Mother Of Pearl is known for its unique aesthetic and cool collabs (like Bionda Castana, Lavazza and Matt Collishaw). Now Creative Director Amy Powney joined the cult brand back in 2006 as a design intern. She then worked her way up the ladder; to Design Director in 2011 and she was appointed as creative director in 2015.
We caught up with the power woman to talk about her amazing career…
Describe your career path.
Having worked for designers Marios Schwab and Giles Deacon, I began my career at Mother of Pearl as a design intern. In 2011, I became Design Director and continued to develop prints in collaboration with artists, which had become a seasonal feature of MoP. In 2015, after a period of sustained growth during which the business had gone from strength to strength, I was appointed Creative Director and shareholder. Since then, I have totally focused developing Mother of Pearl's collections through my own sensibility.
Describe the journey in three words.
Since taking over as creative director my journey would be described as dedicated, driven and constant.
What have been the main challenges you’ve faced?
We are a small brand which is still developing, so I would say growing pains are my main challenge! It's very difficult to move forward to the next level with the infrastructure of a small business - you have to be very strategic, focused and creative with your time and resources in order to balance the now with the plans for the future.
What’s your one tip you’d give anyone trying to start a fashion business?
Nothing will prepare you for the dedication, determination and passion you will need to keep you pushing forward. There are twists and turns daily and highs and lows around every corner, so my tip is to ensure you have a great support network around you, hire people that compliment your ethos and keep yourself grounded!
How do you think social media has changed the process of launching a brand?
I think it has turned the industry on its head with the way we are all engaging with brands and retail. I'm not sure how I feel in general about social media, it has so many positives and negatives, but one thing I think is great about it, is that despite its technological and modern roots it has allowed independent and niche businesses to amplify their message and enabled them to build a direct relationship with their customers. I love that such a mass concept has opened up individual brands and given them a voice. Having said that, it's also now become a bit of a minefield and so navigating it requires a new skill set to learn alongside the numerous lessons needed to begin a business.
Read: Three Floor Interview — How To Start A Fashion Brand
What’s it like to be your own boss?
I inflict a huge amount of pressure on myself! But at the same time I feel independent and free to see where my creativity leads me.
What’s it like to be a boss?
It's the hardest thing about my job! It feels like you are trying to spin numerous plates at once - such a balancing act! It's a complete juxtaposition of creativity and business. It is however incredibly rewarding when you find great people to work with and you grow with each other.
Describe your working day – from getting up to going to bed.
7.30am wake up, wash and dress (something casual usually for my everyday at the office), eat a homemade green juice and protein ball and then cycle eight miles to the studio. I like to start my day the best way I can to prepare me for the wall of activity that hits me as I enter the office. The next eight or so hours is an array of colour and fabrics, questions, problem solving and meetings. In the lead up to fashion week, it's a longer day with a few Lavazza coffees thrown in to keep me going. Then, it's an eight mile cycle home and a series of mantras to try and turn my head off. At the moment half an hour of TV does the trick too - my latest obsession is Stranger Things. And trying really hard not to check my emails before bed!
Read: Eudon Choi Interview — A Day In The Life Of A Designer