Melbourne based Mami Chula is a sassy,
daring and playful new fashion label made for fun people, who like
to make a statement with their clothing. It draws its inspiration
from exotic places, tropical cultures and street attitude.
Mami Chula's designs are very distinctive. Colourful ethnic
textiles and bold embellishments bring classic cuts to life... it's
wild-west, retro-futuristic and tribal.... it's sexy, tropical and
Founder Tahnee Noakes explains how she started in the
business fashion business, the detours she took along the way, and
where the inspiration for Mami Chula came from.
target market of Mami Chula will be Melbourne's vibrant music and
lifestyle festival scene. This underground culture embraces all of
the elements that inspire my label such as cultural appreciation,
openness and freedom of expression.
I've always wanted to design a brand that would give me the
freedom to really experiment with as many different elements as I
like, without being too boxed in by having to follow mainstream
When I came to live in
Melbourne just over a year ago, I observed that people here are
really open minded, and very experimental in the way they dress. I
feel free to take risks with my ideas here in Melbourne. Nothing is
too much for people here. Coming to Melbourne has been really
inspirational for me.
I completed my Diploma in Fashion & Textile Design at
the Perth Central College of Design
over ten years ago when I was fresh out of high school. The course
was very art-based, and focused much more on the creative process
and abstract concepts, than on the technical aspects of starting up
a fashion label. So at that time I was flourishing in a creative
sense, but lacking the industry knowledge (and the capital) to hit
the ground running with my label.
Luckily, over the last
few months, I have been learning a lot about the fashion industry
from all of the diverse interesting people I've come into contact
with, through my new part-time role in customer support and sales
at Image Label
All that I have been
required to learn for this role has given me a lot of perspective
on how to go about creating my own brand, and at the same time I
also feel that my background in fashion has helped me to understand
our clients' needs. I'm really very lucky to have a good job that
complements my passions.
Previously I was working
for a large textiles company which was also a very valuable
experience, but the hours were all over the place and as any
designer knows, you need time to get into the creative zone. It's
hard when you have to stop and start all the time, so getting out
of retail and into the office has been a real blessing, in terms of
being able to find the time to work on new designs.
I first became interested in fashion when I was just a kid.
I hated being told what to wear by adults. Later when I was in high
school I got inspired by the DIY nature of display costuming and
festival wear. That was well over a decade ago now.
After I finished my
fashion diploma, I felt an overwhelming need to discover the world,
and my adventurous spirit lead me to many exotic places such as the
Peruvian Andes, the Amazonian Jungle, Rio de Janeiro's Carnival and the Burning Man Festival in
In total I spent four
years travelling everywhere between Argentina and Mexico. I visited
many different rural villages and I was amazed by the beauty of
indigenous textiles, and the unique colours and geometric patterns
representing each region and its people.
It made me realise that
fashion is much more than just a shallow consumer culture and the
ego's desire to impress and seek validation from others. It is an
inextricable and fundamental part of our identity; whether in the
context of following a cultural tradition as in the tribes I saw on
my travels, or in the context of trying to make a statement of
uniqueness, as in the DIY outfits you see at music
What we put on our
bodies says so much about who we are and who we aspire to
be. When I
returned to Perth four years later, I needed to process and
interpret all that I had seen on my travels with a more theoretical
framework, in order to understand it on a deeper level. So I spent
another four years studying Anthropology (the study of culture and
It was difficult to explain such an apparently drastic
career change to concerned family members. But in reality, it was
all part of the same career plan I've always had. Understanding the
social context and the real meaning of things, is exactly what
fuels my creative process leading to new ideas.
"The inspiration for Mami Chula in large part comes from all
the wild adventures I've had travelling around Latin America. I
really fell in love with Latin American street culture, the people,
the music, the way they live, the atmosphere, everything. So my
hope is that my label will come to embody that
The Mami Chula range will be marketed across social media
platforms and sold through an online store. There is hope to reach
the international market, in particular the USA, where cowboys and
cowgirls have developed a taste for the tribal patterns and
textiles, which are becoming the hallmark of the Mami Chula
Bringing ideas to life
Tahnee is just one of many young fashion designers who has been
able to bring her ideas to life, with the assistance of Image Label
If you would like to know
more about how we can help, please don't hesitate to contact us today.