After 10 successful years of creating covetable costume jewellery, London based designer Mawi is expanding her eponymous label with a debut collection of bags. Mawi created the brand in 2002, unveiled it at London Fashion Week in 2003 and opened her first flagship store in Shoreditch last year. Now her eagerly awaited line of eleven bejeweled and brightly coloured clutches brings a high octane injection of glamour to Spring Summer 2013.
Schön! catches up with the designer to find out more about Mawi’s glittering future.
You were born in Manipur, Northeast India, spent much of your childhood travelling and studied in New Zealand. In what way do you think this has influenced your designs?
I got to experience places, people, cultures, situations and most of all the creativity in all these amazing places, whether that was spending time with Bedouins in the Arabian Desert or shopping for rubies in Burma – I’ve done it all. My ethnic and tribal heritage is a constant source of inspiration and my love of statement pieces is a testament to my roots.
You worked in New York for Isaac Mizrahi. What did you learn about working for a global brand that helped you set up your own?
I saw the hard work it takes to be successful in this industry. It’s one thing getting there, it’s another thing sustaining it. You have to have total commitment, perseverance and a lot of passion.
You have said that you are keen for the brand to expand in 2013. In what ways are you going about this?
We want to diversify our product lines, increase our global distribution and expand into emerging markets. The S/S 13 collection of handbags is a natural progression and compliments what we are already doing with the jewellery.
Why the move into soft accessories and what other areas are you keen to explore?
We have been planning it for a while and it was about finding the right time. The aim is to create an aspirational lifestyle brand offering everything from jewellery to bags, shoes, clothing, perfume etc…The world is our oyster!
How crucial was it to keep jewellery at the heart of these designs?
It was very important for us because we wanted to do something that was relevant and in line with our jewellery. With each bag borrowing directly from past collections, the essence of the Mawi handwriting is clearly felt in every aspect of the designs allowing the two lines to harmoniously work together.
Mawi puts an emphasis on luxurious statement pieces. How do you think these fit into the current climate?
Costume jewellery in particular seems to be garnering a lot more attention and people are more willing to invest in it than they were a decade ago. The quality and workmanship is also much better now and the price points are much higher compared to 50 years ago. The great thing about costume jewels is that you can update looks every season and have more fun with them.
Mawi is celebrating its 10th year. Where do you see your designs in another decade?
The next decade will focus on growing the online business, opening more stores and expanding the new lines, as well as growing the consultancy side of our business. Mawi will continue to innovate, excite and inspire future generations for years to come…
Visit www.mawi.co.uk to see the new collection.