The Interview: Maggie Marilyn
MAGGIE, TELL ME ABOUT LAUNCHING YOUR BRAND. HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE READY?
Through out my last year of university, I really knew I wanted to have my own brand straight away, I felt confident that I had a unique aesthetic and voice that I wanted to show the world.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My dad, he is an amazing human. I have learnt so much from him, watching him grow and run a successful business. He is an amazing entrepreneur and I really think this is where I get so much excitement to run my own company.
BEFORE LAUNCHING YOUR LABEL, WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?
I was at university finishing a 4 year degree in fine arts majoring in Fashion.
WHO HAVE YOU LEARNED THE MOST FROM IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR? WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS? HOW HAVE THEY HELPED GUIDE YOU?
I think this question relates back to who inspires me. I have a great support network around me. People who I can really lean on for support and advice, which is important, as I am only 23. Business Mentors in my father and our surrounding network. George MacPherson is our PR Consultant in New York, he really has been monumental in the success of the brand and of course Jo Knight who has been integral in the brands success, bringing the brand to the global stage from beautiful New Zealand. I also have an amazing team who work at Maggie Marilyn, we are all really close, we have so many laughs; I think that is so important! And just to know they are there for you, to have a team who are incredibly loyal and who have amazing work ethic. You could say I feel very blessed.
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH FASHION PRESS.
Well, I am very new to this game having only launched last September But I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. Being selected as a semi finalist for the LVMH prize this year was such a dream come true, being able to introduce the brand to key fashion press I believe has been integral in the brands success.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST WHOLESALE SEASON LIKE?
Last October was the first time we had a sales showroom in Paris and it was such a dream come true, I love getting to meet the buyers and introducing them to the brand. We have had such amazing support from all of our stockiest.
YOU ARE COMMITTED TO CREATING AN HONEST AND ETHICAL FASHION LINE, STANDING IN CONTRAST TO THE CONSTANT SEASONALITY AND PACE OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY. WHAT EXPERIENCE OPENED YOUR EYES TO THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY, AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU TO BE A DRIVER OF CHANGE?
During my last year of university I embarked on a journey researching the negative effects the fashion industry can have on the environment and culture of our society. Through my depth of research I was horrified and what I had uncovered. I love this industry, I love the dream world fashion can take us to; I love how empowering clothing can be. But I really knew that if I was going to take part in this industry and have my own label that I was going to use my voice as a designer as a vehicle for change. By no means is Maggie Marilyn 100% there, every season I am striving for us to be better. But I am really proud of the ethically and sustainably conscious brand that we have built. Our manufacturing community in New Zealand is so incredible, the relationships we have with our makers and fabric merchants is really special I think this has been the most rewarding part of my business. Our clothing is truly made with heart and with integrity.
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE IN YOUR BUSINESS? HAVE THOSE CHALLENGES CHANGED SINCE THE FIRST DAYS OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Well after all it is business so I would be lying if I said there were no challenges. Running my own business has been the hardest thing I have ever done but also the most rewarding. Logistics, manufacturing… the list goes on of challenges we face in a new fashion brand, but I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and problems and challenges are sent to us for a reason, after all how would I grow or the business grow if we were not overcoming obstacles.
WHAT IS YOUR ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR FASHION DESIGN STUDENTS WHO ASPIRE TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN LABELS?
Follow your Gut, it is always right, There are a lot of people who will want to have an opinion, after all we are in a creative industry, but if you stay true to yourself and follow your gut. Your star will shine bright.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS A DESIGNER?
Wow good question! I think as cheesy as it might sound, I really want to make a difference in the world I want to make my mark, to make my slice of the world a better place.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MAGGIE MARILYN?
Big things of course! We are going to change our world.