With our Designers Corner series we are chatting with Alex Longstaff head designer of Mahiya a unique brand bringing touches of Navajo and Aztec influences in there just released Into the Wild Collection of Handcrafted leather bags, wallets and accessories.
How would you describe the core of Mahiya?
Mahiya is a collection of accessories and clothing that is designed for the modern day gypsy, each collection is more than just a wallet or a handbag it’s for fashion lovers who live for long summer days, fairy floss skies, midnight dancing, salty hair and sandy feet – the true bohemian style.
When did you realise designing was something you would like to get into?
I’ve always been creative and loved building, designing and bring things to life, when you are young the sky is the limit with what you can do, I like to try and keep that motto later in life as well. I first created a small Jewellery label called Salt Water Jewellery when I was in high school which I sold to local surf shops in South Australia I then designed for an accessories company before embarking on my true passion to launch Mahiya.
Inspiration is a major part of life how do you about drawing inspiration for your labels latest designs?
I use a lot of sources for my inspiration from music to ancient cultures and art, I think the best way to really capture this is by travelling and seeing it first hand, feeling the texture and breathing in the culture. I have recently just returning from a trip to America, Mexico and Guatemala, the architecture and cultures there are amazing!
What would you say is your favourite part of the design process?
Well apart from travelling to amazing places around the world and having sunset cocktails on a secluded beach – because who doesn’t want to do that? Watching my initial sketches and designs being brought to life through the sample process is always an amazing feeling, you never get used to it.
When you are sketching up your latest designs do you have anything that helps you get creative a favourite music, food or process?
It’s funny I come up with my best ideas in the most random places like sitting on a plane, or walking down the beach, ideas and inspiration can come from so many different things – thank god for iPhones to capture everything.
How would your describe your brands loyal followers?
Mahiya customers are amazing, they envision what the brand is about and inspire me every day to create new and exciting pieces. When you see someone in your design or they share their purchase on Instagram with us I am always so grateful and humbled, Mahiya wouldn’t be where it is today without them.
Having just launched your Into the Wild Collection how would you say this collection differs from your previous two?
Our winter collection was inspired by warm earthy colours of the desert, a friend recently travelled to Abu Dhabi and I saw an amazing image that I tried to capitulate throughout the collection. In to the Wild is really inspired by Moroccan and South American colour palettes, while there is still a foundation of tan and cream in some of line there is a lot more bright hand woven fabrics infused with a vibrant leather pallet and Aztec geometric designs.
So what is next for yourself and Mahiya?
Leather has been our main focus since the beginning and that is still our biggest seller but I am excited to be expanding the clothing range in the upcoming collections and building on the Mahiya lifestyle. We have also received lots of interest from the USA and Europe so we are excited to be expanding our international stockist list over the next year.
With summer just around the corner festival season is fast approaching your brand lends itself to people who are looking for something unique to add to their festival wardrobe
What would you say are your top festival must haves?
I am always pro for being comfortable but still fashionable at festivals, our Gypsy Wander tassel handbags are the perfect size to have all your festival essentials in and our new bohemian summer clothing line is perfect for long summer festival days.
Where are can our readers stay up to date with Mahiya
Like, share, comment and follow along at:
Facebook @ Mahiya
And more importantly how can our readers get their hands on your label