This week for Spotlight On, we caught up with Rebecca Pullar from Mahlii and Adrift, local bohemian fashion labels inspired by our sunshine state. I could waffle on about how much I love Mahlii’s aesthetic and the cool vibe that is something of a Coachella meets carefree Gold Coast folk feeling.
Read on to learn more about Bec’s inspiration and how Mahlii came about a couple of years after Adrift in our chat with the local creative….BT: How’s 2016 looking for you and Mahlii?
RP: 2016 is an exciting but somewhat intimidating year for me. I have recently shutdown my flagship store at Chelmer, secured a pop-up store on James St for Mahlii and am in the process of organising a launch party for our Mahlii customers. My focus with Adrift this year lies particularly with my online site and creating a website that is both simple for my customers to use but also engaging. Right now I am looking to create an online chat room for my customers… but I can’t reveal anything else at this point!! In terms of Mahlii, I feel extremely confident about the direction we are moving in, and I know we are only going to expand from here on in. I am extremely eager to push new boundaries with Mahlli and produce clothing that is unique and edgy. I am excited to work with a younger creative market this year and collaborate with other small designers like Marho the Label, which is currently available online at Mahlii. I believe the most important component to my business is that I have an extremely hard working, wonderfully creative team behind me that I can trust.
BT: What inspired you to start your own business, and what was the inspiration behind Mahlii?
RP: I wouldn’t say I was inspired to start my own business I just identified a gap in the market and ran with it. I never intended it to take off the way it has, but as we have grown I have been inspired and motivated. I identified a niche market- middle age women looking to buy beautiful, cool and casual clothing, at an affordable cost. I wanted to create a bohemian chic label for real women, and this concept is what my customers have been drawn too, and what essentially brings them to my website and stores. Today my inspiration for future collections and my business as a whole is based off the Adrift customer and my personal travels around the world. We are not trying to be cutting edge fashion ambassadors, but we are trying to be kind, ethical manufacturers that allow women to be themselves, feel beautiful and join the Adrift community together.
Mahlii was originally inspired by my daughters and their friends. I wanted to create a brand that embraced both of my daughters free spirit combined with Californian style.
BT: Can you tell us more about Mahlii?
RP: Sun kissed shoulders, glowing skin, salty hair, liberated spirit and creative Soul- this is the Mahlii Girl. Mahlii is all about encompassing the ultimate beach babe. It’s dedicated to women and young girls with a Californian, vintage bohemian style. I have just launched Mahlii this year and already we have had an incredible response. Right now it is very early days for the label, but I am excited to see what this year brings!
BT: What is the design process?
RP: The design process of Adrift and Mahlii is collaborative from conceptual all the way through to sales. I travel internationally a couple of times each year and am always scouting shapes, styles and fabrics that could work for our Adrift and Mahlii customers. My design team draw a lot of inspiration from international brands such as Johnny Was, Anthropologie and Free People. Our fabrics are sourced offshore but designed locally, which is a method that has proven extremely successful for me.
BT: What makes Mahlii different?
RP: Mahlii is all about individuality and I intend on keeping the collections quite small, really focusing on the quality of the fabrics and garments. This year I intend on working with more raw and organic materials such as linen, which I have never explored before. I guess this label is for the ‘all natural’ sort of girl and we’re doing things a little differently, so I am not trying to replicate fast fashion labels because I know I have no hope competing with them.
BT: What is your favourite piece from the current collection?
RP: I am obsessed with the Blair top and pant in White. It is the ultimate summer set.
BT: Where can our readers buy Mahlii?
RP: Mahlii is available online at http://www.mahlii.com and will soon be stocked in our pop-up store on James St, which opens doors on the 27th March.