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The Fashion Memo

5 things to love about… Maggie Marilyn

In just two short years, this New Zealand designer has acquired a cult following, thanks to her ability to combine strong tailoring, directional cuts and feminine silhouettes. However, her impact on fashion has gone far beyond creating covetable items. If you’re after chic clothes with a conscience, this brand should be your new go-to. Scroll down to discover everything you need to know about the game-changing label…

Maggie Marilyn FW18

It’s pioneering

Not only are Maggie Marilyn’s clothes cutting-edge, her business is, too: “It was never a question in my mind that when I started my own brand, I was only going to operate with a sustainable and ethical philosophy,” says the designer. When it comes to the supply chain, Marilyn believes in “radical transparency” as a means of educating customers on why investing in sustainable fashion is so important: “We’re part of a generation that has to make a change if we want our children to experience half the amazing things we have, from swimming in a river to breathing clean air. The fashion industry has a pivotal role to play and it’s a burden we all must consciously share, from the cotton farmer to the end consumer.”

She’s constantly striving to do better

As part of her mission, Marilyn is always on the hunt for manufacturers who can do better. While the designer is strictly committed to using “organic cotton, ethically farmed silk, and New Zealand merino wool” in her designs, she also experiments with more innovative materials. In the past, she has collaborated with “a supplier who produces recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles”, and her latest discovery includes “a sustainable fiber that is produced from banana skins”. The designer acknowledges that she’s a long way from being 100% sustainable, but she’s getting closer every season: “We are on a long journey, but an exciting one.”

The pieces are inspired

When it comes to designing, Marilyn is influenced by everything from her mood (“If I am feeling light and optimistic, the color palette can be dominated by bright, clear colors, whereas if I am anxious or worried about something, the colors become more subdued and dusky”) to her college days (“I studied at a fine arts university, so I draw a lot of inspiration from artists, particularly Cy Twombly, Jean Arp and Dale Frank, who are my favorites”). To put it simply, each and every piece is personal, which is fitting for a brand that aims to “empower every person involved in the supply chain”.

You’ll be in good company

Favored by everyone from supermodel and businesswoman Karlie Kloss to outspoken actress Kate Hudson, the women who wear Maggie Marilyn are a testament to the brand. “Maggie Marilyn isn’t just about creating beautiful clothes – I want to build a brand that inspires and empowers a powerful group of women and leaders who stand up and fight for what they believe in.” That’s one girl squad we want to be a part of.

It’s got a bright future

The fact that Marilyn was raised far from the fashion capitals did nothing to dampen her desire to become a designer. “I grew up in a small rural town in New Zealand, so the fashion industry was even more alluring because I was so geographically removed from it all,” she says. Having realized that dream, she shows no signs of slowing down: “I want to make a positive difference in the world. To grow a business that bring awareness and change to our industry.” Watch this space.


The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.