Martine's Dream was conceived from a mix of things I dreamt of doing while working as a fashion stylist, residing in Brooklyn, New York, and from ideas I had while simply doing nothing; lying out in one of my favorite places to dream, Prospect Park, with heavy eyelids, a smile on my face and lots of sun on my skin. Hence, the name of my company. Martine is my middle name.
I started with Kou Kou Bean, named after one of my favorite little people, a collection of hand dyed and hand painted children's clothing, inspired by all the amazing little ones in my life who bring me joy in abundance. And like these wonderful little people, there were no two pieces exactly alike, but not so different as to make one less special. I will never tire of being called "Auntie Debbie", guaranteed!
Then in 2008, while journeying through India for the second time, with dust in my eyes, a sense of wonderment in my heart and, again, lots of sun on my skin, Ililanga was born.
Ililanga means sun. My collection of relaxed, unencumbered pieces, fuse my tropical sensibility, my love of sun and sea, with that which I call "the incomparable rhythm of Brooklyn", where the lifestyle is one of individual self expression; hence clothing you can make your own, and, of course, sprinkled with the magic of the places I have been. In short, Ililanga is where the sun is!
I do not create for a specific individual. I focus not on trend, but on what moves me. It is from my heart. It simply makes me happy. So if it connects to your heart, and a colorful dress or shirt brings a little joy, makes you feel good, then that's Martine's Dream and, well, that is specific indeed!
All the places that have shaped and fueled me, and the people who helped to give me wings, are reflected in Martine's Dream. My garments are named after some. I am not sure where my dreams will take me next, but I'm sure looking forward to it, and my hope is that you will continue to share the journey with me. To my beautiful family, friends and customers, thank you for making this dream a reality.
I was born on an island, so the sun is within me. I reside in Brooklyn, but the world is my oyster. I am Martine. I am a dreamer. I am also Ililanga, a child of the sun.