Designer and entrepreneur Amanda Shi was born in Hong Kong and grew up surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a Mainland China cashmere factory, where she learned firsthand, the exacting standards of major fashion brands.
When Amanda’s family moved to Canada, she became fascinated by the Western trend for vintage apparel – a concept that was still very foreign to most Chinese in the East.
“I love how vintage clothing tells a story of the way we used to live. I have this amazing vintage cape from France, for instance, that I never wear but just love to death.”
At 23, she set out for Los Angeles to open a marketing office for her family’s growing network of factories, and began experimenting with developing her own fashion lines. In the span of seven years, Amanda developed two successful clothing brands and sold directly to the likes of Henri Bendel, Fred Segal and Saks Fifth Avenue.
One day she found herself presenting a collection to Mark Werts, owner and founder of the iconic American Rag brand.
“He invited me to see their famous warehouse and suddenly, the spell was cast,” she laughs. “I fell in love — both with Mark and with all the gorgeous vintage pieces he had stockpiled there.”
Her personal collection of vintage fashion became inspiration for a new fashion brand, one that this time bears her name. “I travel a lot. I am obsessed with designing clothes that don’t make you look like you live in a suitcase,” says Amanda, who is now a wife and mother (yup, she and Mark are married now.)
“I design for women like me – women who are practical yet still want to be elegant and feminine, whether at home or on the road.”