“Australians do swimwear best, it’s our lifestyle,” Sheree Lily Giles told press at Miami Swim Week in 2018, and she should know, she and her bestie Emma Knieriem are the designers of hugely successful swimwear and resort brand Lil & Emm.
The powerful duo were first invited to showcase their sexy, chic and ultra feminine designs at New York Fashion Week in 2017, then at Miami Swim Week in 2018; both rare opportunities for Aussie designers.
“There really are no words to describe the feeling of seeing your hard work being walked down the catwalk. It’s every designer’s dream to show at New York fashion week,” said Emma Knieriem.
Showcasing their Moroccan Moment SS19 collection at Miami Swim Week was a huge moment for the Australian designers. Comprised of soft pinks, blacks and stark whites and highlighted by tantalising tassels and girly glitter, the collection was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive response.
“There is no better place to showcase your collection than Miami Swim Week, as every swimwear buyer from around the world is in one place. It was another proud bucket list moment we ticked off: Showing at the largest swimwear event in the world!” said Giles.
Lil & Emm’s dedicated customer engagement shows their brand’s success is thanks to their unconventional designs, and signature ethos of creating unapologetically feminine and sexy pieces; not for the faint hearted.
“We communicate with our customers to find out what is important to them in our designs and what we can do better.” said Knieriem. “We want our customers to feel amazing and confident, sexy, comfortable and special.”
After meeting in design school, the pair learned everything from sketching to pattern making, sewing and collection creation, together. Immediately best friends, they learned they worked exceptionally well together, and both had a passion for swimwear and the lifestyle that comes with it.
“We brought our combined design knowledge and passion for swimwear and resort wear to Lil & Emm, but we had to learn how to run a business ourselves. We knew we had something special to show the world. We’ve come a really long way since the beginning,” said Knieriem.
Their breathtaking sexy swimsuits and detailed resort wear is impressive, but their ability to maintain their friendship is equally impressive. “We get to travel the world together, share our passion together, and always have the support of one another,” said Lil.
“Miami Swim was an incredible moment in our friendship. Standing on the catwalk with your best friend, knowing this is a moment that you will cherish for the rest of your life is so special,” said Emm. If going into business in the world of swimwear sounds too perfect, the two designers are keen to remind everyone it’s taken work.
“Early on I learnt to work hard and to never half-ass anything I wanted, which has never failed me this far in. I would fly back and forth between Canberra and Sydney every week just to complete an internship at Grazia before I made the move to Sydney. You get what you work for not what you wish for,” said Lil.
Emm adds working with your bestie isn’t always the easiest thing. “Sometimes the lines of business and friendship become blurred and we need to remind ourselves to switch off when we are hanging out.”
In a saturated market, it’s increasingly rare to encounter a stylish Aussie swimwear brand designed by ingenious designers from conception to retail. Lil & Emm’s Moroccan Moment Spring/Summer ’19 collection is the freshest swimwear and resort range you’ll see this year, and it’s is on sale now at https://lilandemm.com/
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