STYLE sat down with Natalie Procter, founder and designer of Mina, to find out what makes her tick.
When did your love of fashion begin?
I donâ€™t really have a moment I can pinpoint. My mum has been sewing since I was a baby. Growing up we had a â€˜craft roomâ€™ downstairs (which funnily enough is now our Mina sewing studio) and down there we did all sorts; scrapbooking, ceramics, paper mache, knitting and making clothes.
Mum sewed a lot of my clothes and also taught me the very basics. Iâ€™m actually not that great of a sewer, Iâ€™m a little impatient. What I loved was going to Spotlight in the weekend with mum and flicking through all the pattern books and picking out a dress design and then spending hours walking through Spotlight looking for fabric to make it in.
Whatâ€™s the last item of clothing or accessory that you bought?
The last item of clothing I brought was in December last year. I did a weekend sample sale with a few New Zealand designers, and I managed to snatch myself a cream 100% merino cable knit by Wynn Hamlyn. I practice what I preach, buy less but buy well.
Whatâ€™s on your winter wardrobe wish list?
Our Coffee Stone coat is high on my wish list this season. Full length, 100% wool with a cashmere finish and large front pockets.
Georgia Jayâ€™s Lady Ida bag in Black Pebble. My only handbag bag I own is a Georgia Jay biscuit coloured crossbody handbag and it lives on me.
The ATP Atelier Vernazza ankle boots. I am quite a casual dresser so find it a real struggle to find a casual boot without a heel. ATP is a Swedish brand with all their shoes being made in Tuscany. Really beautiful clean timeless design.
What are you reading at the moment?
I never really have the time to read, I prefer to listen to podcasts as Iâ€™m in the car often visiting suppliers. A friend has just introduced me to the â€˜Innovatorâ€™ series hosted by Liz Bacelar & Rachel Arthur. The episodes are conversations with fashion leaders talking about challenges and opportunities within innovation.
Whatâ€™s the most cherished piece of clothing that you own?
I have a camel 100% cashmere full-length coat that my mum brought in NY when she was in her 30â€™s. Itâ€™s over 30 years old and it looks almost brand new. Every time I wear it, itâ€™s a reminder that classic design paired with high-quality fabrics really do stand the test of time.
Favourite pick-me-up? A walk on the beach.
What song do you have on repeat at the moment? All the debts I owe – Caamp
Whereâ€™s the first place you dined post lockdown?Â Gemayze Street – K Road
Whatâ€™s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the last few weeks? Iâ€™ve learnt how important it is to share and open up to my community. The last few weeks have been about supporting one another. I have learnt that there is strength in community.
Whatâ€™s the one thing that you will hope will change in the fashion industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis?
I think there is an opportunity to recalibrate the fashion calendar. Each season the demand for newness increases and puts pressure on designers to drop their collections earlier and earlier in order to get to the front of the pack. The flow-on effect of this is that by the time the garment is relevant (i.e. by the time itâ€™s actually cold enough for coats) the product is going on sale, in preparation for the next seasonsâ€™ drop. Itâ€™s disorientating and inefficient. Dropping later gives our retailers more time to sell, make more money and drop seasons at a more appropriate time of year.