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SPOTLIGHT: L’Atelier MXG Founder Margaux-Alix Gardet

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Set up at the beginning of the year, L’Atelier MXG is paving a way for itself as a London-based streetwear brand which specialise in the revival of vintage denim jackets with handmade designs. Working with paint, studs, embroidery, sequins and more - the brand transform classic denim into wardrobe statements with both pre-made designs and bespoke services available. We spoke to Founder and Designer Margaux-Alix Gardet to find out more about her entrepreneurial journey so far...

L’Atelier MXG
Tell me a bit about yourself and your journey so far...
I come from an American mother and a French father. I grew up in Switzerland and moved to London at the age of 17 to be a part of an innovative and dynamic environment. I studied fashion, photography, painting and other types of art at London College of Fashion and Chelsea College of Art and Design. I then moved on to get my masters degree at Sotheby’s Institute in Art Business.

How did you start L’Atelier MXG?
The art world is a very male dominated one, and I understood early on that I would never be able to find my ‘spot’ and didn't manage to find a team who could recognise my drive and eagerness. I felt that the field lacked the creativity needed for me to ever be satisfied with a 9-5. So I started making jackets at home for fun, and kept getting asked about them in the streets, so I decided it was time to commercialise them and start L’Atelier MXG.

L’Atelier MXG

What does 24 hours look like for you?
I usually wake up around 8:30, make my cup of coffee and go through my emails (in bed). Each day is different as I run this on my own so from social media, to marketing, sewing, PR, content creation, photoshoots and fittings I do a little bit of everything each day.

To be honest, I am not the most organised, so I pretty much take the day as it comes. However, most days almost always consist of computer work, sewing labels, running errands around the city and dashing out to buy paint.

L’Atelier MXG
I’m aware all of your jackets are handmade. How long does it take to design and create each piece?
For my latest collection, I spent a good day or two coming up with digital designs, and creating a series of digital images on Indesign and Photoshop. After this, I then think about how I want it to look on the jacket. Designing the idea is the longest process, but once complete I can make about 4 or 5 a day given that I have the appropriate material.

Have you faced any challenges so far? And if so how have you overcome them?
As I kind of just started this for fun, I didn’t think through most of the things a startup should consider. The workload is more than I had ever imagined and I would have definitely organised myself more efficiently. I also wasn’t ready for the financial aspect and the online accounting courses! YouTube tutorials and Google are currently my best friends, as I’m still learning as I go.

L’Atelier MXG
Who and what inspires you?
Art really inspires me. I love anything visually appealing. I also adore contemporary culture, street fashion and music – these really have a major impact on my stimulus.

What is your most proud moment to date?
My proudest moment it probably getting contacted by the biggest fashion publication to date. I don’t want to name drop but that kind of stuff undeniably gets me up in the morning.

L’Atelier MXG
What would you say to a young woman trying to start up her own company? And what are the three attributes would you say she needs to be successful?
Make sure you have your 3 P’s: perseverance, patience and passion. Things get difficult so perseverance is key, and if you work alone it can be hard to get yourself out of bed and keep pushing through. Some days you’ll have zero motivation, the desire to drop everything and get the first job that comes your way because you’re afraid to fail. That’s why It’s important to be surrounded by people who will push you and constantly remind you of why you started.

Patience, because great things take time. Celebrity gifting for instance, can take up to a year before you start seeing results and even building a loyal Instagram following takes a lot of time as well. So, yes patience is a major element. And finally, passion... because that is what’s going to help you overcome obstacles and the rainy days.

L’Atelier MXG
What do you wish you knew before you started the entrepreneurial journey?
I really wish I knew more about the business side to running a fashion label. For example skills such as accounting which are crucial to running a successful business.

Where do you see L’Atelier MXG 10 years from now?
I have no idea, I sort of see it as a living thing and hope to let it organically grow and evolve into what it is meant to be.

What advice would you give to The Beauty Run readers who are interested in starting their own fashion label?
Surround yourself with people who love you and want you to do well. Don’t trust everyone in the industry, and stay true to your vision and designs.

Words by: Malika Isles 

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