Design genius Mahsa Willis’s purpose behind the creation of her divine shirt label, Mahsa, was to take women from a remote East Cape NZ beach to the urban streets of LA/NYC. "My desire for a less trend driven, fast turn around fashion and sustainable consumption motivated the birth of my label," said Mahsa Willis.
The desire to create a simple aesthetic that would ensure women felt elevated yet practical was key, Mahsa's design dance between femininity and utility. "I believe ‘simplicity’ brings a certain quiet edge and charm to a woman and having less allows an edit of what you love instead of everything and nothing to wear."
In every collection, Mahsa delves deeper into what it means ‘to feel’ and ‘be’ a woman. "As a designer who has children and a former career I am attempting to understand and live a full and content life, this is expressed via my aesthetic and my brands authentic language. Life is challenging and sometimes just hard, a beautiful garment with good manufacturing karma can empower where you are and where you see yourself going."
Q & A
How did the Mahsa label come about?
Many years working around fashion, and then after the birth of my children I needed to do something I could grow as they grew; I also had a very traumatic experience which motivated me to put all my positive energy into a creative outlet which became a business.
Where do you find inspiration?
My mid-century home in the bush, my children, my family, film, music, friends, women's rights....my day to day life, the light, seasons, travel, the ocean.
What is the part of your business that you are most passionate about?
Timeless design, marketing - New Zealand is a creative hub and the world is interested in who we are, our unique position and perspective. I'm passionate about our country, environmentally and commercially.
What's your own personal mantra?
Live with integrity and bring good values to business and everything you do - do the work.
What pieces are on your wishlist this season?
I’m actually happy with what I have but I really like the Celine Boxy flat sandal and the Sophie Buhai mixed chain necklace from her new collection and I'm working on a beautiful first date dress from my own collection which I have yet to finalise...in sheer satin....;)
The most cherished piece in your wardrobe?
My vintage Rolex, my O'Keeffe Dress in white swiss dot, my camel bow blouse from my debut collection, all my vintage levis!
Any fashion advice?
Love yourself more than your clothes, buy clothes that make you feel special and pieces that work across all areas of your life. Elevate life with less but covet timeless quality.