Style File: Emilie Pullar and Abby van Schreven from Maaike

Style File Maaike

Jacinda Ardern wearing a custom-made Maaike outfit on election night. Image supplied.

Designers Emilie Pullar and Abby van Schreven founded their womenswear label Maaike in 2010 and are known for their contemporary designs that utilise relaxed shapes and custom printed fabrics. Their easy to wear women’s garments are stocked throughout New Zealand and Emilie and Abby also have a lovely boutique, Maaike + Co on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road. The designers recently dressed Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, in a burgundy custom-made outfit for her election night appearance which perfectly suited the elegant politician.

We caught up with Emilie and Abby to find out more about their brand, what inspires them and what you would never catch them wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
Our latest collection is called ‘Who’s Pulling the Strings?’ – I guess the name is a little tongue and cheek with what was going on in the world at the time of designing and works in with our puppet screen print. The shapes are classic Maaike – easy fitting with the ability to layer up together or wear alone. The usual black and white base peppered with a rich burgundy and ginger.

What made you become designers?
We really saw a gap in the market for what we wanted to wear ourselves and being naive 20 somethings thought we would give it a crack!

Style File Maaike

Look from Maaike’s ‘Who’s Pulling the Strings?’ collection.

What inspires you?
We don’t close ourselves off to anything as you just don’t know where inspiration can come from – a lot of the time it is art – a colour palette might come from a painting or our Winter 17 collection was all about Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Describe your personal style/⁠⁠s and how it influences your brand?
Both Maaike designers only wear black – something we actually are trying to break out of! Sometimes staring at a sea of black in our wardrobes every morning can be a bit dull. We like strong silhouettes and layering up different textures and fabrics.

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
You can never have too many black dresses – well I hope so otherwise we won’t stay in business very long!

Style File Maaike

Look from Maaike’s ‘Who’s Pulling the Strings?’ collection.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Rules are boring. The most frustrating thing we hear in our shop is ‘I’m way too old for that’ – so untrue! Things can just be styled slightly differently – life is too short.

What has been the highlight of your career/⁠⁠s so far?
There’s been a few! Opening our store on Ponsonby Road was a huge achievement. This year we gained a stockist in New York and showed with them at New York Fashion Week. We also custom designed and made Jacinda Ardern’s election night outfit which we were very proud of.

What can’t you live without?
FOOD! We are massive foodies It’s all we think about and we make every important business decision over fried chicken – it’s a must.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch us wearing…
Cut off denim shorts – can people just stop?!

Images supplied.

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