Leading off the Underground Runway show for Melbourne Fashion Week this year was Brunswick-based brand Maroske Peech.
A little-known brand that’s been worn by some of the world’s biggest names in the world.
Maroske and Peech are the maiden names of Jordan Conder and Elisa Keeler’s biggest fans, or their inspirations as Ms Keeler says, their mums.
“Everything you do is for your mother. That’s the first, glamorous, fashionable person in your life, which is everything,” she said.
Mr Conder and Ms Keeler met at TAFE while studying fashion design in 2011 and immediately formed a bond, one that led to them “suddenly” having a fashion label together, Ms Keeler said.
“We just grew incredibly collaborative while studying and we got a studio, I think, within three months of graduating,” she said.
“Then we started to post a lot of our work on Instagram and we were getting a really big response from that, which led to us being approached by stockists. So, we kind of created a brand by accident.”
This was a dream come true for the pair, according to Mr Conder.
“We did have an idea that we wanted to do something, but we didn’t know what it looked like,” he said. “We were obsessed with the idea of, and the dream was, to have a brand but we didn’t know how to go about that. But we did it.”
It’s a brand that has grown in leaps and bounds, with Maroske Peech’s lines of sweaters, skirts, bloomers, leg warmers, collars and more getting snapped up as quick as they drop.
Ms Keeler and Mr Conder were excited for their first fashion week runway, hoping to impress but also to get a message across.
“The collection was made for the runway,” Ms Keeler said. “But also, I think a big part of our brand is that we’re trying to say that we’re slow fashion, local fashion, indie fashion and that is luxury because of the time and the effort that goes into it.
“Traditional luxury, say Gucci, they’re making large quantities and it’s made in a way where they’ve got to appease the shareholders.
“That for me doesn’t really resonate as luxury. It was luxury in the ’90s and in the ’80s, but that’s no longer luxury. That’s just logomania.”
It’s a sentiment Mr Conder agrees with.
“We’ve spoken about how we perceive ourselves to be this antidote to fast fashion,” he said.
“When you think about a small brand that is making things in limited quantities, that has that real time and effort put into it that you can’t just get everywhere. That’s luxurious to me.”
It’s a message that is getting across, with some of the world’s most fashionable people donning the Maroske Peech line, including Bella Hadid, Lily Allen and Chloe Sevigny.
Even Hunter Schafer in her role as Jules on hit show Euphoria has worn Maroske Peech, which was a “bigger than we ever imagined moment”, according to Mr Conder.
But while the models were hitting the runway during the Underground Fashion showcase there were only two fashionistas in the crowd the designers wanted to make proud.
“The night was very much for our mums,” Mr Conder said. “We wanted them to have that fashion experience, to be able to say they went to their kids’ fashion show.
“They’re who we want to dress the most.”
Plus, Kylie Minogue.
“We are massive Kylie fans,” Ms Keeler said. “Please put that in there.”
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