Brand Visibility and the Power of Instagram

Maggie Hewitt designer and founder of luxury label Maggie Marilyn. Photo credit: Angela Datre

Maggie Hewitt designer and founder of luxury label Maggie Marilyn. Photo credit: Angela Datre

What does the future of fashion look like, and what opportunities exist for designers and brands in a highly competitive, global marketplace?

Maggie Hewitt is part of a new generation of designers leading the way not only in sustainable fashion, but at the luxury end of the market. She launched her label Maggie Marilyn four years ago and the business quickly gained momentum. Her label is now stocked at exclusive international online retailers, boutiques and high-end department stores - all operated from her hometown in Auckland.

Hewitt says things might have been tougher if she had tried to launch her label ten years ago.

"We’re so connected now through social media.,” she says.

“It’s so easy to jump on a Skype call with Neiman Marcus or Net-A-Porter and to be based in New Zealand. I think I’m lucky to have launched my brand at this time."

The Auckland-based designer says young brands are able to get a foothold in the industry today with platforms like instagram, which have provided an immediate vehicle for brand visibility.

“It’s a pretty important platform for us even with sales and directly reaching our customer because we don’t have our own stand-alone stores," says Hewitt.

Social media may have been vital in growing her brand, but she admits that it hasn’t been easy on a personal level.

"I find social media hard because I’m quite a private person, so it’s something that I’ve really had to utilize and understand the power that it has,” she says.

Listen to the full episode of RNZ podcast My Heels are Killing Me (below) presented and produced by Sonia Sly.

In this episode, Sonia talks to Maggie Hewitt, designer Tanya Carlson, and the founder of womenswear brand Augustine, about life before the internet, maximizing your brand on social media, changes in garment manufacturing and finding opportunities for business in Asia. Podcast copyright RNZ National.