had never worked in the fashion industry. I studied fashion design at school in Cape Town, but I didn’t have long-term experience before starting the brand.
When I was living in the Cayman Islands, I was searching for clothing that was flattering and sophisticated, but that was also comfortable in the Caribbean heat. I would take swaths of fabric that I had acquired in South Africa and drape and wrap them in different ways. I was always receiving compliments on my style and had lots of women asking where they could buy the same thing!
When I returned home to South Africa, I just couldn’t shake the idea of bringing these concepts to life. I have a deep love for my country and knew I wanted to contribute to the growth of its economy. We are a proudly South African brand and by producing garments in this county, we are creating job opportunities for men and women in this sector that has been under strain for the last few years.
You can see some of these early ideas in our current collection, especially the Belicia and Olivia dresses. The concept for these started when I literally tied a piece of fabric around myself﹘now we obviously have seams and hems in these dresses so that anyone can wear these styles. (Although I will still wrap fabric around me if I find a beautiful piece to wear!) Because they can be adjusted to your body type, they truly look good on everyone. As women, we deserve to feel beautiful in our clothing, and at LAUDEM DEO we hope to create clothing that does just that.
— Angelique Essmann