Sometimes your career doesn’t come from a set path. Sometimes it comes from talent, as artist Margaux Alix discovered while studying in London. Read about how she began, the obstacles she faced and her favourite London hot spots here.
What made you want to start your own label?
I come from an American mother and a French father and grew up in Switzerland. At the age of 17, I moved to London to be a part of an innovative and dynamic environment. I studied fashion, photography, painting and other types of art at London College of Fashion and Chelsea College of Art and Design. I then moved on to get my masters degree at Sotheby’s Institute in Art Business.
The art world is a very male-dominated one, and I understood early on that I would never be able to find my ‘spot’ and didn’t manage to find a team who could recognise my drive and eagerness. I felt that the field lacked the creativity needed for me to ever be satisfied with a 9-5, so I started making jackets at home for fun and kept getting asked about them in the streets. Eventually, I decided it was time to commercialise them and start L’Atelier MXG.
What obstacles did you face along the way?
As I kind of just started this for fun, I didn’t think through most of the things a startup should consider. The workload is more than I had ever imagined and I would have definitely organised myself more efficiently. I also wasn’t ready for the financial aspect and the online accounting courses! YouTube tutorials and Google are currently my best friends, as I’m still learning as I go.
What are your favourite places in London?
Clarette is one of my favourite neighbourhood restaurants. It’s French, simple and exquisite.
A great and cheap way to see some good artwork is at auction houses. Phillips is one of my favourites because they have an amazing photography department and I am a big photography enthusiast.
Food markets are my favourites!!
If you could only keep five items, what would they be?
- A really good book
- Someone special
- A box of chocolates
- Lots of sun
- A bottle of wine
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, and what would you advise to another female trying to start their own business?
The best advice I’ve ever been given (was more of an order) was my mom telling me to never pluck my eyebrows.
But in terms of starting a business, make sure you have your 3 P’s: perseverance, patience and passion.
Things get difficult, so perseverance is key, and if you work alone it can be hard to get yourself out of bed and keep pushing through. Some days you’ll have zero motivation, and a desire to drop everything and get the first job that comes your way because you’re afraid to fail. That’s why it’s important to be surrounded by people who will push you and constantly remind you of why you started.
Patience, because great things take time. Celebrity gifting, for instance, can take up to a year before you start seeing results: even building a loyal Instagram following takes a lot of time. So, yes patience is a major element.
And finally, passion… because that is what’s going to help you overcome obstacles and the rainy days.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour are you and why?
I am a blue and purple Crayola melted together. Just because.
What inspires you?
Landscapes and music
What do you feel most proud of?
Miley Cyrus wearing the custom jacket I made for her at the Spotify party before the release of her new album! BY FAR.
What does a perfect day look like to you?
I usually wake up around 7 AM, make my cup of coffee and go through my emails (in bed). Each day is different as I run this on my own – so from social media, to marketing, sewing, PR, content creation, photo shoots and fittings. I do a little bit of everything each day.
To be honest, I am not the most organised, so I pretty much take the day as it comes. However, most days almost always consist of computer work, sewing labels, running errands around the city and dashing out to buy paint.
Which piece did you enjoy creating the most?
The one I did for Miley, obviously.