Under the enchanting hues of a mesmerizing sunset, illuminating sun-kissed models with an ethereal glow, the stage was set for a momentous occasion. Celebrated designer Maggie Marilyn, a beloved figure both domestically and internationally, gracefully made her much-anticipated debut at the illustrious Australian Fashion Week. Against the backdrop of the iconic Rushcutter’s Bay in Sydney, the fashion gods seemed to smile upon her, bestowing their blessings on this extraordinary event. In a recent conversation with Maggie Hewitt, the visionary force behind the brand, she candidly revealed her personal journey from rock bottom to resilience, emphasizing the profound impact of fashion as a catalyst for transformative change. Here we delve into the captivating world of Maggie Marilyn and discover the powerful fusion of style, health, and advocacy.
I know, as a fashion designer, the last two years has been really hard for your industry. What has that experience been like for you in the recovery from the wild few years we’ve had?
The fashion industry has definitely been hit hard by COVID. I think that for me, not being able to travel (was) incredibly difficult. You know, I was so used to travelling before. And even though we’re so lucky to have technology at our fingertips, and to be able to hop on zooms, I think just being able to get on a plane and meet someone in person, you really can’t beat that. And you know, I’m in a creative field. So, I think travel definitely inspires me. So yeah, I’m just so grateful to be back on the road and travelling again.
How have you been looking after yourself over the last few years?
It sounds cliche, but I think you really have to hit rock bottom, physically and emotionally to realise, ‘okay, I really need to get it together, this isn’t sustainable.’ In the first couple of years, I definitely got to that point in building Maggie Marylin and so now looking after my mental health and my body has become such a huge part of my life. I love my routine, and I’m such an early-to-bed person, so I always wake up early, go for a walk, work out. I go to acupuncture once a week. I yeah, remember to eat well. I do all the things.
There are a lot of people listening that are maybe considering getting into a creative field. What advice would you give to them?
Knowing your why is so important. I really look at design as a form of problem solving; I think at the core of all good design, you’re finding a solution. At Maggie Marilyn, whilst the clothes are beautiful and important, we really aim to be the conduit for connection, and build community with a shared vision of really being able to create a better world. Having that really clear value system and mission in the business has helped us through some very challenging days. That would be my advice: know your why, and then be steadfast in your pursuit.
How did you work out what your ‘why’ was when creating your brand?
The fashion industry is a $2.5 trillion industry. So, it’s responsible for a lot of bad, but I also think because of its size, you know, it really has the power to implement a lot of positive change. It really has the power to make a difference, and we’re at a really pivotal moment in history, I believe. And I think here and now we really decide what the world’s going to look like for future generations. So, at Maggie Marylin, we really believe that now’s the time to be brave. You know, I think our planet and the people that rely on it for its survival need us to do be. We really are here to rebuild an industry, to make it transparent and inclusive and ultimately regenerative. To give back more than we take.