THE WWW'S — Marylène Madou
Have you heard of The WWW’s? Through this section on our website, you’ll be able to get to know our clients a little better, as we’ll dive deep into the WHO, WHAT and WHY of their brands. Intrigued? Enjoy your read.
Marylène Madou is the designer behind the namesake brand ‘Marylène Madou’. The label was launched in 2017, with a collection of printed scarves, and has since evolved to include ready-to-wear pieces, as well as home accessories. With her textile brand, Marylène uses scintillating shades to translate her visionary talent onto prints. Every textile print is created by the designer herself, using a combination of her own original paintings and digital illustrations. After launching her label two years ago, the Limbourgeoise recently opened her very first boutique and atelier in the centre of Genk.
Hi, Marylène! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background and education?
Hi, my name is Marylène Madou and I live in a small town called Heusden-Zolder, in the green province of Limburg. I studied textile design in Ghent, and during my studies a lot of fashion designers had started experimenting with a rather new technique; Digital Printing for fabrics. I was so fascinated by this new process, that I applied for an exchange program with a University close to London that had a special course dedicated to this technique. With the money I gained from winning an international fashion design contest, I traveled to Los Angeles to take an internship with one of the most important print design studios in the world. Afterwards, I moved to the UK and was able to gain some experience with big designers in the city. When I met my current partner, a Belgian on holiday in the city of London, I decided to move back to Belgium to live with him and start a business.
How did you come up with the idea to start a textile brand?
Having my own brand was always the ultimate dream to me, and I had been planning to do this from the age of 17. Coming back from a city with so many fashion designers and print designers, I felt that, back in Belgium, there weren’t that many textile designers with the knowledge I had gained about digital printing. Furthermore, I was able to do many cool projects, which also landed me my first investor for my first scarf collection. That’s how it all started.
Can you give us a little insight into your design process? Where does your inspiration comes from?
I have different processes of designing, but the key factor is that I always use a mix of hand painted motifs, digitally drawn illustrations and digital manipulation. Every textile design that’s used in the collection is the result of my original paintings and drawings, and it’s very important to me that it stays that way.
My inspiration comes mostly from traveling, vintage print books, visiting museums and visiting gardens. I love a good garden show (I know I’m 25 and not yet 75!).
What are your dreams for the future?
After trying out a first clothing capsule collection about a year ago, I really want to bring something new to the table for our fashion line. We just launched the Homeware line, and the Fashion and Homeware line will become more inseparable. I really want to create a lifestyle. The scarves will stay very important, as I feel that with a scarf print, I can go all the way… it’s almost like an art object. My bigger dreams are, of course, a store in London or New York, that’s what I want to go for.
Female entrepreneurs are still a minority. What’s your ultimate advice for those who are considering to start their own business?
You need to learn to filter advice, especially when you’re a young female entrepreneur. My brand launched two years ago, and during those past two years, I got so much advice from so many different people. Some of it was very useful, but some even quite hurtful, especially the ‘advice’ you get from older men in grey suits. It’s cliché, but my main thing is still: follow your gut, no matter what. But do have someone next to you that’s ‘money-smart’!
Thank you, Marylène, for the inspirational talk! Good luck with everything!
Intrigued by the brand? Check out MARYLÈNE MADOU and get inspired!
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