Designed and produced locally in Sydney, the Matin design philosophy is centred on wearability, with ease and understated elegance at the core, and a focus on using only natural materials.
We spoke with Michelle Perret, the founder and designer of Matin, about her sustainability goals for the brand, her ultimate Matin muse, what the next five years look like for Matin, and of course, what she would include in her dream capsule wardrobe.
We would love to get to know more about the woman behind the label, what were you doing prior to creating Matin in 2015?
In the early 2000s, I had just returned from a sabbatical after owning my own retail store. I had loved supporting Australian contemporary designers and at the time the general mood of Australian fashion was quite bold and trend-driven, so I always had this desire to fill the gaps with the understated pieces I wanted to wear. When I returned to Australia, I was living between Sydney & Byron unsure of where to settle and what the next phase of my career would look like. I began sketching ideas for my own label and things started to naturally come together – and Matin was created.
You work and have worked alongside family members in creating this much-loved Aussie label, how does working with family impact on how you approach design as well as building a brand?
Designing a new collection always begins as a solitary process for me, so when we reach the stage of refining the ideas and initial sketches, then working with family means really open communication until every style feels complete & resolved. I am so grateful to have someone as close as my daughter working with me to build the brand. It’s really nice to develop ideas with someone I really trust.
Over the course of the last 6 years Matin has really stayed true to its core values of creating wearable, timeless pieces. How would you say the brand has changed since inception?
I think I’m a little close to be objective on the brands evolution, but I think in staying true to our values, the general mood has been pretty consistent over the years. I think the quality of our fabrications and make have improved over the years. I think the way we present the collections and tell the story each season has also grown.
What have been your favourite styles you have created that you wear on repeat?
Our tailoring is really beautiful to wear - always cut well and in a way that it can be worn every day without feeling too uptight. The long pleat dress in superfine cotton is a summer favourite over swimwear. And our linen three-piece suit is something I’ve always wanted in my own wardrobe, and a dress I named The Marais was one of the first French vintage inspired dresses I designed which I still wear…it’s so timeless. I’ll never tire of it.
From the very beginning you’re passionate about creating designs using only natural materials and producing locally in Sydney. What are some of the sustainability goals you have in the pipeline or that you’re focused on?
It’s about time that there is an expectation now for all designers to be producing with sustainable and ethical practices or policies in place. We will continue to make locally and use only natural fabrications as our major sustainability initiatives.
Using natural fabrications means that we aren’t contributing to micro plastics that leech into our waterways which happens when polyester or poly-blend fabrics are washed & worn. But every decision as a designer has an impact – especially when it comes to manufacturing processes.
From a packaging perspective, we have eliminated polybags (which many big retailers require of designers) and plastic satchels from our packaging for the last 2 years, opting for compostable stickers & tape, and we ship using a carbon neutral delivery service.
When designing styles, who do you envision wearing them? Yourself, friends, family, celebrities?
I always have a muse in mind – she is from another time, and is always on holidays somewhere wonderful – she is usually on holiday in St Tropez in the 70s. Maybe she is me in a past life!
I get a massive buzz when I see Athena Calderone and Margot Robbie wearing Matin. But I get just as excited walking down the street and seeing someone wearing Matin. It’s that feeling that someone has resonated with your designs, which I’m sure most designers would feel great about.
Your designs have become a favourite to the likes of actress Margot Robbie and style muse Athena Calderone. Connecting with women around the world who appreciate your designs must be a surreal feeling. What has been one of your favourite moments seeing someone in your designs?
Seeing Athena in our cross-back linen dress for Architectural Digest was a pinch-me moment. I’ve always admired her passion for creating beautiful spaces, so seeing her wearing Matin in her incredible Brooklyn townhouse was pretty epic.
What does your dream capsule wardrobe look like?
I think for most modern women, the pieces you want in your wardrobe are the pieces that you will wear time & time again. My dream wardrobe consists of the linen pull-on pant, our fine knit t-shirts, crisp cotton poplin shirting, a tailored tweed jacket, and a full length summer dress with a nice feminine detail – along with a few of my favourite vintage finds from Paris. All worn with a pair of trainers.
Where to from here? What does the next 5 years look like for Matin?
It’s looking fun, busy, and creative with some exciting opportunities overseas that we’re looking forward to sharing soon.
I would love to design a handful of accessories to style with the collection, and perhaps a piece or two for the home. The next 5 years isn’t so much about business growth, but more about creative growth while maintaining the essence of Matin, and we do that by aligning with the right stockists and not expanding beyond what we can handle. We are very happy with where the brand is at, and with what lies ahead.
Images: Supplied by Matin