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16th April 2024

Get to know Oddmuse: Aimee Smale on doing ‘what people aren’t expecting’

London-based slow-fashion brand Oddmuse took off over lockdown on TikTok and other social media platforms – I picked founder Aimee’s brain on how to break into the fashion industry and her future vision for Oddmuse
Get to know Oddmuse: Aimee Smale on doing ‘what people aren’t expecting’
Credit: Lily Amos @ The Mancunion

The future of fashion is slow – that’s the message portrayed by Oddmuse’s founder, Aimee Smale. Her brand’s social media marketing has been a complete success and promotes having renewable value to your clothing with the hope of passing designs down through generations. Fast fashion is becoming increasingly more accessible; although the Oddmuse price tags don’t exactly match those of Shein, they are made sustainably and of quality materials so you can curate a wardrobe of beautiful pieces that will last you a lifetime (and still be tons cheaper than most big luxury brands!).

The brand

Oddmuse was dreamt up in the Summer of 2020 amidst lockdowns as Aimee was working from home. When asked about her background in the industry, Aimee explained: “My background actually sits in Fashion Buying… I’m really grateful my expertise sat within knowing what a product needs to have going for it to actively sell in the market. I’ve always had an eye for fashion, but the skills to design such as sketching have been self-taught”.

Aimee invested her time and energy into the brand, leaving her Fashion Buyer role for ASOS and opened her flagship store in Covent Garden permanently three years after Oddmuse launched online to bring the community to life. Did I mention she was also listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and that her brand is now worth seven figures? Despite this incredible success, she has still faced obstacles along the way. She says: “I’ve had many challenges navigating entrepreneurship! Mainly in the business side of things that you really don’t prepare yourself for. I always call mistakes I have made lessons! It’s always motivating to me when I am in a space where I’m learning.”

The runway

I was lucky enough to attend the September 2023 LFW Oddmuse runway and meet Aimee (as well as her sweet dog Oddy). This was their first-ever show, hosted at the gorgeous Café Royal in central London. It was a celebration, and the room was filled with close friends, family, and content creators that Aimee loves as well as guests from the charity teensunite. Timeless pieces graced the runway, including the Core Collection as well as snippets of the pre-fall collection and runway exclusives. It was in this show that the Exclusive Muse No.1 dress was revealed which caused an uproar from the audience.

At the end of the show, when Aimee came out and was surrounded by support and love from friends and family alike, it was clear to me that Oddmuse has such strong roots in community and people. It’s a brand with a friendly face which is what makes it so appealing – Aimee’s passion for what she does is so overwhelmingly obvious as fans of the brand are allowed to see behind the scenes and to be a part of the journey.

After the show, I asked Aimee about her experience in hosting her first show and she told me, “The initial idea was to do something people weren’t expecting from Oddmuse. We’re still a relatively small brand, but we’ve pushed ourselves to make such big moves with all the many collections we’ve brought out… It just felt like the next big step. Also, Oddmuse is very capsule, it was exciting to take to the runway with some special occasion pieces!”

Oddmuse fashion show 2023
Credit: Lily Amos @ The Mancunion

The ethos

Aimee believes Oddmuse has “a lot more heart and soul in a now saturated market” and this is demonstrated by her passion for community work and focus on her audience. Her 2023 Exclusive Collection debuted on the runway donated a portion of the launch day proceeds and encouraged attendees to donate to teensunite, a charity that helps young adults and teens who are affected by cancer. This marked the start of a working relationship, and since then Oddmuse has donated gift cards to teens registered with the charity and donated sample clothing to sell for fundraising.

When asked what inspired this collaboration, Aimee answered “I have a passion for helping anyone break through into the fashion industry, teensunite touched my heart as it’s so hard to feel that some people may have a slight disadvantage breaking through.” This partnership is still ongoing, and Aimee says she is in talks with teensunite about how to tailor what Oddmuse can offer to the charity’s needs.

As a young woman who built her label from the ground up, it’s no surprise that Aimee is very passionate about helping others break into a very ‘exclusive’ industry. Her recommendation is to “get into sketching and thinking about your place in the market. It’s the first step and the longer you spend in thought about this, the more perfected your idea will be by the time it hits the market.” This ever-growing brand has plenty of things to look forward to and to get involved with, and Aimee also hints at “a lot of exciting things happening for our global audience” and says “we are really focused on our community this year.” With the exponential growth of Oddmuse, who can really anticipate what’s coming next? I can’t wait to see what new surprises are in store, but I know already they’ll be unexpected!

The Oddmuse pre-spring collection dropped just last week, find more info here.

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