Aussie fashion designer launches highly sought-after neon blazers and linen shorts: Summi Summi

Aussie fashion designer launches highly sought-after neon blazers and linen shorts in eclectic prints – after Covid almost saw her give it all up

  • Summi Summi was created by mum Ashleigh Vallis and launched in 2019
  • The brand has just launched a new collection called Good Luck Highway

An Australian fashion designer who almost had to ‘give up’ her brand during Covid shares what it’s like to bounce back with a new and bolder collection – and fans are besotted with the range.

Ashleigh Vallis, 31, is the proud owner of Summi Summi, an effortlessly cool and neon coloured range of relaxed fits that actually started as a children’s clothing line before transitioning to more mature clientele. 

‘All my friends kept asking me for adult sizes so I decided to give it a crack and Summi Summi was born. Summi Summi is what my daughter would say when she wanted more of something,’ Ashleigh explained from her home base in Yamba on the NSW north coast.

‘The first range of basic bodysuits in our famous ribbed cotton was a sell out and I’ve never looked back. We launched that first range in 2019.’

Ashleigh Vallis (pictured in pink) is the proud owner of Summi Summi, an effortlessly cool and neon coloured range of relaxed fits that actually started as a children's clothing line before transitioning for more mature clientele

Ashleigh Vallis (pictured in pink) is the proud owner of Summi Summi, an effortlessly cool and neon coloured range of relaxed fits that actually started as a children’s clothing line before transitioning for more mature clientele

The brand's A Line mini dresses (pictured) are a top-seller because they are 'simple, timeless and flattering' but the latest Good Luck Highway collection may prove even more popular

The brand’s A Line mini dresses (pictured) are a top-seller because they are ‘simple, timeless and flattering’ but the latest Good Luck Highway collection may prove even more popular

The brand’s A Line mini dresses are a top-seller because they are ‘simple, timeless and flattering’ but the latest Good Luck Highway collection may prove even more popular.

‘Our latest collection Good Luck Highway is full of new styles and really exciting prints and colourways. I would say this is my first real crack at being more experimental with the designs and so far it’s paying off,’ Ashleigh said.

‘My favourite pieces are the sleeveless linen blazers, the skort and the ribbed midi A line skirts.’

After Summi Summi launched into the adult market in 2019 the brand saw some early success, partially because of its promotion by top Australian influencers Ruby Tuesday Matthews and Elle Ferguson.

'Our latest collection Good Luck Highway is full of new styles and really exciting prints and colourways. I would say this is my first <a href=real crack at being more experimental with the designs and so far it’s paying off,’ Ashleigh said” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

'My favourite pieces are the sleeveless linen blazers, the skort and the ribbed midi A line skirts'

‘Our latest collection Good Luck Highway is full of new styles and really exciting prints and colourways. I would say this is my first real crack at being more experimental with the designs and so far it’s paying off,’ Ashleigh said

But reality soon set in for Ashleigh when the Covid pandemic hit and the brand had to start promoting its wears exclusively online. 

‘After that we crashed to be honest. I was almost ready to give up on it until I hired an amazing wholesale agent called Kendi Agency,’ she said.

‘They pivoted the business and we have grown 200 per cent in the past 1.5 years. Slowly our little team is growing, we have an amazing textile designer, Stevie, and a few more girls helping me run the business.’

But the hardest part for Ashleigh overall has been trying to manage a work, life and mum balance with her family. 

But the hardest part for Ashleigh overall has been trying to manage a work, life and mum balance with her family

But the hardest part for Ashleigh overall has been trying to manage a work, life and mum balance with her family

‘Owning and growing a business can become so consuming and while I want to throw myself into it completely, I also need to make sure I never neglect the other parts of my life,’ she said.

‘It keeps me up at night, my brain never stops turning over designs and ideas, it’s quite exhausting.’

Summi Summi’s resurrection into the public eye has seen it conduct international photoshoots, wholesale to 40 stores and become Ashleigh’s full-time job. 

‘I never could have imagined I could get here and there is still so much growth on the horizon,’ she said.

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