It is said that neccessity is the mother of invention and no truer a term could describe the way stylist Tamie Ingham and model Jasmine Yarbrough started their brand. Unable to find shoes that could walk them chicly from photo shoots to showrooms and casting calls, the enterprising duo decided simply to create them.
Now, supported by a scrolling list of starlets and editorials across some of fashions finest periodicals, Mara & Mine are set to step into some serious sartorial spotlight. Here, speaking from their base in L.A, founders Ingam and Yarbrough talk to Divya Bala on style, skeletons and low-fi sex appeal.
How did you meet?
JY: We met approximately 11 years ago through mutual friends. I had just moved to Sydney from a modelling stint overseas. We would hang with friends on weekends and work together on shoots and runways shows. We started travelling together as friends and this is when the idea of Mara & Mine began. Our move to LA was based on being near our manufacturer, which allowed us to be able to control and be a part of the process from the beginning to the end. We also found living in LA brought us a strong celebrity following which really put us on the map in the early stages of our brand.
Do you feel that your designs draw on an Australian aesthetic?
JY: I do feel that our designs draw on an Australian aesthetic as we keep it quite casual and draw inspiration from a woman's off-duty style, whilst at the same time keeping it classic and chic. Australians love comfort but at the same time love to turn heads.
Even though our designs are very influenced by the European style and flair, as a multicultural society, Australian standards of fashion and style are always evolving, which we strive to achieve with our collections each season. We are creating a modern flat shoe range full of attitude and intrigue.
How do you see your collection being worn?
TI: For us, it's all about effortless style where accessories are the feature. Tailored, smart and clean cut outfits with an urban edge and completing your look with a stylish, bold set of flats or handbag that can take you anywhere, day to night no matter where you are in the world.
What was your starting point for this collection?
JY: Our collections starting points are always inspired by destinations we have travelled to together. We start drawing inspiration from the culture, architecture, flora and fauna. Ideas get transformed into sketches, and then we go through colour ways, materials and key styles for the season before the collection comes to life.
TI: For this current SS'17 collection which is launching online soon, we drew inspiration from a trip to Mykonos, Greece. The sun-drenched island attracts a jet set, glamour crowd that the Mara & Mine's collection encapsulates. The inspiration behind this seasons colour palette, embroidery patterns and style are true to the alluring blues, stark whites, soft tones and sleek architecture of the island. The latest edition to our Jem Skull Slipper family is a tonal blue suede with blue embroidery. The majestic colour of blue is used in the collection to resemble the crystal ocean accents against the white wash walls that dress the island.
Why the fascination with skeletons?
TI: The fascination with skeletons all derived from an inspiration trip we took to Mexico. Our very first season was inspired by the fabrics, architecture and colours of Mexico City. Naturally Skeletons were a motif throughout this collection being inspired by a Mexican holiday, Day Of The Dead. The skeleton motif is now core to Mara & Mine's collections seasonally.
JY: We were very lucky to experience this annual celebration, where Mexicans pay tribute to their loved ones that have passed away. We saw so many people dressed up in amazing costumes as skeletons and decorated all the local gravestones; their creativity inspired us to create our first collection, with the skeleton theme being very prominent.
Where are your fabrications sourced and garments made?
JY: All our shoes are handmade from luxurious leathers, materials and hand crafted hardware mainly sourced from Italy and Spain. We strive for the best quality and wear ability. We have recently sourced from Hong Kong and Tokyo where we have found incredible beading and hardware. We also hand make a lot of our hardware and our products in Hong Kong and Spain.
Who is the Mara & Mine woman?
TI: The Mara & Mine woman is smart, stylish, elegant, confident and adventurous. She is a jet setter, very classic but with a modern edge about her. 'Mara & Mine is 'about women, made by women.'
What is inspiring you at the moment?
TI: Right now we are inspired by modern opulence, a 'midnight-at-noon' dress code and rich fabrics in jewel colours; Innovative designs yet conventionally classic and decorative.