who made my clothes?

at aich it was important to us that when it came to getting all of our clothing made that we worked with another small new zealand business, who had strong ethical practices at the heart of their company.

and so meet molly, the perfect fit for aich, a one-woman band creating absolute magic at home in her workroom. we asked molly a few questions, so you know a bit more about where your clothes are being made.

where do you live in new zealand and who do you live with? 

i live in mahurangi west, just north of auckland with my 12-year-old twin boys, my partner, 3 chooks, a dog and a cat.

where did your fashion journey start and what has happened since then in your career?

i studied several courses at what was formerly known as ait (wayyy back then) and completed a fabric design then patternmaking course, which followed into a 3 year diploma in fashion technology.  the courses back then c 1994 ish were very much hands on based and covered everything from industrial engineering to fashion illustration.

i have always stayed in the fashion industry through the course of my career.  i worked in australia for a few years as national sales manager for a menswear company early on in my career.   came home and started my cmt business, manufacturing for a women’s fashion store who carried their own label, and also stocked nz designers.  i worked for them for over 16 years.

i have also worked in a dual role for another nz label as their production manager, and regional sales manager, overseeing production and manufacturing and at the retail end, overseeing their 8 stores. went from there to national sales manager for another nz brand, travelling the length and breadth of nz selling their ranges 4 times a year.  i loved this, and meeting new people, but the guilt that goes with that, being away from your children so much brought me to where i am today. resurrected my workroom and now work with a broad range of clients assisting in whatever needs they may require.

what do you love most about your work?

seeing fabrics turn up at my workroom door, helping a range come together, liaising with the designers i work with and seeing the excitement in their faces… there’s so many facets to what i love about the rag trade.

what does a typical day ‘in the office’ look like for you?

there is absolutely no typical day, which is why i love what i do so much.  one day i could be out visiting fabric wholesalers, or the next behind my machines working, or cutting, or the next liaising with clients and assisting with putting their ranges together or advising on technical issues.  it really is so varied.  i am not sure you could ever find me trading what i do for a 9 - 5 job.

what is your career highlight?

i am not sure i have one defining moment.  there have been so many.  one of the more recent ones i can think of would be seeing garments that have come through my workroom on the runway at the last nz fashion week. these designs were brought to life through getting into the designers’ head, working with them, understanding their design brain, then turning the initial sketches into finished runway ready garments.

what is important to you when working with a clothing label?

i am such a firm believer in keeping it new zealand made so i tend to only work with clients that are planning on keeping their labels made here.

it is important to me that through the whole process of creating a garment or range that standards are kept to the utmost highest.  at the end of the day, what comes out of my workroom must border on perfection!! that is the expectation and standards that i know my clients expect, but more so, it’s my own expectation.


header via aich