Style Maker - Mavis & Osborn

Reminiscent of classic children's clothing from decades past, Mavis and Osborn's beautifully tailored garments remind us of a time where treasured pieces would be lovingly handed down through the generations. Handcrafted in Wellington, New Zealand, using only the finest materials, they are tailored in a way that will make sure they stand the test of time...

Creating a children's brand was something that Mavis & Osborn's creator Tamzin Hawkins had always wanted to do. After working as an assistant designer at Trelise Cooper Kids, and as a textile designer for Silver Cross in the UK, it was a natural step for Hawkins to go out on her own.

Taking inspiration for her amazing grandparents, two of whom inspired the name Mavis & Osborn, Hawkins started a shared studio called The Design Loft to base herself from. By creating this incredibly creative space Hawkins is providing emerging designers with a platform where they can grow their brand with the support of like minded designers.

"I love sharing the space with others, we each have strengths in our own areas and can help each other out. It is amazing working on your own projects in amongst a group of wonderful and very talented women". The Design Loft not only has studio equipment available to use but it also has an attached store space that designers can sell from, both to retail buyers and customers.

We asked Tamzin a few questions about about what makes Mavis & Osborn so special...
What do you love most about designing childrenswear?
I love detail, the finer finishes that make a garment unique to any other. I am always looking for ways to improve, and love to get feedback that I can take back to the drawing board to improve on function and form.

Something I learnt whilst designing fabrications for push chairs is the importance of functionality. As a creative person aesthetic and form can often be the centre of a design, but when you are working with kids, it needs to come down to functionally. If you struggle to get something on, a child isn't going to sit there and let you put it on. I also think that you should add value in design. If you can get two years worth of wear out of a jacket because it has a lining which grows, or a skirt with an adjustable waist, you can offer your clients something of value.

What is your favourite thing about living in Wellington?
My nieces. Watching families change and the kids grow up on Skype when you are on the other side of the world is hard. I moved back to Wellington to be near to Malia, and now I have her little sister Lucia to enjoy as well. So My Nieces are by far the best thing about Wellington. I also love my local coffee shop, The Hangar. The people at Flight Coffee are as passionate about coffee as I am about design.

What is your biggest motivation?
The relationships I build with my clients. Its something I really loved when I worked for Trelise Cooper, we had a lot of loyal customers, and its great feeling to be able to offer a service that people appreciate, and always come back to.

My grandparents have also been a huge motivator in my life, I was lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents in my life for over 25 years. They were not lazy people and my mums parents are still around, thats my Nana Mavis and Papa Brian Osborn, they are both amazing and have lived to see so many changes in this world. Papa is 102, and he is still determined to walk a mile a day, every time we Skype I am reminded of his love for life and knowledge, he is definitely an inspiration.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pediatrician, I'm still growing so I guess I still do. Haha maybe one day this will happen.

What is your all time favourite kids movie of all time?
The Wizard of Oz was No.1, and The Labyrinth No.2, until my sister taped over it... I think I must have been pretty upset, because when it came out on DVD many years later I received it as a christmas gift.

If Mavis & Osborn were to make the ultimate ice-cream sundae, what would it be?
'The Ulitmate Ice Cream Sunday' would consist of vanilla ice-cream, a slice of caramelized pear, a bbq'd brown sugar banana, and a mini sticky date pudding. I am quite indecisive when it comes to dessert... so a little bit of each would be perfect.