As so many good ideas are, LiaMo was conceived over drinks. While catching up over martinis at the bar inside the art-deco landmark Claridge’s in London, Emanuelle Adkins and her mother Beatrix Rendall were talking fashion design, mainly discussing the clothes that they wanted and nobody was making. Moved by a little liquid courage, Adkins reminded her mom about the leather jacket she designed a year ago and boldly suggested the two of them create the line they wanted to buy.
“I needed to save room in my suitcase and slipped the biker jacket on and my mom and other women gushed about how fabulous it looked on me. That planted a seed, and at Claridge’s it turned into a forest.”
“My young sons were obsessed with a designer leather jacket so instead of buying a growing child Gucci, I designed a jacket and had a sample made,” said Adkins. “I needed to save room in my suitcase and slipped the biker jacket on and my mom and other women gushed about how fabulous it looked on me. That planted a seed, and at Claridge’s it turned into a forest.” Despite Adkins living in Paradise Valley, Arizona and her mother living along the French Riviera in Monaco, the mother/daughter duo is fiercely close.
“She’s always been my best friend and sounding board about everything,” Adkins said of her mom, “if I was going to do anything this big, I’d only do it with her.” The two conceived of a fashion line designed for stylish, globetrotting women of all ages, just like themselves.
Rendall’s life was one of changing landscapes as she was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Australia and then moved to Switzerland at 19, where she would meet her British husband. On the other hand, Adkins was born in Switzerland, raised in Monaco and would eventually marry an American. Rendall’s own mother was a talented seamstress who made clothes for her family and others to help make ends meet, so, the art of patternmaking and sewing was passed down to her. But this set of skills was never something she thought could help serve her in life. Prior to designing clothes as a profession, she worked as a personnel manager for the International Air Transportation Association, before transitioning to a marketing position for her husband’s business.
As for her daughter, Adkins studied marketing and ecommerce at the International University of Monaco while designing one-off cocktail dresses for individuals and small boutiques as a hobby. After graduation she pivoted to high-end interior design, working throughout the French Riviera before marrying and coming to the United States. Drawing from their backgrounds and a life filled with world travel, the two decided to design and launch a fashion line and toast the birth of LiaMo. Keeping family at the forefront of the brand, LiaMo comes from Adkins’ two sons’ names Liam and Montgomery. Currently, Adkins is the creative director, while Rendall focuses on business operations. “I wanted to be a part of LiaMo with my daughter because we have always done so much together and as a team, we are much more than the sum of our parts,” said Rendall. “Building a business with your best friend and daughter is a privilege.”
LiaMo can best be described as a timeless, elegant line with a twist—always designed for the jetsetter. The core of its collection focuses on leather goods, which are produced at their atelier in London. “My roots and heart are English,” said Adkins. “I wanted to tie into my heritage and the British have a strong history of craftsmanship and tailoring.” The company released its first collection at last year’s Paris Fashion Week with four pieces; trench, biker and tuxedo jackets and a cape.
LiaMo pairs the playfulness of unexpected colors and textures with impeccable cut. In fact, the most popular item in the collection is the bubble gum pink trench coat.
“This is our Essential Collection. While the colors may change, these pieces will always be a part of our line,” said Adkins. Speaking of colors, that is quickly becoming another hallmark of the brand. Instead of focusing solely on neutral leathers LiaMo pairs the playfulness of unexpected colors and textures with impeccable cut. In fact, the most popular item in the collection is the bubble gum pink trench coat. “It’s popular with both young and older woman,” said Adkins. “You can make it very chic and elegant or totally funky. That’s one color that is here to stay.”
The new Spring/Summer 2020 Collection marks a big expansion for the fashion brand LiaMo, with 11 styles offered in multiple colors and fabrics, their essential outwear items include leather shorts and dresses along with French silk blouses and dresses. “Our goal is to be a brand that women can go to time and time again for long-lasting, evergreen pieces,” said Adkins. “We’re everything that disposable fashion is not. LiaMo pieces will be the ones that daughters want to steal from their mother’s wardrobes.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A FIERCELY FEMININE FASHION ICON
“Our goal is to be a brand that women can go to time and time again for long-lasting, evergreen pieces.”
Adkins’ fashion design inspiration comes both from her travels and the designers she admires. “I adore Dior for the sheer beauty of their designs and I love Karl Lagerfeld’s earlier work. He was an absolute legend,” she said. “I love what Hedi Slimane did with Yves Saint Laurent and what he’s doing for Celine. It’s exciting to watch.”
LiaMo launched in several upscale boutiques in Monaco and has a partnership with Bespoke Your World, a unique London showroom that dresses some of the wealthiest clients in the world. The brands first foray into retail in the US just happened with the introduction of their line at Los Angeles’ Peri A. boutique. “We’re being very strategic about retail,” explained Adkins. “We don’t wish to be everywhere. We want to remain exclusive with small production.” The collection is available online and LiaMo offers women the ability to customize both length and fit, as well as their leather skin and color.
For the two fashion designers, in addition to creating amazing clothing, it was equally important that their company give back. Every piece of clothing bears the label “You are Loved,” reflecting their belief that every life matters. “As blessed as we both are, we believe we must pay it forward and bless others,” said Adkins. So, 10 percent of the company’s profits are donated to charities that help women and children.
While LiaMo is still a newcomer to the fashion world, Adkins is already thinking ahead, hinting at a children’s line. Since launching LiaMo, Adkins became a mother to a new daughter named Georgiana and with a company named after her two sons, we can bet where inspiration for the new division will come from.