Mimi talks to Aimee and Sara Berman

Mimi ON Nov 26, 2008 AT 5:50 pm

From the timeless style of Sophia Loren to must-have heels, we caught up with the design duo Aimee and Sara Berman to talk serious fashion and to glean a few handy Berman style tips while we were at it.

So who exactly are Aimee and Sara Berman? After graduating from Central Saint Martins Sara Berman set up the label in 1999. Sara then went onto design a successful capsule collection which sold in Harrods and Fenwicks. In 2000 the collection had its debut at London Fashion Week and by 2004 the brand had gained such momentum with over 60 outlets worldwide that Aimee climbed aboard to help!

Describe the contents of your wardrobe?
Aimee
- Massive! I love clothes and I love doing a “look” rather than wearing the same kind of thing all the time. With this in mind, I have quite a wide range of pieces which I hoard for years at a time. I think it is fair to say that there are a fair few fashion tragedies hidden away in there!
Sara – Eclectic! I love the privilege of being to dress according to my mood. I don’t have a fixed ‘look’ which means that I have a wardrobe full of identical black trousers; I am much more of a magpie and love to experiment

Who or what inspires you?
Aimee
– Any woman who has the confidence to be her self and stand by her own beliefs!
Sara – So many things! I love individuality. It takes so much more strength to be an individual rather that to simply follow the crowd. I find this inspirational.

When it comes to fashion and value for money which high street store do you think ticks all the boxes?
Aimee
– The high street in the UK has so much to offer I really don’t think that you can say one place can tick all boxes. I also think that value for money is not necessarily about the cheaper the better. Quality is a big issue for retailers at the moment and often this area is seriously compromised to make way for cheaper prices.
Sara – I think it very much depends what you term ‘value’. If you want ‘cheap’ then it is easier than if you are looking for ‘quality’. For me I need quality at a good price and I struggle with the high street for this reason. On the fashion front I think the UK has the best high street in the world. Bar none. 

Where in the world do you like to shop?
Aimee
– Everywhere and anywhere. And as often as possible. I love picking up things that I can’t find at home. Wherever I am in the world I will try and take something home that will always remind me of being in that place at that time. I’m really sentimental like that.
Sara – I love vintage clothes so for me a market is always fun. I love the Paris flea markets. I also love New York. Barneys is always good.  

What’s your favourite part of the design process?
Aimee
– The brainstorming is great. When Sara and I really start to see the picture emerging. We both get very over excited and the ideas really grow. Then when the samples start to come back and the ideas begin to become a reality. It’s great to see when our vision is actually working.
Sara – I love 3 stages. The first is when Amiee and I plan the vibe of the season as a whole. We work out what pieces we think are key and how we feel they should be presented and what fabrics we want to work with. The second high point is just after the first samples come through and we see the collection beginning to take shape. The 3rd is the moment of truth when it is finally finished and we see what we have done. 

Your best advice when it comes to shopping would be…
Aimee
– Don’t shop! I always find it better to pick up the things I need as and when I need them. Occasionally I come across a special piece that I fall in love with and make a purchase. If you go shopping you will inevitably not find what you were looking for and only end up buying things you don’t need.
Sara - Buy what suits you and don’t go crazy. Also, avoid crowds, don’t do it for too long or too often. I don’t really love shopping for clothes. 

When it comes to caring for your clothes what tips can you offer?
Aimee & Sara –
Look after your clothes by using quality cleaning products. The Lenor Infusions range of fabric conditioners is like a beauty treatment for your clothes. The gradual release fragrance means you’re beautifully scented for longer as well as making the fabric lusciously soft too. Wash at 30 degrees where possible. Another good tip is to always dry knitwear flat. This way it will always hold its shape

What ‘must have’ item should every woman have in their wardrobes this summer?
Aimee – A great pair of high heels that go with everything are really comfortable and can be worn every day
Sara - A fabulous dress for one–stop dressing. I wouldn’t suggest a particular style as every woman has a shape which brings out the best in her figure and a flattering cut should always take precedence over trend.

Whose timeless style do you admire?
Sara
– Many, many women have that something special which makes them stand out from the crowd. I am currently enjoying images of Sophia Loren from the seventies and I love how she has evolved over the years and still always retain her innate elegance.

Favourite fragrance?
Aimee
– Tient a neige. My mum buys it for me in Florence.
Sara – For Her by Narcisco Rodriguez.

How do you individualise your look?
Aimee
– I don’t try to be individual. I wear what I want to wear, how I want to wear it. It’s not all about trying to look different. It’s about dressing for yourself.
Sara – I don’t think I need to!

Must have beauty product in your make-up bag?
Aime
– Lucas papaw ointment. It is the best thing to soften lips, moisturise hands, and even relieve burns. It is a great all-rounder. My good friend bought it for me from Australia and I wont go anywhere without it.
Sara – Vitamin Saver lip salve. I always grab out of airplane vanity kits but it is the best lip salve ever.

Who cuts / colours your hair?
Aimee
-  Luke Hersheson at Daniel Hersheson. He is a great old friend of mine. He cut my hair when I was 15 before he was qualified and I won’t go to anyone else. He really is the best of the best!
Sara - Luke Hersheson.

Aimee and Sara Berman

Aimee and Sara Berman

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