Maggie Hewitt on Maggie Marilyn’s NZ Fashion Week debut

NZFW 2019 first designer announcement

Designer and founder Maggie Hewitt of Maggie Marilyn. Image supplied.

Maggie Marilyn has enjoyed amazing success since launching just three years ago in 2016, but until now the brand hasn’t done a full runway show. Designer and founder Maggie Hewitt has decided the time is right to bring her beautiful garments and sustainable ethos to New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 with the brand doing their first runway presentation off-site in Morningside this afternoon. It’s going to be an exciting day for the designer and her team and we caught up with Maggie to find out why she decided now is the right time to present a show, what we can expect from it and what NZFW’s focus on sustainability and diversity means to her?

What made you decide to do NZFW this year and what are you most looking forward to about your debut show?
Our Spring/Summer 2020 runway presentation is a celebration of our incredible makers, customers, friends and family. We wouldn’t be where we are without their continual support, so it felt only natural for our first show to be here in New Zealand, in celebration of our wonderful community.

Can you tell us a bit about what to expect from your show and what inspired the collection you’ll be presenting?
We will be presenting our season 9 collection. We hope the show itself feels like a breath of fresh air, dreamy yet familiar, and that our eternal optimism taps softly on your heart and you leave knowing you can change the world.

NZFW is focused on sustainability and diversity this year, what does this mean for you and your label?
Diversity is crucial. It is a key factor in every aspect of my business. At Maggie Marilyn we design for people of all ages, ethnicities and cultures. Inclusivity is at the core of our customer experience as fashion is for everyone. We have a great dialogue with our customers and their feedback is invaluable to ensure we are always doing all we can to be as inclusive as possible. Sustainability is at the heart of Maggie Marilyn, people and the planet are at the forefront of every decision we make.

Maggie Marilyn interview

Looks from Maggie Marilyn’s current Season 7 collection.

Every designer needs a supportive team to help them get everything done, can you tell us about your team and the people and partnerships that are helping bring your NZFW show to life?
They surely do! I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my wonderful team. Everyone in our head office has worked around the clock to bring this collection to life. We also have many wonderful partners including Mecca Cosmetica and L’Oreal Professional who are supporting with beauty artistry and hair respectively and Blush for floral.

What is the first thing you’ll do after your show ends?
Enjoy a drink with all of our amazing customers, makers and community who we are inviting to stay after the show.

What made you become a designer?
For me there was no question, if I started a brand it would be one that placed people and planet at the forefront of every decision. I believed that the industry and the customers were ready for change so I wanted to build a brand that championed transparency and made a positive impact on everyone involved. I wanted to make beautiful clothes from an equally beautiful supply chain that positively affect local communities and the planet. I strongly believe that style and sustainability can and should co-exist.

Maggie Marilyn interview

Looks from Maggie Marilyn’s current Season 7 collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I think Maggie Marilyn is definitely an extension of who I am. I am so inspired by colour, the way the perfect shade of green can lift you higher, or the perfect pink can be so empowering. I also love to dress for my mood. If I feel like being a bit more boyish, I’ll go with a blazer, t-shirt and a great pair of boyfriend jeans with sneakers. This is usually my go-to look.

Where can we find you when you’re not in your workroom and how do you relax?
Outside of work I love taking Honey (my miniature dachshund) for walks at the beach, spending time with my friends and family or snuggling up with a good book and a cup of tea. Having down time and disconnecting is so important.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been many! Our first big milestone was our transition to using fully biodegradable bags for all our wholesale shipping. It was so upsetting to ethically and sustainably manufacture our clothing and then slap each individual garment in plastic to send to our wholesalers. We knew there had to be another way! Other big milestones were launching our Sustainability Strategy and our Sustainability microsite on the Maggie Marilyn website. On our microsite you can find in depth information about our manufacturers, suppliers, fabrics, our challenges, goals and even a section on how to care for your clothes so that they can live a long and happy life!

Images supplied.

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