Creating wearable art is no mean feat. French-American designer Margaux Alix spent years honing her creative eye at art galleries and exhibitions around the world (including a stint at Christie's in Dubai) before she relocated to London, launching contemporary label L'Atelier MXG. Creating unisex, vintage apparel that's hand-painted with witty pop culture references, Margaux has single-handedly built her business from the ground up. Revealing how she built a cult brand in record time, Margaux talks growing a business and breaking millennial molds with Bazaar...
Harper's Bazaar Arabia: What drew you into the fashion world?
Margaux Alix: "I've always been obsessed with fashion, especially anything DIY but I first stepped into the sartorial world, I felt that it was too cut throat and not a great environment to work in. When I launched my label, I chose to make my own creative space, with my rules and direction. I feel like if you’re not lucky enough to find what you’re looking for, you should try and create that on your own."
HBA: Who are the L'Atelier MXG customers?
MA: "My customer is someone who is independent, self assured and rocks a 'masculine meets feminine' fashion balance. They probably has Kendrick Lamar as well as Britney Spears on their Spotify and love to be original."
A hand-painted denim jacket
HBA: What has been the most difficult part of building your brand?
MA: "I’m a one-man show, which makes it even harder to get things done. I do everything on my own, from the design and to research to my social media, web design, photo-shoots, PR and accounting. It's definitely been a learning curve."
HBA: What are some of the most important tools every buddy fashion designer needs to have in their arsenal?
MA: "Perseverance, patience and passion."
HBA: How important was it to you that your pieces were unisex?
MA: "The fashion industry could benefit from blurring the lines between genders. I don’t think we should dictate who can wear what and let people curate their own wardrobes and find their personal style. Men look great in pink, and women look awesome in huge jackets, people need to deal with that."
HBA: You spent some time in Dubai before heading back to London, how did the region inspire you creatively?
MA: "I would say that spending some time in Dubai had a very unexpected impact on me. Past the skyscrapers and the nightclubs, I think the city has a true sense of identity, which isn’t necessarily obvious at first. I found the guys and girls to have an authentic since of individuality in their style, which I always admire."
HBA: How has having a strong digital presence helped you launch your label?
MA: "To be honest with you, I don’t think I would have launched my label if it wasn’t for social media. Coming from a generation that swears by social media platforms and spends a huge amount of their time looking for cool things online, you would be losing a large amount of customers by not taking advantage of that. Plus, it’s free. L’Atelier MXG is more than just a label, it’s a creative platform that empowers art, writing, fashion, music and anything that lights up your soul."
HBA: What makes your brand stand out from other customised labels?
MA: "I have a very transparent business. I collect vintage denim jackets from all over the US and sit on my floor whilst designing them. I don’t have a studio or a showroom and I like to be honest and straight forward about how I run my business, which I think is a trait that the industry lacks. I don’t use machines or anything out of the ordinary. Everything is 100% handmade, just me, my paint and brushes."
Atelier MXG ship to the Middle East, find them online at atelier-mxg.com