Since launching in 2012, Australian label Macgraw has been revered for its fresh take on femininity, original prints and joyous spirit. And while Beth & Tess MacGraw, the sister duo behind the brand, are just as bright, bubbly and chic as the clothes they create, its their steadfast work ethic that has seen Macgraw experience exponential growth since the start. Here, the designers take us through their inspiration, goals and what a typical day looks like.
What did you set out to achieve when you started your label?
Beth: “In the beginning we had a vision to start a label with traction in Australia and to create beautiful clothes, but as each year has passed our confidence and goals have changed. Now we want an international brand—the dream has definitely grown!”
What is your design philosophy?
Tess: “I want to create clothes that inspire people. Nothing makes me happier than positive stories from our customers and knowing we’ve created a little bit of joy and magic in their world.”
Beth: “Ethics in business and production are really important to us too. We make all our collections in Australia and are very conscious of sourcing ethical and natural materials where we can.”
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Tess: “I’m inspired by storytelling and creating our idea of a Macgraw world. That’s probably why we love doing shows. We were dancers as kids so we love the theatrics of weaving a story with sights and sounds, giving people a feeling.”
What does a typical day look like in the studio?
First thing: “We usually arrange our offsite appointments in the morning, this could be anything from a fabric sourcing meeting to coffee with an editor. When we get into the office we organise any couriers for PR requests, pack online orders that have come in overnight, deal with any requests from our stockists – which pretty much come through 24 hours a day now we are stocked in different global markets."
Lunch time: "We have a very open office so we chat about all our projects from our desks throughout the day. We don’t usually stop for lunch, which is a bad habit. Luckily Vittoria supplied us with a coffee maker for the office so we make ourselves espressos at work now."
After hours: "We try and set aside design time in the afternoon but usually it ends up being after hours and on weekends when we can take a moment and think properly. If we leave at 7pm it’s a good day, usually we are back til 10pm, and in the lead up to fashion week it creeps past midnight often—it’s definitely not all glamorous!”
Do you have any tips for aspiring fashion designers?
1. Find your signature—what makes you unique?
2. Align with long term partners who believe in your work.
3. Focus on getting your production right.
Why did you choose to partner with Vittoria?
Tess: “We have always loved the Vittoria fashion series cups and naturally, as we create our own prints each season we thought it would be a good fit one day. Thankfully they agreed!”