This Sydney-based fashion label has garnered a lot of attention, not only for their chic modern style, but also for the international influencers who wear the MLM Label in their incredible photo shoots, think Masha Theone, Natasha Oakley, Ellen V Lora and Molly King. We caught up with the founder and creative director of MLM Label, Julia Softley, who talked all things fashion and her latest venture, Julia Softley Bridal, as we walked around Rosebery in Sydney’s inner city.
Q&A with Julia
Tell us how you got to where you are today?
I fell into the fashion industry nearly 15 years ago after completing a Bachelor Fine Arts, from there I took a lot of leaps and bounds, risk taking and decision making. Now, with the support of an impressive work team behind MLM Label and JSB, I am a proud full-time Mum and successful business founder.
What was the inspiration behind the MLM Label?
It was originally inspired to be a small creative project alongside my fashion agency at the time, however as the business evolved the brand became more sought after by its customer. Now, the ‘MLM girl’ (who can be anyone from a valued customer to an admired influencer) inspires the brand.
What 3 pieces should every girl have in her wardrobe?
A classic blazer, silk scarf and ‘day to night dress’ for those occasions!
What are the key trends coming through this summer?
I can see a lot of colour coming through, resort wear (throw over pieces) and even minimal wear but with a twist of design detail.
What is next for your label?
We (meaning not only myself but the wonderful MLM team) would love to eventually open a flagship boutique for MLM LABEL and exhibit our style and what the brand is all about. You never know what could happen in Rosebery in the future, it’s such a hidden gem and upcoming place in Sydney.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words
Simple, relaxed, modern.
You are also the owner of the beautiful wedding brand MLM Bridal, what was the inspiration behind this and what is your favorite piece from the collection?
I wanted to create an affordable designer bridal label, which is bespoke in the way of locally made, fabrics as pure as possible, and a timeless minimal design for the modern bride on her special day.
It actually took a few years to establish the brand. I would design one piece alongside each MLM LABEL season and shoot it alongside the campaign, which has then evolved into the collaboration it is now.
I can never go past the Silk Apollo dress, also being the first dress I designed for MLM Bridal.
Your fashion campaign shoots are normally done at beautiful locations, where are your favourite go-to’s and why?
A campaign is the visual gateway to the collection, my team will work together in advance and mould the location and its aesthetics to the theme of the range. We have been lucky to shoot in locations such as Paris, the south of France and textural places such as Newcastle Baths, or a converted warehouse in Annandale. We recently shot at Ovolo Hotel in Woolloomooloo which gave us a ‘gallery-esque’ feel to launch our upcoming Resort ‘Mezzanine’ collection, meaning the mezzanine within a gallery.
You have a showroom and office in a complex with other amazing Australian brands, why did you pick Rosebery for your office?
I have always aspired to this area and was lucky enough to have an opportunity to relocate my Showroom to The Studios on Dunning Avenue. This gave the business and staff a gateway to surround themselves around other creative’s. There is a sense of professionalism within this creative hub of Rosebery which I believe reignites between all businesses.
It’s a huge bonus to be surrounded by so many coffee and food options too!
How is Rosebery changing and what do you love about the area?
Where do I start! I love how the area has built a lifestyle trend amongst itself, we have unlimited options for coffee, food and locally sourced produce. Rosebery has a lovely buzz about it and I think it’s becoming a more sort after and gentrified area for foodies and retail shoppers!
What are your favorite foodie haunts in Rosebery and why?
Mentmore & Morley, Sydneyis my number one lunch meeting spot.
Zeus Street Greek, Sydney across the road, next to the Cannery for a quick order and go.
Archie Rose for a little gin infused after work drink
I love walking through Koskela to purchase any gifts needed en route to a quick lunch at three blue ducks.
If I’m working on a Saturday and need a break, I love to walk through The Cannery and see the market stalls. I usually grab an organic loaf of bread from Grain Organic and groceries from Wholefood House to take home to my little family!
Best place in Rosebery to get your coffee?
I would have to say Black Star Pastry is my go-to, its quick in my busy times and most of the time I grab a tasty treat for myself or for client meetings back in the showroom!
Quick 5 Q’s
Your no. 1 fashion hack?
Freshen your laundry wash with a few drops of tea tree oil.
What piece in your wardrobe would you not be able to live without?
My MLM Fray denim jeans
Your favorite fashion label (aside from MLM)
Your favorite accessory?
What is your favorite shopping spot?
Spring court for sneakers, Lily & Lolly for the kids and Parlour X for me.