The West

Design trio tackle big time

Starting a label with three designers at the helm might seem like a daunting idea to most, but the *Perth *creative trio behind Dyspnea couldn't imagine doing things any other way.

  • Jameen Zalfen *, *Rachel Motteram *and *Aimee Kendall *came together at TAFE several years ago when they discovered a mutual desire to shock fashion lovers with their elaborate, and sometimes risque creations.

Garments originally created for the girls to wear on the weekend were soon sought out by strangers and stylists, leading them to create the label Dyspnea in late 2012 and make their runway debut at last year's *Perth Fashion Festival *.

They admit it is unusual to have three designers behind a brand but said it works for them. Motteram, 23, covers the structural elements, Zalfen, 24, tackles draping and Kendall, 23, dreams up their trademark embellishments.

"It's great having three people on the team," Zalfen told _AAA _. "We can't understand how a designer goes out on their own and does it because there is so much pressure and work."

Though the trio narrowly missed out on claiming the title of Designer for Tomorrow at this year's WA Fashion Awards, they now have their sights set even higher and further afield with news they will be showing their wares at *Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia *next month.

Appearing in the New Generation showcase, which has included star labels *Dion Lee *and *Zhivago * in past years, they will present a mix of wearable garments and show pieces as part of their latest collection, Paralysis.

Rather than taking inspiration from industry trends, Kendall said they instead keep a close eye on what is happening on social media.

"It's such a good way of reaching an audience outside of Perth and things can happen so instantly," she said.

Having already amassed a large following on Instagram, the girls said they have a concentrated fan base in Brooklyn, New York and are about to ship out pieces to the UK.

They now hope to build up enough stockists around Australia over the next year so that they can quit their day jobs and focus solely on developing Dyspnea.

"It's so enjoyable working together so we would love to do it full time, that's the goal," Zalfen said


'We can't understand how a designer goes out on their own and does it because there is so much pressure and work.'

The West Australian

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