Interview-Charne Esterhuizen, Owner/ Fashion Designer at MAAK     

-What and who is MAAK ? 

MAAK is an independent, innovative Australian fashion label that offers unique and wearable garments designed around aspects of everyday living. The diverse collections and projects MAAK creates signifies the ability to produce a wider range of garments. 

All garments produced under the MAAK label are locally designed and made by hand in Canberra, Australia, using innovative patternmaking techniques. MAAK focuses on a thoughtful and sustainable approach toward design including the production of each garment.


- Is your perspective on fashion ever affected by your age? 

I am 23 and I would most definitely agree that fashion does change from a young designers point of view, firstly our generation is greatly affected by technology and ever changing climate and an ever changing style with everyday influences. As artists we need to adapt to our ever changing surroundings to create the future of fashion. Take 3D printing for instance, it only became known a few years ago with major designers using this technology to create 'future fashion' .This influence might be the future of our local manufacturing centres and with advanced technology this might even mean that we can start to print garments in natural fabrics that is more durable, has better strength and feels fantastic without using slave labour, unfair trade, non-biodegradable landfill waste, pollution and the list goes on.  


-In a brief description, how do you approach the business side of fashion? 

 I do everything myself, my business is purely run by me, all business side of things I maintain and action. I'm always on the go and incorporate myself in events and collaborations. I am currently working with a 3D printing company for my collection for Vancouver Fashion week in March 2017.  


-How would you describe yourself as a person? 

Confident, understanding, strong minded, kind and respectful.


-How did you know you wanted to be a designer? 

I first started to become interested in fashion when I was 16. I migrated to Australia from South Africa where fashion wasn't really acceptable as a subject. Fashion became available to me in Australia when I was attending school, from there I continued to push my creative mind by competing in fashion competitions around Australia. It became clear to me that the arts was part of who I am. After finishing school and University with my Bachelor of Design ( Fashion Design) degree, I started pushing myself to work with other artists, mainly musicians. I've worked with Vera Blue , Hands Like Houses , Boo Seeka and Hayley from the Jezabels.


- Do you have a favourite designer who inspires you ? why is that?

I know this might sound a bit cliché but I'm absolutely in love with Alexander McQueen. His use of layers and detail and his concepts of a collection really inspires me. Every piece designed is incredible and the amount of work and thought behind each piece is clearly evident. If he was still alive I would have loved to have met him. 


-Who excites you the most (celebrity) and why ? 

 Stephen Fry , I think we all know why. 


-If you had a theme song , what would it be ? 

Africa by Toto, this song reminds me of my father that has supported me through my fashion career.


- how is your brand different from anyother designer brands ? 

MAAK focuses on personality and individuality. The collections within MAAK are never quite the same and i definitely enjoy pushing myself with all different kinds of concepts. As previously mentioned, I am also quite fascinated in the world of 3D printing which I feel helps me push my creativity into a whole new direction. I do not shy away from challenges and I'm not going to lie, sometimes my experimentations don't always work out but that's what's so exciting for me. It really helps build and shape my creative process.


-What are your world-dominating goals for MAAK ? 

To cure our fashion waste sins, but that's a long way away.