When it comes to ethical fashion brands, there's a lot of noise out there, with many claiming to be sustainable when they're not. But now again, some stand out. One of these is MATIN, one of my favourite Australian fashion brands.
Founded in 2015 by Michelle Perrett, who also designs the collections, it's amassed an impressive following of loyal customers, from editors to influencers and celebrities, all obsessed with its timeless and elegant dresses and tailoring.
Looking at the collections, it's easy to see the appeal, but it goes much deeper than a pretty outfit. Female-led MATIN was one of the first labels to truly embrace sustainability, and it wasn't always easy. Here, Michele opens up about her journey.
Founder and designer Michelle
What was the inspiration behind the brand?
The idea for Matin came from the desire to create a contemporary collection which used high-quality natural fabrications in timeless styles with a fashion perspective. And it had to be made locally in Sydney, Australia. Matin is really about bringing everything I valued and sought out in a product, rolled into one.
Back when you launched, you were one of the first labels to embrace sustainability, was that a challenge?
The challenge around sourcing fabrics without the synthetic component was one we were and still are committed to overcoming. Finding natural fabrics that could translate into contemporary wardrobe staples takes time to get right. Also, there is definitely a premium cost associated with using natural fabrications – and producing locally – is something we continue to stand by as the key values of Matin.
What inspires the collections?
I’m always drawn to a moment in time; the 70s for me embraced freedom of expression in the way we celebrated arts, fashion, travel & culture. I look to the 70s for that mood, and subtly incorporate it into modern tailoring & dresses; it might be a peaked collar detail, an oversized pocket, a topstitch, or a keyhole neckline. There is always a hint of the decade in each Matin piece.
Do you steer clear of trends?
We have always been led by a pretty timeless idea on fashion; we stick to our lane and design pieces that will be worn time and time again, so in that sense, yes – Matin isn’t a trend-based label. From time-to-time though, something in a collection will fall into a current trend, but it’s typically a particular tailoring piece, such as a waistcoat or double-breasted jacket - both mainstays in the collection.
You are a female, family-owned business. What's that like?
We’ve worked with the same team – including our sales & PR agencies – since the day we began. We work so well together - and know each other inside out – that things flow very quickly and intuitively. Over time comes that sense of familiarity (which also comes with family), that has cultivated quite open and honest communication between departments which paves the way for efficiencies across all areas of the business. We haven’t deliberately created a women-centric business, but the majority of our staff are women, and contractors are predominantly women-based businesses.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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