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How Designer Maggie Hewitt ‘Winters’ in Style

January 1 | 5 minute read

Memo Maggie Marilyn Interview Hero 16x9

Words by Arabella Roden

Originally published on | June 25

Maggie Marilyn is a brand synonymous with many things – not least timeless style, sustainable practices, and the kind of low-key cool you find in anything from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Its founder and designer, Maggie Hewitt, embodies all these things.

The new mum (she welcomed her son, Ralph, earlier this year) is also something of a muse for many at MECCA HQ – and as the latest member of the MECCA Collectiva, we asked for her winter style guide, including her wardrobe staples, skincare essentials and the makeup you’ll always find in her beauty bag.

Whether you’re jetting off on a Euro summer, planning a jaunt to the Queenstown slopes or simply looking to brave the coldest start to winter in over a decade, you’ll want to take notes…

1. Which pieces will be in your wardrobe on high rotation this winter?

“Putting together my outfit in the morning is still one of my greatest sources of pleasure, but if I’m short on time – as I am these days with a newborn! – I fall back on a uniform of Maggie Marilyn slouchy Freddie jeans, a merino tank, string of pearls and a Forever blazer. I couldn’t survive winter without Somewhere’s [Maggie Marilyn’s sister brand] merino staples. Merino is one of the most technically advanced fibres; it’s temperature-regulating and has a natural breathability, plus it’s entirely biodegradable.

“I also run cold, so when it comes to an investment piece for winter, I think Maggie Marilyn’s 100 percent cashmere Better With Age knit is special. It’s intentionally deconstructed, with frayed edges to remind its wearer of those nostalgic, lived-in, family pieces that get passed down over the years.”

2. Is there anyone – or anything – you look to for inspiration when it comes to style and design?

“When I’m designing, I start by making a physical moodboard in my office that zeroes in on the feeling I want to convey through the clothes. The moodboard [right] usually has work from photographers and artists I’m inspired by – people like photographer Zoe Ghertner and American painter Cy Twombly – as well as family photos; things like my mum’s picking garden in the Bay of Islands, or a photo of her when she was pregnant with one of my sisters.

“I’m always in a nostalgic state of mind when I’m designing – I think there’s something special about looking back in order to look forward.”

Image credit: Instagram/@maggiemarilyn

“I’m always in a nostalgic state of mind when I’m designing – I think there’s something special about looking back in order to look forward.”
Maggie Marilyn

3. What's your philosophy when it comes to beauty?

“I think there’s something to be said for letting life show through your skin – for having the evidence that you’ve been lucky enough to laugh and cry. So I try to keep products and treatments to a minimum and instead take care of my body holistically; using skincare and makeup as a gesture of self-love rather than the be-all and end-all.”

4. What will we find in your current routine?

“In my early twenties I had really oily skin, but throughout my pregnancy and now postpartum my skin is a lot drier, so I’ve gravitated towards products like the Emma Lewisham Supernatural Sleeping Mask and thicker moisturisers like Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream or The Cream, which I massage onto my face, neck and the backs of my hands. It’s on the pricier side so I usually buy the 15mL or 30mL and savour every last drop! Luckily, a little goes a long way.

“On the hair side, I invested in the Dyson Airwrap and my hair is definitely healthier with less heat exposure. I love the smell of all of Sachajuan’s haircare products, but because I dye my hair, the Colour Protect range is the one I use the most.

5. How has your approach to style and skincare changed since becoming a mother?

“I’ve always been fabric and ingredient-conscious – our skin is our largest organ! That’s why I’m so passionate about fibres like merino. But now, as a new mother, and especially while still nursing, I’m conscious of what touches Ralph’s skin too.

“In terms of beauty, I experienced some mild discolouration and texture changes during my pregnancy, so I’ve been using the Emma Lewisham Skin Reset Serum to even things out while still being ingredient-conscious. Combining it with Augustinus Bader The Cream covers all my skin concerns.

Maggie with her son, Ralph. Image credit: Courtesy Maggie Hewitt

Memo Maggie Marilyn Interview 16x9 5

“I’ve noticed the biggest change in my makeup routine because I usually only have about two to five minutes in the mornings before Ralph needs me. All of my makeup is from Westman Atelier; the quality is unmatched and everything is designed to apply quickly, usually with just clean hands. I use the Vital Skincare Complexion Drops as my foundation, followed by their Baby Cheeks Blush, Lit Up Highlight Stick, and Eye Love You Mascara. You can do your whole face in under a minute, and I’m convinced it’s the best makeup I’ve ever used!”

6. We’ve seen Aotearoa (New Zealand) on the rise in both beauty and fashion – why do you think this is?

“For New Zealand-born designers, our geography is both our greatest strength and steepest hurdle. I think ambition is something Kiwis do well; we’re aware that we need to take our ideas to the world and not rely on the world coming to us.

“The transition to regenerative fibres is a good example of innovation in the fashion industry that is really being led by Kiwis – farms like Lake Hawea Station in the South Island of New Zealand is leading the global movement towards regenerative farming practices and Maggie Marilyn has been sourcing our merino from them for almost three years.

“Aesthetically, I think there’s an ease and lack of pretentiousness associated with Kiwis that resonates with a global customer – when I’m designing, I’m always looking to achieve a kind of ‘liveable luxury’.”

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