Australian brand ALÉMAIS is a go-to for ultra-feminine, ready-to-wear pieces cultivating a sense of adventure and evoking a romantic mood.
Founded in Sydney, this contemporary label is driven by bold prints and an artisanal focus, while acknowledging the importance of social, environmental, and ethical issues by adopting responsible manufacturing.
We caught up with the woman behind the brand, Lesleigh Jermanus, to discover her dream escapes, travel necessities, and globetrotting style.
What is the first trip you remember taking?
My first solo trip was to Canada, I was 18 and backpacked from the east to the west coast after a stint in Whistler. This seemed to be a thing that lots of Australians were doing at the time. Eventually, I took a bus from Quebec City to New York and I’ll never forget the feeling of arriving to all that energy. Things would never be the same; it was the best experience of my life.
What’s been your most memorable trip and why?
A trip to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Congo. I’d dreamt about visiting Africa for as long as I could remember. It was truly magical: the sounds and colour of the landscapes; contrasting textures of traditional textiles; the silence when you’re game driving; sunsets on the Masai Mara; early mornings in a rickety safari Landcruiser as the sun rises; hyena cackles in the distance; the heart-stopping moment when you see a silverback gorilla. While here, I also spent time working for an incredible manufacturing business that became partly responsible for inspiring our brand.
Where or what is your escape?
The ocean – anywhere and anytime. If I find myself with more time, I usually head to the Byron hinterland for a yoga or kirtan retreat. Strange to some, but I love a good cathartic sing-along.
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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?
Don’t go with an itinerary, let the magic happen by taking an unexpected turn somewhere along the way. I’ve met wonderful people along the way by staying fluid with my plans.
If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to:
First stop, a hammam in Morocco – there is simply nothing better. Followed by a trip to Folegandros, a very small Greek island with the most dramatic coastline that will take your breath away.
How would you spend an ideal afternoon in your home city?
Sydney has the best of all worlds: art for the eyes at the Art Gallery of NSW; a dip in the sea at Mackenzies Bay for the soul; delicious food and drinks to keep the belly happy, most likely at Bistro 916 in Potts Point.
What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?
Dancing in the afternoon sun, and giggles with friends and family in a cliffside villa overlooking the ocean.
Where do you get your holiday inspiration?
It’s my favourite topic to talk about, so I try and extract everyone’s best-kept secrets.
If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – who would it be?
How do you recover from jet lag?
I don’t give in to sleep during the day, ensure I am well hydrated, and take melatonin at night.
Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?
I love aimlessly wandering around airport shops – there is always a touristy fridge magnet or postcard to buy.
Es Raco D’Arta in Mallorca is perfectly positioned between the mountains and the sea. It’s incredibly secluded, quiet, and truly becomes your home because you are so far from anything else. The food is locally sourced, fresh, and delicious.
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I’m biased, but it has to be Qantas.
What’s on your travel playlist?
It’s very mixed, but on my last trip to Paris, I was walking through a street party and heard the track “You’re in My Pocket” by Reanna Coleman which inspired my most recent travel playlist. Think “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads, “The Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys, “Seasons” by Future Islands, “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross, “Only You” by Steve Monite, “Africa” by Toto…the list goes on!
I’m looking into a trip to Australia’s northern territory – I’d love to visit the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Alice Springs, Uluru, and to visit a few art centres along the way.
What are your must-have travel picks?
An all-occasion pair of sunglasses, a beach bag, matte lip pencil, summer sandals, an organic cotton day dress, and swimwear.
THE PACKING EDIT
FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND…
Ginger flight therapy by AESOP.
Packing: roll or fold?
A Tetris-style pack of roll and fold.
Inflight book or inflight film?
Music or podcasts?
Time killer on a long-haul flight?
Holiday tipple of choice?
Bucket list top destination?
Mexico has always sounded like a good idea, but I’ve had Lebanon on my mind of late.
Best shopping gem found abroad?
An antique handmade bracelet from Udaipur.
Beach or City?
Ultimate holiday treat?
Being led off the beaten track to meet locals, who share their knowledge on secret locations and the best local food.