An interview with Joanne Temperton from Makki

 

Why did you set up Makki?

 Makki was born in 2003 with the concept of providing environmentally friendly luxury accessories.  Having lived and worked in South Korea prior to launching Makki, I gained in depth knowledge of the culture, business ethics and design process. We work very closely with our factory and can respond to all the key trends of the fashion industry.

 

How were the initial products developed?

Makki’s collections have evolved so much since the early days. We were well received and offered something unique that many buyers were looking for, but obviously a young brand launching into an ocean of well established brands was hard. We now have a fantastic relationship with many of our customers and I’m proud to still be working with buyers who bought from us in the early days.

What challenges were overcome when the company was starting out?

I think like many businesses the first 3 years were the hardest. There are many sharks in the fashion industry and as a new business unfortunately you are prey for many of them, PR companies who offer the world (for a fee!) and deliver nothing, agents who are not promoting the brand as you would like and of course other brands who smell success and want a piece of the cake and attempt to replicate your business model.  We have lived and learned…

I would say the biggest challenge now is growing without losing the vision.

How has the product offering changed over the years?

Makki is constantly evolving and introducing new lines for our customers. We are not a company who experiences success and sits back. We are always researching the coming trends to ensure we are able to offer our customers something new and on trend for the following season.

Our Eel Skin ranges have been so successful, we are now combining this wonderful skin with other by product skins, giving Makki a whole new look this season. The Italian Pony Hair was a quick reaction to our visit to the Milan Fashion shows and this luxury hair with the softness of Eel Skin is sure to be a winning combination.

Where do you draw inspiration from when designing?

Makki is typically inspired by past decades and music. We have produced the Electric, Art Deco and the New Wave collections.  Shapes and styles from different eras, whether that’s architecture, fashion or the sounds of the times, all contribute to the changing collections of Makki.

Tell us about your latest collection.

‘Glamour 54’ sees the introduction of other skins with eel skin.  We’re also introducing new shapes to include tote bags and clutches.

What are the future plans for Makki?

Makki has some exciting new developments launching this season. New skins, new styles and new colours.

Some interesting facts about eel skin:

  • Eel Skin is a natural by-product of the food industry & not farmed for fashion.
  • Eel Skin is known for its softness & also its durability. It is 2-3 times stronger than cow hide.
    • The Eel Skin is dyed in a 24hr barrel process, so the colour does not sit on the surface & transfer.
    • Pony Hair is actually ‘hair of the cow’. The term Pony Hair is used in the fashion industry; again this is a by-product of the food industry.
    • Eel Skin becomes even softer with age.

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