Coco Business Inspiration : Sebastian Agace

Sebastian Agace is the brainchild behind Alma de Ace, a lifestyle clothing brand that caught our eye due to its colourful fabrics and Balinese influences. Founded after his trip to Bali, this brand is making waves in the industry.

We had to go and find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I launched Alma de Ace in my second year at Leeds University in 2013 pretty much stocking and shipping the items from my bedroom. I always loved clothes and fashion and even when I was young Mum would always get fed up with me spending all my money on numerous t-shirts. It wasn’t until going to Bali one summer with the family where I met the owner of a small boutique shop in Seminyak called “Lost in Paradise” that I got inspired by the clothes and the lifestyle. From then on I thought, “why don’t I just start making some? ” from then on Alma de Ace was born!
What’s your background?
I’ve always had a passion for being creative and artistic and having studied Marketing and Management at Leeds gave me that extra drive to combine the business side with my creative world.

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
It’s mainly still me but I’ve had loads of different people helping along the way – friends, family and freelancers such as photographers. designers and models being involved. I feel being a young company there’s no need to start employing people full time as the business keeps changing and it’s great to move around getting the best out of everyone and their skill sets.
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If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I’m not sure I would want to change anything with Alma de Ace only because Alma grew around friends at university and it was at the height of when social media was starting up. Those elements together brought us to where we are now and we might not be here if we had done something different.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Our hardest challenge would have been manufacturing and printing since moving our production abroad. I decided to go out and visit, buying all the fabrics for the summer collection. With no experience it became a struggle finding the right fabrics that don’t end up shrinking or ripping when going through the stitching process. We then had problems with our sizing grading. The time difference too made communication a long process. I would be heading to bed when an influx of emails into my computer would wake me at one o’clock in the morning.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I love a good sunset!
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I think the best for us is to take our time on things as our brand is still young. Obviously we would love to be introducing a lot more designs and variations in our collections this year and have some fun at the same time! Would love to have my own fashion show that turned into a night event!
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To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
I would say we have had one of our best moments only recently.  We launched a small retro line of sweatshirts and within 3 weeks they sold out on our website with loads of customers wanting them back in stock! I guess when you have something like that where things are selling quicker than you can re-order, it’s a great motivator and drive in running your business.  The long-term highlight would have to be seeing people wearing your items or hearing from a friend who has seen someone wearing Alma: it means a lot after the work put into the brand.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
London is my home but having been to New York last year it would be safe to say that I would like to be spending at least one year living there in the future! It’s such an amazing city with also loads of great clothes shops down in Williamsburg and everyone is so friendly. The number of rooftops there too!
Style means….?
Giving yourself an opportunity to express yourself.
Best thing about London to you?
Its weather…… no, it would have to be the number of amazing restaurants to try and explore.
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Statement shoe or statement bag?
I’m not so keen on anything with too much statement but I feel the combination of black leather backpack and a pair of Chelsea boots really goes down well in a bustling city.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
It’s got to be the Bomber jacket! They go with pretty much everything and for any occasion. I love the variations in fabric and style that comes from a Bomber jacket too.
Best place for a coffee?
Cafe Zefi on Walton Street! I love the staff and it’s a real hidden gem with a small garden.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Don’t make it just because you like it.
Guilty pleasure?
Espresso Martini and, randomly, cheddar cheese….
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would probably say Hawaii as I’ve never been and feel with 24hrs you could do pretty well in exploring the island.
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In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Slow and steady I believe is the best thing for us especially in building on our branding and not to lose focus on that.  People want to wear something that feels good so we will be spending a lot of time on the quality and materials to provide this. The foundations are set so I hope we can build on that and introduce some new designs and colour into our collections.
Find out more…

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