Mary Alice Malone during her recent trip to Dubai
6:00A.M. I am a light sleeper. I usually wake up between 6am and 7am. Hopefully not earlier than that! I have a hard time sleeping past then as I love going to bed really early. I check Instagram and then drink apple cider vinegar before having coffee with MCT oil – that’s my breakfast. I don’t normally like music in the morning, it’s too early to start hitting buttons other than on the coffee machine. You’ll usually find me in the living room in the ‘namaste’ position in my neon orange onesie.
7:30A.M. I go to the gym for an hour in the morning. I practice Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. Both of them are practices of the mind, rather than just lifting weights. They are about further development which I like, about confronting oneself: why you’re upset, why you feel pressured, what makes you happy, what makes you confident. They (the practices) are very introspective so I feel like it helps me relax and helps my further development with work and self.
8:30A.M. I get ready for work. My grooming in the morning is severely limited. I am very comfortable walking out of the house with no make-up on. Probably too comfortable! I wash my face, use minimal products, but there is no make-up. Depending on what mood I’m in, it will either take me two minutes to decide what to wear (which will mean I’m unhappy with my outfit for the rest of the day!) or between five and 10 minutes. I’m a very low-maintenance person, I love being comfortable. I can pretty much go denim on denim every day, it’s my typical day-to-day outfit. Sometimes I wonder how many days in a row I can wear a denim outfit. If it’s not denim, it’s really long flowing pieces. Roy and I shop together, it’s more fun. We’ll shop all over if we get some spare time. I really love outerwear, that’s the one thing I love to buy. Designers have something new every season, so one season I’ll really identify with them, but then the next season perhaps I won’t. I do have a lot of Yohji Yamamoto and Sacai, it doesn’t get too complicated. There’s a big Japanese influence to my style.
Mary designing her A/W17 collection
9:30A.M. I arrive at my office in Mayfair which I usually walk to, it only takes me 20 minutes. Roy and I live together but we don’t see each other until we’re at the office. We have completely separate morning routines and our days are opposite. I’m up in the morning and he is out in the evening. I take my Lanvin backpack with me every day. My essentials are my phone – I have a giant multi-coloured unicorn phone case – and snacks, I never go anywhere without snacks. Also Egyptian Magic olive oil and bees wax, it’s all natural and you can put it on anything. When I arrive in the office, the first thing I do is check my emails. Luckily I don’t get a lot as my work is more hands on. I’m not the best at reading or returning emails. I prefer not to have lots of people around me whilst working, so if I can I get there early and do things when no one else is around. I love my team, we have 25 staff members now which feels large, but actually it’s a small number. We have meetings as needed but it’s a very intimate space, so it’s kind of hard not to just ask people questions. I’m a laid-back boss until something’s not right, and then it needs to be right. I travel usually every other week and I’m back and forth to Italy often because our factory is there. What I love most about my job is its level of awesomeness. What I love least is when some of my designs don’t go through to production – when a baby doesn’t get to see the sunlight. I’ve probably done around 100 sketches so far this year. When you start a new season there is a lot of filtering. It happens. If I wasn’t designing I’d maybe be a sculptor, I feel like I could do a lot of different jobs – professional salad maker, holistic shaman.
1:00P.M. I either bring lunch or go out and get it, usually salads from Raw Press in Dover Street, just around the corner from our showroom. I’m a creature of habit and good with repetitiveness. It’s nice to have a little break in the afternoon. I’m very health conscious and really into my wellness and nutrition. That’s my thing. I’m serious about nutrition to the point I’m probably a bit creepy about it! Although dark chocolate is my guilty pleasure.
Shoes, Dhs2,100 and Dhs2,060, Malone Souliers at The Modist
4:00P.M. I have my second coffee of the day.
6:00P.M. I leave work anytime between 5pm-7pm and I’m back at the gym again. I do an hour in the morning and two hours after work. I do martial arts in the evening – there’s a whole team of us. Sometimes I do yoga.
9:00P.M. My favourite way to spend the evening and unwind is cooking at home. I don’t go out much in the evenings, I like hanging out at home. I need to go home and have quiet time to process things and get ready to make more shoes tomorrow. A lot of thinking cannot be done when you have someone’s desk right in front of you, so although designing at work happens, the processing and making of things really happens at home. My interest in fashion was never to build on socialising or being seen.
10:00P.M. I would love to go to bed at 9pm, but it’s usually between 10-11pm. Wild! I need eight hours sleep. I make sure that everything is handled and then meditate, it helps me sleep.
This article originally appeared in the June issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia, available on iPad and in-stores now.