Exclusive: Millie Mackintosh talks tailoring & future fashion plans
The Millie Mackintosh Collection is heading in a new direction…
“I’m doing tailoring for the first time ever!” Millie Mackintosh is full of pride as she welcomes me into the press preview of her Spring Summer 2017 collection.
And rightly so. The style star has left reality TV behind to launch her eponymous brand, Millie Mackintosh Collection, which has been so successful, it’s now the biggest selling label on ASOS (after the company’s own). Today, she has a rail of entirely new creations to showcase, all of which are guaranteed to take Instagram by storm.
“I’m so happy with the quality,” she says stroking the sleeve of one burgundy blazer. This is her favourite piece and it comes with matching boot-cut trousers. “I like going out in a suit so I’d wear the full look without a bra and add jewellery and a pair of mega heels”. And her shoes of choice? “My Giuseppe Zanottis are velvet with a gold heel, they’re perfect for festive parties”.
Indeed, there’s no better ambassador for the MM brand than the lady herself, so it makes sense that the new direction is inspired by Millie’s personal wardrobe. “These are exactly the sort of pieces that I want to wear over and over because as much as I like a floral dress, I love tailoring more,” the 27-year-old explains. “I’m a big fan of smart work wear that you can wear into the evening.”
Expect to see Millie’s Instagram feed filled with shots of her showcasing the pieces, and with each post comes a shopping stampede. “My followers like to see a shot of what I’m wearing and how I’ve styled the pieces, even if it’s just from a mirror in my house. But I get the best response when I post a full-length shot, preferably outside in sunlight,” she says.
It’s little wonder, then, that a good selfie spot is top of her house-hunting wish list. “We’ve been renting since February and are now looking to buy so it’s important that there’s space for a lovely mirror and good lighting! The one I use at the moment is in my bathroom, but I don’t like to show too much of it because it’s such a personal space.”
A preview of Millie Mackintosh Collection SS17
Aside from a dose of sharp tailoring, the new collection features floor-skimming dresses like those that adorned our feeds this summer. “I’ve got so many weddings next year so this will be handy!” she says picking up a soft pink maxi dress with a black lace trim. “I love that it has a sexy flamenco vibe”.
Considering her designs now pop up all over social media, does she still get a thrill to see people wearing them? “Yes, of course!” she beams. “I love getting tagged in a photo of someone looking happy and relaxed wearing the collection. It’s so flattering and I’m always interested to see how women have styled it. Bloggers and influencers provide especially good content so I’ll usually regram.”
Speaking of which, I want to know who gets her double-tapping? “I follow people like Lucy Williams (above; @lucywilliams02) and Pandora Sykes (@pandorasykes). I love bloggers who are stylish but don’t look too posed – they’re still relatable, real girls”.
Which is surely part of Millie’s own charm. Reality TV made her famous and she’s brought that same candour and glossy-girl-next-door appeal into her business. It’s no wonder her fans are clamouring to emulate her style.
In fact, the first time I met Millie was in 2011 when I was Digital Editor at Grazia and she joined as an intern. She was just as chic, and as honest, as she is now. “Five years has gone so fast!” she says as we reminisce about times spent in the Fashion Cupboard gossiping about a certain Hugo Taylor.
Now here she is showcasing her very own fashion empire, not to mention happily reunited with Hugo. So what’s next for the burgeoning entrepreneur? “I want to incorporate more leather and improve the quality of our occasion dresses,” she tells me earnestly. “The collection will always be affordable, but the work that goes into the dresses – the intricate details and the fabrics – means prices will increase slightly. I want to make it as good as it can possibly be.”
At the rate she’s going and with a move into higher-priced pieces, it’s not hard to imagine Millie showing at fashion week in the future. Does she see herself following in the footsteps of Victoria Beckham? “That looks like a lot of hard work!” she laughs. “But who knows…”
Watch this space.
Millie’s SS17 collection is available to shop here. And check out my favourite MM pieces below…
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