March | Take 5
With Amy Powney
The Mother of Pearl designer on her game-changing labelEmma Sells
The upheaval of the past year has offered Amy Powney and her team at Mother of Pearl an enforced but much-needed chance to breathe and regroup. Powney has decided to let the London-based label set its own rules: no more huge wholesale orders, international expansion, or trying to keep up with the relentless pace of the fashion industry. Instead, she’s downsized, swapping sustainable fashion for responsible design and condensing her collections down to core, wear-forever pieces made in fabrics that will stand the test of time, and that have been real-world tested by every woman who works with her. Given that Powney also became a first-time mother this time last year, the breathing space and change of pace couldn’t have come at a better moment.
The game-changing designer has been steadfastly making considered, sustainable and ethical choices ever since she took the helm at Mother of Pearl in 2015, paving the way in everything from making thoughtful fabric choices to vetting supply chains. Crucially, she did it all while conjuring truly desirable, brilliant clothes that women love – from wonderful voluminous dresses to beautifully cut tailoring. Now, she’s still doing the same – but keeping it even simpler. “We’ve turned the fashion industry into a monster; it’s so fast and needs feeding so much, and no-one knows how to stop it or slow it,” says Powney. “What we’re trying to do is pull ourselves right out of it – and the past year has been amazing for that. It’s made us make even more sustainable decisions.”