Recently, I am intrigued by Mayla’s progress into women’s collection. Marlene Abraham has done an excellent job reanimating the ’60s feeling, doing it in a modern way. I am delighted to see that the mid ’60s and the early ’70s trend we saw this Spring and Summer is continuing through to next season. Mayla is a contemporary ready-to-wear brand dedicated to the beautiful women and style setters of the time. Originally known for luxuriously crafted silk dresses, the popularity of Mayla has allowed the brand to quickly expand into outerwear, knitwear, shoes and accessories. It’s the French luxury combined with Scandinavian simplicity that has found a loyal clientel from around the world including Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.
Agata Mayer: Marlene, looking at your previous collections I get the impression that you were inspired by the most important moments, styles and epochs in fashion history. Your newest collection for Autumn / Winter 2015 again refers to such a point – when for the first time in fashion history youth subcultures openly rebelled against wearing the same clothes as their parents, demanding their own unique identity. What sparked your interest in the Hippie Deluxe era?
Marlene Abraham: I’ve always found this period fascinating, and it’s a source of inspiration that I keep going back to, for music, art and fashion. People explored their creativity were openminded to different lifestyles and it reflected their personal style.
A.M. It was a time of preppy clothing, modern simplicity and “back to the nature” lifestyle underlined by floral and geometric prints, patchworked diverse fabrics, contrasting scales and colors. How would you describe this collection? Any focal points to which we should draw our attention?
M.A. I chose to mix the preppy proper from the mid sixties with the more bohemian feminity of the later part of the decade. I wanted to balance the two styles together. Key items for the collection is the bouclé dungarees, a gun printed layered silk dress and the tight polo neck sweaters.
A.M. Are there any plans to do a men’s collection?
A.M. Mayla, the brand which you stand behind as a founder and designer, has grown since 2010. How is it received internationally?
M.A. We have a small but loyal following all over the world, especially in Japan. We just recently started to focus on the UK market.
A.M. As a ‘Stockholmare’, how have you perceived the evolution of fashion in recent years and how would you define the contemporary flux of this city?
M.A. Stockholm has changed a lot in the last 10 years and we have seen a few brands strong internationally as well as the Swedish music industry. There’s a kind of creative fashion, music and design movement going on, which is a great growing ground for new brands.
A.M. How much does travel influence your designs?
M.A. I’ve always travelled a lot, so it definitely influences me. I love going to places like London and New York.
A.M. How would you describe your personal style of clothing?
M.A. I’m not an eccentric person, so “show stoppers” are not for me. I would describe my style as feminine with an edge. I like quirky prints and dressing down exclusive pieces. For me it’s all in the mix. Materials and craftsman ship is important.
A.M. What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
M.A. I think it’s a mix of different things. I’m happy to been able to open two concept stores within the five years since I started and the fact that we got into the Japanese market almost immediately. Our crown princess has been a loyal supporter since the start of the brand.
A.M. What’s next for you professionally?
M.A. Right now I’m looking to grow the company and my main target is the UK, Scandinavia and Japan.
A.M. Thank you.
Sharp lines and monochromatic meet sheer silks in graphic prints. Glossy leather flat shoes in black. More dimensional dressing with tone down layers of knit. It’s been also exciting to see denim dungarees and culottes: