Maaike is a contemporary, easy-to-wear mix of flowing silks, graphic prints and sporty knits. Founded by Emilie Pullar and Abby van Schreven in 2010, Maaike was in the spotlight recently when Jacinda Ardern wore a burgundy custom-made outfit for her 2017 election night appearance.
For Maaike’s AW18 collection, Abby and Emilie collaborated with Chicago-based visual designer and artist Spifster – renowned for bold, clashing colour art, homewares and nail art – to create a series of prints. The looks debuted at New York Fashion Week via their exclusive USA stockist Flying Solo and are now in store and online now.
We spoke to Emilie about the collab, Vivienne Westwood, bold prints and the brand’s plans for global expansion.
FTV: When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
Emilie Pullar: I’ve always had a creative streak and being a designer was such a dream but when I finished high school I took a year off to really figure out what I wanted to do. I moved to London for a year and at the end of that time I went to see the Vivienne Westwood retrospective at the V & A. I had always admired her so much and it was in that moment in that museum I knew I just had to follow that dream.
What was the driving force in creating Maaike?
Abby and I met working for another designer and became fast friends. We came to the mutual decision that there wasn’t a lot of NZ made brands that we really wanted to wear ourselves – we had a huge passion for knitwear and that is what we focused on in our first range – back in 2010!
Tell us about your AW18 collection; What is the story and inspiration behind it? How did the collab with Spifster happen?
We always start with our fabric print partly as it always takes the longest to get right and then produce but also as it kick-starts the story and feel of the collection. We wanted to do something completely different and new for Winter so had the idea to collaborate with someone on it.
Emilie gets her nails done by Imogene at Pop Nails who introduced her to the work of renowned nail artist Tacarra Sutton aka ‘Spifster’ from Chicago. She personifies attitude and her style is truly unique – bold clashing colours with sharp geometric lines which we thought would translate into a print beautifully.
We reached out to her through Instagram and lucky us she was super keen! It took a few goes to get right but we were so thrilled with the outcome. Every garment cut from this print is completely different with the way they the pieces are positioned so it is truly like wearing a piece of art.
Where do you go for inspiration when working on a new collection?
Always art. We have another huge collaboration coming for Summer 18/19 with a top NZ artist which we will be announcing soon and our Winter 19 collection we have taken inspiration from German photographer Christiane Fraser.
How would you describe the Maaike woman?
Our customers are just the best! Adventurous, confident and always have a good sense of humour.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
We want them to feel transformed but in a way they still feel completely confident and comfortable walking out the front door. We like to think our clothes put a smile on people’s faces.
What’s next for you?
We are currently manufacturing Summer 18/19 and designing Winter 2019 – it never stops! We are putting in a lot of time and research into our next overseas move, with Australia growing we are looking to expand further with goals for Maaike to become a global brand.
View more from Maaike x Spifster in the gallery above. Shop the collection at Maaikeclothing.com.