Situated north of Hong Kong there once stood the infamous densely populated Kowloon Walled City. …
For fashion designers Deanne Mayocchi and Rani Wilkinson, their love of fashion began at an early age – Deanne got her first sewing machine at age 10. Fast forward to 2017 and Deanne is the founder and designer of Brisbane label Maiocchi, while Rani heads up Ella & Sunday on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Unlike other designers, both Deanne and Rani choose to keep their businesses local while increasing their growth across the nation.
“I love that we are made locally,” says Deanne on her decision to design and manufacture her Maiocchi clothing line in Brisbane. “In our Red Hill studio I am designing right next door to the ladies who are sewing the garments, I can hear the chattering of the machines and the hum of the cutter vibrating on the table downstairs. It’s a great feeling.” Maiocchi is a fun and colourful womens label designed to flatter all shapes and sizes. With over 60 stockists across Australia, 3 retail stores (in Brisbane and Sydney) and an online store, Deanne says she’s working in her dream job. “My one true wish is to make women feel confident and look amazing wearing our beautiful, flattering and unique garments. I just love coming up with new ideas and seeing them come to life. I always have my eyes open for inspiration.”
Launching her debut collection in the Summer of 2015/16, having her own label was an important realisation for Rani. “I have found there is a confidence that you acquire with turning 40 that was never there before. Designing and creating my own label was something that I always wanted to do and I didn’t want to look back with regret.” Operating from her home studio at Cooroy in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Ella & Sunday fills a niche in the womenswear market, stocked in boutiques Australia-wide as well as her online store. “As a Mum of 4 I was always searching for fashion that was versatile, well made and that you didn’t see every day,” says Rani. “Clothing you could wear to school drop off, to work, and dress up and take out for a night on the town.”
Offering a unique product to their respective audiences, with natural fibres, versatile styles and attention to detail, their ability to give their customers what they’ve been looking for is an advantage they have as local designers. “I think working so closely to our market and being so hands on we are able to cater to what our customers want,” says Deanne. “I love to get feedback from the women shopping in our stores. I think there are a lot of women out there that don’t want to have a wardrobe full of boring basics, they want to wear something that is unique, colourful. To have a little fun with it.” Rani agrees, adding “Being a local helps me to understand what this market is looking for and I am able to run samples past my friends for feedback. I have always worn natural fibres but living in a sub-tropical climate has helped me to see the importance of wearing a garment that breathes and is comfortable.”
Maiocchi and Ella & Sunday will both be featured in the Natural Fibres Fashion Parades at this year’s Royal Queensland Show, which showcases Queensland designers that work with cotton, wool, silk and leather in their garments. Rani is one of only four regional designers invited to attend, and will be displaying garments from her Summer 2017/18 collection that have been loomed, printed and stitched by hand using unbleached natural fibres, such as silk and cotton.
The Natural Fibres Fashion Parades will run daily at 12:30m, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm for the duration of the Ekka. For more information visit the Ekka website. You can also view a video of the latest collection from Maiocchi below.
Author: Zoie May
Images: Courtesy of Deanne Mayocchi and Rani Wilkinson