We caught up with one of our clients, Myriam Achour from Soumati, to hear more about her studio, where she finds inspiration, and what it’s been like starting her own brand.
Myriam’s prints range from sentimental one-colour illustrations to complex tropical prints. Committed to sustainability and “slow fashion”, her range is always printed onto ethical garments with a focus on impact.
Q: First off, where does the name of your brand: Soumati, come from?
A: Soumati is a name. An identity. It’s also a love story, of art and fashion. Slow fashion. We’re named after the Algerian tribe of the Atlas Mountains from where I am a descendant, the Soumata. Like my grandfather, my father, my aunts and uncles, my brothers, I am a Soumati.
Q: What made you decide to start a clothing line featuring your art pieces?
A: I am a self-taught drawer and painter. Years ago, I started to paint on t-shirts to create unique pieces for my friends and myself. It was a project I couldn’t put too much time into as I was working full-time in marketing. This year in January, I became a freelancer and decided to make the dream happen; create an artistic and mindful clothing line.
Q: From where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
A: As a painter, I draw my inspiration from nature, cities and people. From places I call home: London, Paris, and Algeria. From places I love to travel to: Northern California and Italy. I am also fascinated by the human body and its curves, movements and energy.
As a designer for Soumati, I drew my first collection around nature: great, wild and tropical, and worked on a more graphic and outlined style. I am about to launch the new Winter collection. It has a warm and vibrant tropical vibe, but also pastel and nostalgic colours. It’s about love and freedom. I feel this collection is bolder and more mature.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge with starting your brand?
A: I think the main challenge for every artist, creative and entrepreneur is the same: believing in yourself and finding your place. You need to get up every morning, keep motivated, inspired and confident. My close people are the most supportive and inspiring people, and I feel the luckiest for them.
More specifically for Soumati, I wanted to create an ethical brand but don’t have any technical fashion design background. I had to find nice, organic and fair-trade garments on which to print my designs… and really, the choice is limited and not cheap. But the good thing is, Stanley Stella offer high-quality basics and Icon Printing ensures my drawings stand out marvellously on the garments. 🙂
Q: What’s next for Soumati?
A: My next creative project for Soumati is to expand the range of clothes by creating my own garments, adding more sophisticated and high-end pieces.
I also need to find partners to whom I can show and sell my clothes. Clothing shops, cool coffee shops and concept stores who share similar ethical values with Soumati. I couldn’t be in a better city than London for this! Eventually, I would love to have my own physical Soumati shop.
To see more of Myriams’ work and shop her collection, check out: Soumati.net