Meet the Business: Tamila and Mariya founders of MTTC

We focus on creating sustainable luxury fashion and millinery, and all of our products are  designed and handmade by us in our Sydney studio. We believe that fashion shouldn’t  negatively impact the Earth, that the clothing you wear can be both stylish and comfortable.  With our focus on slow fashion, each MTTC piece is unique, and most are actually one-off  designs. We love to use natural fabrics and often incorporate rare, vintage or even antique  materials, making each collection we produce truly exclusive.  

Where can we find out more? 

Our website: www.mttcaustralia.com  

Instagram handle: @mttcaustralia 

Customer email: info@mttcaustralia.com 

You’ve got a free half hour during your work day. What do you do? 

We like to spend time outdoors in the sun and fresh air. We sit and have a cup of tea in our backyard and spend time with our animals (we have a dog, cat and a galah - they are all  actually the best of friends). 

Who, or what, is your biggest inspiration? 

It might seem like an obvious answer but one of our biggest inspirations would have to be  Coco Chanel, her background and story actually has many similarities to ours. Chanel had  very humble beginnings back in Europe and our roots are also from a country town in  Europe. Chanel began working as a seamstress and wanted to be an actress and Tamila’s  earlier work was as a seamstress for others and Mariya studied to be an actress/performer.  Before growing her fashion empire, Chanel started with millinery and one of our first  collections was a spring millinery line. Also, Chanel worked with unusual materials that  weren’t so common in her time, she was able to create a big change in the fashion industry.  We also believe that the fashion industry needs to change at the moment. We use vintage  and recycled materials to create our pieces as we believe that fashion should be slow and  sustainable, whilst remaining unique and beautiful.  

When did you know you wanted to start your own business? 

Sewing skills run in our blood! Originally from Europe, Tamila learnt to sew from the women  in her family and has been passing her knowledge down to Mariya. It has always been  Tamila’s dream to have her own label and she has been making her own clothes for as long  as she can remember, she even made her own wedding dress! Mariya’s interest in fashion  grew from her experience in theatre where she worked and practiced her skills in the  costume and design department after graduating from university.  

We actually started working together by restoring vintage pieces for theatre, as well as  sewing for costume designers. Not long after, we were invited to showcase our own work at  a millinery event for the spring races. Following that we launched our brand with a couture  collection for Raw Artists, Australia and the rest in history!  

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt this year? 

Nothing in life or in business is certain. And although you need to plan for the future you  really have to take it one day at a time, go at your own pace and make the most of what is  available to you. We have always believed that supporting local is important and this year 

has just cemented that belief. A positive takeaway from this year has had to be the shift in  thinking as the Aussie consumer has begun to realise that we need to shop local to sustain  our economy as well as to reduce the impact we have on the environment. 

What’s your proudest moment? 

One of our proudest moments was being invited to showcase our collections in Paris, Milan,  London and New York by several prestigious event companies (unfortunately due to the  global pandemic we were unable to attend).  

One of our proudest achievements was being invited and published in both Tatler UK and  British Vogue. Every designer dreams of being included in such prestigious publications and  it was such a validating and proud experience.  

What’s your number one way to wind down? 

It would have to be a visit to the beach and a swim. There is nothing quite like having a dip  after a long day, especially if it was stressful one. We are so lucky to live in Sydney as  Aussie beaches are unlike those anywhere else in the world. 

What’s the most obscure business request you’ve ever had? 

As couturiers we design and create custom bespoke orders for all sorts of clients and for all  different occasions. One of our customers that had big budget constraints brought in two of  her old garments that were both too small and requested for us to create something new  and unusual that she could wear to attend a wedding. We took both items apart and used  the materials to create a unique piece that the client was very happy with. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face at work? 

One of the biggest challenges for us has been dealing with the business side of things. As  creative people we have had to learn how to do the ‘boring stuff’ too! Over time we have  grown and improved but we still continue to learn and develop everyday.  

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? 

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street,  fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Chanel  

And this is so true, as designers and artists we are influenced by absolutely everything  around us.

What website do you visit every day? 

Our own website! As business owners we have to constantly keep our site active and up to  date. We also need to keep growing and improving our work as online presence is crucial  now more than ever before. 

What inspires you most about your work? 

We inspire each other, we have quite different styles and so together we are able to create  some wonderfully unique designs. 

One of the main driving forces behind our label is the fact that we both dislike mass  produced designs, not only are they bad for the planet but it is so hard to find something  that you haven’t seen everywhere else. We remember when Mariya was still in school we  had trouble finding her a formal dress that was different and that would stand out in the  crowd (actually some of the girls in her year even showed up in the same outfits!), we  ended up designing our own dresses for her. 

We also believe that if you buy clothing, it should last! Not only do we focus on quality  craftsmanship, but we believe in creating timeless designs that don’t go out of style, designs  that you love and can style and re-style. Quite a few of our pieces are what we call,  ‘transformational’, they allow you to wear them in various ways, such as a skirt that is also a  cape, a hood on a gown that is also a train, a dress that is actually a three piece set and  can be worn separately etc. In this way each MTTC piece is like an investment, not only are  our customers supporting a local Aussie business but they are buying something that will  stand the test of time.  

What do you love most about running your own business?  

The flexibility. Our studio is actually located in our backyard we are able to work up to 5am if  we need or want to (designers never sleep)! Also, as we handcraft everything ourselves, we  have complete control over the quality of each piece. We test each design for comfort and  durability. We think it is important to support local businesses and industries as that is what  ensures the growth of this beautiful country. We are still a small brand at the moment but  when we expand one of our key goals will be to maintain production locally in Australia. 

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