ENTREPRENEURSHIP is never an easy thing in the world of luxury, even when you’re well connected. Luxury consumers expect the highest degree of craftsmanship, provenance and personalisation. Happily for Tamsin De Roemer, the designer and creator of luxury brand De Roemer, understanding the luxury market and its consumers comes naturally, though she has undeniably worked very hard to achieve her success.
De Roemer, a former British model and muse for many designers, began her foray into luxury through the launch of cult jewellery brand Jade, Inc. with her friend Jade Jagger. After a successful design collaboration with Asprey and Garrard, the duo were brought in full time to lead creative direction for this heritage jewellery brand. In 2007, Tamsin combined forces with her husband, Justin Packshaw, to launch her own line, De Roemer, which involves a diverse, beautifully designed range of products, including jewellery, handbags, and clothing.
As a designer, Tamsin’s natural attention to quality and her general dismissal of trends are immediately evident upon walking into her elegant and airy store in the up-and-coming Hyde Park Corner Retail Estate. Her prét-à-porter clothing includes jumpers, dresses, and tunics of the most luxurious 100 per cent cashmere; and her delicate, beautifully-detailed jewellery is somehow hip and timeless at the same time. Her handbags are a little edgier, with abundant metallics and interesting leathers.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Tamsin to chat about her namesake brand and how to keep the balance between creativity and quality within the world of luxury.
How did you get your start in design? What inspired you to work in fashion?
I started out as a fashion model which obviously had an impact and I met a plethora of inspiring and influential people.
Talk about the vision of De Roemer, which you opened with your husband, Justin Packshaw in 2007. Who is the ideal De Roemer consumer?
I like to think that I create little islands of luxury to take away. I have always loved beautiful fabrics and materials. Our customers are people like us who appreciate craft and a sensibility.
You design an array of products from fine jewellery to lush cashmere jumpers to handbags. What did you start designing first? Is your creative process different for designing clothing as opposed to accessories?
I started by designing handbags, simple folded envelopes in divine soft silky leather. The other areas evolved. The process of design is similar when applying to other media you are just working in different fabrics and forms. At least that’s how I approach it. I have designed interiors, lighting and furniture and love it all but my passion is jewellery.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
Inspiration is all around us but travel is my biggest inspiration.
Who is your favourite designer?
That is impossible to answer, there are so many that I admire and respect in all sorts of worlds be it jewellery, clothes, interiors, artists …
What luxury brand do you feel most shapes the future of the industry?
There are many established luxury brands and each one brings something special to the market. I have a great fondness for Hermes for its classical beginnings and principles but in terms of innovation and the future, Burberry has done a great job.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of digital media to brands in your opinion? Are there any particular dangers in connecting with consumers?
We all need, as brands, to get involved in digital media. We cannot deny its power and influence. We all, however, have a responsibility to give positive affirming messages. It seems that some go the shock and awe route which can get you noticed but we all need to consider our impact in the long term.
You initially partnered with Jade Jagger in 1997 to launch Jade, Inc. How did you and Jade first meet? What inspired you to work together?
Jade and I are old friends and it was a natural progression as our professional lives started to overlap.
What was it like to collaborate with Jade on a collection for Asprey & Garrard? How did this experience shape your later work in launching your own line?
We had a lot of fun working together. We worked more and more with fine jewellery and learned more and more about stones which ignited my passion for jewellery in the long term.
On a personal note, your husband Justin is an adventurer. How did you meet? Is it ever challenging to work together? Do you travel a lot with him?
My husband and I met in Malta, a mutually common denominator as both of us lived there as children and we love the same things. We complement each other well within the business as our roles are very different. It can be hard as he travels a lot with his alter ego and as our children are still young one of us stays behind to look after them and the business. We do, however, plan to travel as a family in the future and have lots of fun and adventure doing it!
by Jessica QuillinTags: Asprey & Garrard > De Roemer > Jade Jagger > Justin Packshaw > Tamsin De Roemer