Beauty & Fashion
Every time Marielle returned home from a trip to visit her family in Spain, her best friend would be waiting eagerly to help her unpack and try on all her latest European fashion finds. This was where her idea to start her business, Mi Amor Clothing, was born.
“Our excitement about my shopping sprees was what sparked the idea and when I mentioned it to my very supportive girl-tribe they all encouraged me to bring back items for them and slowly the message started to spread.”
Marielle is originally from the vibrant capital of Germany, Berlin, where she lived until she was 17 before heading to university in Switzerland. She did a BA Honour’s Degree in Hospitality Management before moving to South Africa in 2012 when she took on a management position at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. This was where Marielle met her husband. When they had their now three-and-a-half-year-old son, Alexio, Marielle decided to take a break and focus on being a mom.
“Apart from the obvious people skills you need in the hotel industry, my studies gave me great business perspective, including things like HR management, financial accounting and basic business principles. This is what gave me the base and confidence to eventually turn my creative passion into something more.”
The self-confessed travel-lover says she suffers from a serious case of wanderlust. “I am addicted to soaking up the flair of different cities and people when I travel. Travel truly does broaden one’s horizons and allows you to have an open mind to new things. I love the energy of it and my heart calls many places home, but I will always have a lifelong love affair with Europe.”
Marielle says she often struggles to find items of clothing she truly loves in terms of quality and design in South Africa.
“Although the big fashion retailers have the latest trends, there isn’t anything as unique, detailed or feminine as what you find in European boutique stores.”
In 2017 Marielle did a ‘soft launch’ for her range with a pop-up event that she named Mi Amor (meaning ‘my love’ in Spanish). Now Mariella visits her favourite boutiques and suppliers in Spain every three to six months.
“I really appreciate the quality of Spanish lace, Italian silk or leather and French designs, so I make sure to exclusively source from Europe. I don’t necessarily follow trends, as I often find them too fleeting. Fashion is such a personal thing and should ideally accentuate your individuality and embrace your persona to have fun with it. South African women are vibrant and love bold colours and styles. I think living at the coast means we also have a constant holiday feel here, which is very similar to the Mediterranean culture.”
Marielle’s contemporary range consists of unique feminine styles, bohemian-inspired, effortless vibes and some timeless elegant garments with beautifully made statement accessories.
“I love the carefree holiday feeling you get when you stroll past little corner cafes or indulge in Mediterranean late nights… I try to capture the essence of that and translate it into my range to bring a piece of it back with me to the North Coast.”
Marielle’s top five European fashion Summer trends:
Jumpsuits and t-shirt dresses: …and all of these with black and white stripes and geometrical prints please! Three quarter leg, split leg and wide leg jumpsuits are coming for us and well-fitted cuts go a long way in looking stylish with this trend. Long and short t-shirt dresses are huge, particular with diagonal colourful and unicoloured stripes. Oh, and polka dots! The Europeans are bringing this cute, dotted trend back and it can be seen on everything from tie around dresses to tops and skirts.
Floral patterns and love for details: European women are generally not afraid of embracing their femininity. They wear silk, lace, and other sensual fabrics all year around. But this summer I’ve noticed lots of alluring bows, straps, buttons and tie around details in dresses and tops. Last season’s trend of floral prints was definitely extended and you often find these two trends combined in beautiful dresses or interestingly detailed tops.
Bohemian vibes: Think kaftans, layered necklaces and carefree attitudes. This one is all about effortless chic and easily transforming your daytime look to an evening sundowner session. Lots of gorgeous cuts in Bohemian-inspired maxi dresses, crochet lacy pieces and luxury resort wear with a bright colour pop and flattering fits, just perfect for our tropical climate or a Mauritius holiday.
Statement earrings: The bigger the earrings the better. This season brings in exciting danglers made of innovative materials. Rattan, bamboo and acetate in a classic havannah or tortoiseshell are favoured and match perfectly with your everyday look or dare to try out bolder colours for an evening outfit.
Shoes: Currently no shoe collection can be deemed complete without a cute pair of espadrille platform or wedge sandals. I love this originally Spanish trend because its comfortable enough to let you enjoy your summer vacay mood all day! They are just perfect if you’re after a bit of height and give the appearance of leaner legs without having to endure the pain of balancing in actual heels. Ankle boots are a popular choice too during the rest of the year and are a great essential item to add to your wardrobe. But fun fabric sliders, strappy leather sandals, loafers and ancient Greek inspired slip-ons are all great choices too.
Details: @miamorclothing on Instagram
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Melissa Mitchell Photography, www.melissamitchell.co.za/