B meets Makeda Matheson
MM and M, what are we on about? Well Makeda Matheson and Mongolia. Makeda M is this glorious knitwear brand we recently discovered and we’re on about Mongolia because that’s where everything is made, and yep it’s all 100% Mongolian cashmere.
Makeda loves colour and more importantly cashmere, which is pretty evident in her latest collection; don’t we all need a gorgeous soft colour pop jumper to brighten these dreary English days! Basics that work into your wardrobe don’t have to be boring – yawn classic black jumper – hello bright orange! These pieces are the kind of things you’ll treasure in your wardrobe, end up wearing loads and bringing back out season after season. The beautiful orange and berry coloured jumpers work really well with a glass of red wine too - just saying.
We told you we’re all about style rather than naff trends, not going to lie we love a bit of Zara for a one-off sparkly dress as much as the next person, and we’re not preaching to you to exclusively buy from small brands (but they do have a special place in our heart). BUT start to invest in proper quality, proper independent brands, proper good products and buy less, love more. Makeda’s collection not only stands out to us, it’s also ethically made and sustainably sourced by a co-operative factory owned by the workers, who she works closely with in Mongolia. Read more about this, Makeda and her brand below.
DREAMS CAN COME TRUE
I started the brand 3 years ago; I had been dreaming about it for over a year before finally putting the wheels into motion. At this point I was working as a film producer and although I enjoyed it, I knew I needed to pursue this to see if I could ‘make a go of it’. I bought the Makeda Matheson domain name in Jan 2014 and haven’t stopped since!
COLOUR & CUT (WE’RE NOT TALKING HAIRDRESSERS)
I’d describe MM as ethically sourced, adaptable cashmere knitwear… with a touch of whimsy. We stand out by the range of garments we offer, our cuts and use of colour. I have always had a love of cashmere knitwear. We call my mum and her three sisters the cashmere mafia because although no-one is wealthy they have the most epic collections of cashmere knitwear I have ever seen! Quality was always the message, invest in good pieces that will last. This thinking forms part of my ethos - luxury, quality, sustainability. B – As we say buy less, love more, buy better, love longer.
Before the brand my first proper foray into fashion was as a design assistant at a small fashion house in NY when I was 19. From there I met the fashion stylist Robert Verdi and then spent summers assisting him in-between University where I studied Art History. It was through my degree that I discovered my love of Jacobean ruffs, which was in many ways the catalyst for my first collection. After Uni I worked in event design with the queen bee of the industry Fiona Leahy which was really pivotal in my understanding of luxury and design.
DON’T BE SHY
I find inspiration everywhere but mostly from vintage designs, patterns and photography. I love the traditional knit and garment shapes. All pieces in the collection are things I would (and do) wear myself, so there are lots of nods to the 50s in particular. I don’t shy away from bright colours because winters here are dreary and long; every wardrobe needs a statement knit! B – We couldn’t agree more we’re all about colour and statement! Why be basic, or choose the same as everyone else, when there’s so many colours, prints, textures and unique designers out there!
CO-OP (we’re not talking about food or funerals)
My design process starts with a sketch I draw, I add all the detail I can and then send it to my knitwear technician Jennifer. Jennifer turns the sketch into a technical pattern which I then send to the factory in Mongolia that make my pieces. The factory is a co-op owned and run by its workers and it is fully vertical, meaning cashmere is sourced from nearby and then all processes (dying, weaving etc.) happen under one roof. It was important to me to keep my price point accessible without sacrificing quality or ethical production, which I have been able to do with this process. B – love this; this is what we love about small independent brands, they care and they produce amazing quality products well. Fashion with feeling. Buy four less high street jumpers and buy one really good quality cashmere jumper that will last you, you’ll feel good about and will love a lot longer!
I LOVE CASHMERE
The hardest part is getting buy in from retailers, especially in this financially uncertain time. The best and easiest bit for me is finding passion and drive to keep pushing forward. I love cashmere!
The Almost Polo sweater with high waisted jeans and silver loafers is always a go to look.