Julia Softley | MLM
M L M
MLM is one of my favourite labels at the moment, monochrome goodness and plenty of leather, which is the perfect combination in my eyes. You cannot miss their team tee's popping up all over Instagram, the team tee's had me at YEEZY. MLM is affordable, edgy + C O O L. Today we chat with the gorgeous Julia Softley, founder and designer of MLM.
MLM describe their label as a contemporary women's wear label that has become well recognised for its authentic take on modern and feministic dressing. Designed for sartorially intuitive woman, it draws inspiration from style icons past and present to create collections that are modern, edgy and forever wearable.
New collections for AW2013, are a stunning and simplistic take on ladylike dressing, integrated with your favorite model off duty looks. The ranges' include simple basic singlets, skirts and shirts in light jersey and fine cottons. In a colour pallet of grey, white, black and rose prints and an offering of pastel leather and lace, the AW2013 has been designed to take you from day to night with its signature off the runway looks.
MLM, is constantly extending her collections with up to six ranges a year.
Tell us about MLM, how did you start designing?
I was craving some creativity a few years after I finished my Art Degree… at this point in my career… I was deep into the fashion business industry in Sydney – alongside my business partnership in a fashion agency, MLM was born when I combined my illustration, design and my newfound industry skills.
What is a typical day like for you?
I live and breathe MLM most days, which begins & ends busy… each day is different, all depending on the time of the year or what stage I am working on within the label… in general my day could include – new season design, Collaborations with other stylists & industry folk, production, PR & sales meetings, look book shoots, social media & inhouse graphics, support for our stockists… on top of this there is a lot of the boring mechanics & administration behind the business (which I also love). In between all of the above, I travel a lot for work, whether its for production, sourcing or design… I love what I do and find the hard work rewarding.
Life balance is very important to me so spending time with friends is always positive, as well as reading my favorite blogs, morning beach visits and most importantly shopping at my favourite boutiques!!
Your label is appearing all over my Instagram feed lately, I know I cannot get enough of it. The world of bloggers are taking over the fashion industry, how do you think bloggers and social media has affected your brand?
We love to share our inspiration behind MLM & also give visual snippets of what is around the corner with MLM. Our followers are exposed to a more 3 dimensional angle of the label… updated with collaborations and projects behind the scenes of MLM
Overall – we feel Visual media is all about making girls feel inspired, sexy & good within themselves & their social groups.
Can you tell us about your latest collection?
We are excited to launch the SS13 collections over the coming weeks. This is a continuation of the sports luxe feel, which we have already channeled this year, the range has affordable leather components, monotone ensembles and delicate santorini prints moving forward to launch in September. We aim to offer dateless and wearable pieces.
What is the inspiration behind it?
The SS13 is divided into two parts, the first being inspired by our muses and music artists, with an approach to the wearable luxe city look of the range…
Moving forward into September ‘ meet me in santorini’ is the inspiration behind this 2nd part– as it becomes closer to the warmer, festive season here in Australia we plan to offer more colour and relaxation within our designs.
What is your design process? From sketching to selling it on your site and in stores?
We design up to 6 ranges a year, each begins with an idea, theme or concept for the season…
In a nutshell - we choose our colour palette, design our prints to lace with the colours and map out the range into stories. After this we divide the designs are handed over to production – which the sampling process begins. Once a sample range is complete, we gather our look book dream team together and shoot the campaign & online imagery.
The next set of hands after this are the sales… We work with five wholesales agents here in Australia, which means several sample ranges, need to be made. Once our agents have presented the range to all buyers, all orders are collated for production, which is another 3 month process before the stock is ready for store.
During the garment production time, PR steps in to expose the label to the press & Media, we use this time to inspire our followers via social marketing… and launch pre-orders in store & online.
The turnaround from day 1 to launch to site is about 6 to 8 months… as you can see there is a lot of creatively, thought and industry hands who handle the range before its launched to the public.
Who is your kinda customer?
MLM is for the modern & sartorially elegant woman. She likes to shop seasonally & keep her wardrobe updated with essential trend inspired looks. MLM also incorporates investment & timeless pieces alongside fashion with splash of color into each range injection.
What do you want girls to feel when they wear your beautiful clothing?
Confident, beautiful, sexy, fashionable, modest & cool
Do you have any style muses?
Yes plenty, some of these being Kate Moss, Saint Lou Lou, Erin Wasson, we also love local bloggers Tash & Elle from They All hate us.
Who would you love to dress in MLM?
We would love to dress… Kate Bosworth and Rihanna
What is the one MLM piece every gal should have hanging in their wardrobe?
Defiantly one of our Team Tees! It’s affordable, diverse, on trend and wearable!
Tell us what your favorite blogs, websites, labels, magazines and Instragram accounts are?
Balenciaga, Celine and vintage logo and sports jerseys.
Any major trends you are loving at the moment?
I love the Monochrome look & Tees (Very MLM) Leather incorporated into pants, sheer against texture, simple prints.
What are your wardrobe staples?
Leather bottoms & jacket, denim & dress pants, Soft tees in plains & stripes, statement jackets, a selection of timeless dresses for various occasions, not forgetting a selection of accessories and shoes!
What can we expect from MLM in the future?
MLM has so many great things to show you in the next year. We can't wait! Were looking to continue to release wearable off duty & trend inspired looks without forgetting who we are.
I ask most people as I love to know what creative peoples homes and workspaces are like, can you tell us what your office and home is like?
Both Home and Office is a very important space for me, I like to share my space with friends and work colleagues, its surrounded by inspiring items from now & my past, such as my paintings, designs, book collections, and investment furniture pieces
What is in your handbag at the moment?
Daytime makeup kit including tint lipstick & Mineral
powder for on the run
After the apple wallet
Notebook for quick thinking ideas
Aesop Flight Therapy & Handcream
Bottle of h20
Somewhere warm, quiet, and stress free!
Words to live by….
Listen to yourself & go with your gut feeling.
Jump onto the MLM site quicker than you can say Y E E Z Y to get yourself some monochrome goodness.