Founder of her namesake label, Maggie Marilyn, New Zealand based designer Maggie Hewitt is a force to be reckoned with for many reasons. Since the inception of her label in 2016, Maggie has been on a personal mission to transform the fashion industry to one that is transparent, circular, regenerative and inclusive. She believes that in order for us to make a difference in the world we should start with what we know. For her, this is fashion.
Championing transparency and elegantly exemplifying a commitment to a more sustainable future and an economy that puts Mother Nature first, Maggie is forging a new path and paving the way forward for the fashion industry with each and every conscious creation. Her thoughtful designs fuse youthful charm and strong tailoring and each collection delivers a sense of confidence and modern luxury. Her wares are designed to be worn, loved and treasured for the years to come.
To celebrate the launch of our newest collection, Yves, we spoke with the beautiful Maggie about her design philosophy, fierce determination for global change and why jewellery will always hold a special place in her heart.
Let’s begin with where your passion for sustainability originated from. At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to embark on a mission to protect our natural world?
Growing up in a rural, coastal region of New Zealand, my appreciation for and desire to protect our natural world was intrinsically engrained. My love for fashion led me to study Fashion & Sustainability, through which I pulled back the glamorous curtain of fashion and saw an industry that needed fixing, fast. I knew that if I was to start a fashion brand it would be one that placed people and the planet at the forefront of every decision.
I saw it as my mission to build a brand that championed transparency, empowered people and ensured the health of our planet was at the forefront of every decision. Maggie Marilyn was founded to make a difference in an industry that needed change, and fast!
At NMJ, we approach sustainability as a journey, rather than a destination, especially in an ever-evolving industry such as ours. What approaches do you take to help the industry become more accountable and unified?
Us too! We always say - progress not perfection as it is a constant journey. We are always learning and as we learn, we adapt and change to reflect our knowledge of best practices. For us, transparency is everything. Traditionally in fashion there is no supply chain transparency, people don’t know who grew the raw material, who made it into yarn, who dyed it and who sewed the pieces together. The clothing we wear touches so many people and these people deserve to live prosperous lives where they are paid fairly, treated with respect and empowered within their jobs and communities.
Sadly this isn’t the case in the large majority of our industry and I want to help change this. We share our supply chain transparency on our website and aim to uplift and empower people at every level of our supply chain.
At NMJ, we believe jewellery is both art and an investment and as such, take pride in every piece we create at Natalie Marie. What are the non-negotiable steps you take when designing a collection?
Designing for longevity, quality pieces that will stand the test of time, ensuring that our customers are buying with forever in mind.
Jewellery to us is a form of storytelling, self-expression and individualism. What does jewellery mean to you?
What I love most about jewellery is that it lives with you through a lifetime of experiences, I have jewellery that has been with me through some of the most transformative years, becoming a woman, falling in love, starting a business, travelling, heart breaks, and so much more. I draw strength from these pieces because they have carried me through so many life experiences. I believe this shows the power of investing in forever pieces.
What does your NMJ piece mean to you?
My NMJ piece is a forever piece, I look forward to wearing it through a life time of treasured memories.
Maggie wears the Dalí Ring in Yellow Gold.