IN THEIR SHOES
MICHAEL MAVEN: FROM SOUTH AFRICA WITH LOVE
It’s a family affair at Michael Maven, a label founded by siblings Natasha Michael, Nadia Michael and Mihkael Michael. Based in South Africa, this talented trio deliver designs that are as luxurious as they are practical.
“Years ago we owned a multi-brand clothing store and the feedback we got from our female clientele was always the same. They wanted shoes and clothing that were excellent quality, feminine but strikingly simple and beautiful at the same time,” says Nadia Michael—whose focus is on the business side of the label. “This was when we realized that there was a gap in the market for a new, fresh brand that truly embraced the female form.”
Sitting down with her fellow siblings they began to conceptualize Michael Maven. They wanted the name to reflect their identity while embracing their aspirations. “The definition of Maven is a “trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others,” explains Nadia. “Michael Maven was therefore born out of who we are—Michael is our surname—and what we aspire to become.”
Possessing complementary skills, the trio have defined roles within the company as well as contributing to the brand’s overall direction and aesthetic. Being siblings, however, does have it’s drawbacks. Do you ever fight? I ask. “All the time,” laughs Nadia. “We bicker and fight and have differences of opinions, but still maintain a mutual respect and understanding for each other. The perks of working together are knowing that we can truly trust each other and lean on each other for inspiration and motivation. We have the same taste as well, so even though we differ on opinions, our ideas and vision for the brand are very much aligned.”
From its inception, Michael Maven was created to be a lifestyle brand, a one-stop shop for discerning fashion lovers. Here, you will the perfect little black dress and an exquisite pump to complete the look. As the brand grows, so too will its offerings.
Based in South Africa and handcrafted in Italy, Michael Maven is a great example of fashion’s global market, harnessing today’s technology to do business around the world—whether it’s exploring business opportunities in Japan or managing orders from Italy. Inspired by their geography but not governed by it. “We do not consider Michael Maven to be a South African brand, but an international brand, catering to an international market,” adds Nadia. “We consider ourselves global citizens, and are lucky enough to be living in a country that is so rich in diversity and also very influenced by the rest of the world. I think being exposed to all of this has honed our artistic talents and our design aesthetic. I don’t think ones geographic location necessarily needs to dictate ones design aesthetic.”
With expansion on the plans for 2015, Michael Maven is destined to hit a store near you offering minimalist, feminine and elegant fashion that transcends borders. MichaelMavenOnline.com — ANGELA GILLTRAP