Maggie Hewitt and her Maggie Marilyn team. Photo / Babiche Martens

Maggie Marilyn Is A Global Success Story, But This Is Her First-Ever Fashion Show

Fashion wunderkind Maggie Hewitt speaks to Viva about showcasing at NZ Fashion Week for the first time

She’s the 24-year-old fashion wunderkind whose designs have charmed the global fashion community, but for Maggie Hewitt showcasing her label Maggie Marilyn with a traditional runway show for the first time — and on home ground — is a welcome chance to simply say thank you.

"Truthfully, to show among your peers and people that have really believed in the brand and helped lift us up from the beginning — that's the exciting part," she says.

Maggie has travelled the world presenting her collections in intimate settings with a handful of models, but this first runway show today is a milestone not lost on her and her dedicated team.

"I'm giving a speech at the start which is not the done thing, but I wanted to make it feel personal," she explains while we are seated around the circular marble table at her headquarters in Morningside.

THROWBACK:  Maggie Marilyn's Epic Year

"We've invited all of our makers, suppliers and customers — this show is for them. They are so involved in making our clothes and they never really get to see what happens after they make and ship them, so it’s extremely special for them to see what the clothes look like in a runway setting, at its most heightened form with the scenery, the music, the hair and make-up."

The intersection of makers and customers is another thing she is excited by.  "Whenever we show our collections overseas, there's a bit of detachment from being based in a humble studio in Morningside and a roof top venue in New York, so the show is about bringing our worlds together."

Since launching in 2016, Maggie now counts top department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman as key stockists, the brand sharing rack space with the likes of top luxury names Alexander McQueen and Chloe.

Maggie and her muse, Manahou Mackay, in her Morningside office. Photo / Babiche Martens

When Maggie Hewitt talks about her brand she notes that it would not be possible without her curious and dedicated team. "Everyone is very involved because we are such a small team, and I lean on them for that support creatively."

The venue for her first show, The Glasshouse, is only a stone's throw away from her workroom; with Maggie joking they'll be wheeling their clothing racks to the venue.

"It almost feels like you’re outdoors, and because we always hero New Zealand nature in our campaigns and lookbooks, the space felt right. We're really going to amplify the nature in what we are going to do with the space."

As for the collection itself, dubbed 'Season 9', it won’t deviate too far from what the brand does well — with the exception of some special extra show pieces that Maggie has relished designing.

READ: The Latest Way To Buy Conscious Clothing In New Zealand

The spring/summer 2020 range will be packed up and shipped straight after the show for press and sales appointments in her key market — the US.

"I'm not highly conceptual as a designer. I know what works and what doesn't. But the sustainability message is and always will be a key message for the brand," she says. “There’s a beautiful print, and the show pieces takes me back to my uni days where I could just design to my heart's content."

To pull the show together, the team is working with producer Sarah Hough, who also manages Maggie's campaigns and lookbook shoots.  Photographer James Lowe will document the looks both front and backstage. Hair and makeup teams come from L’Oreal Professionel and Mecca Cosmetica. “So we’re in good hands.”

Above photo, back row left to right: Manahou Mackay from 62 Models; Hannah Bennett, intern; Megan Bucklee, in-house sample machinist; Ella Jones, head of retail development; Georgia Lloyd, production manager; Jess Moore, graphic designer, Charissa McGrath, logistics and online manager; Noelene Slaughter, production coordinator; George Carey, in house sales manager. Front row left to right: Alisha Wheeler, PR and digital manager; Maggie Hewitt; Sarah Hewitt, studio assistant; Olive Cashmore, design and sampling manager. Not pictured: Rod Leong, pattern maker. Photo / Babiche Martens. Hair / Zoe Clark using L’Oreal Professionel. Make-up / Abby Black for Mecca beauty.

Share this:
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Subscribe to E-Newsletter