Martwayne | Power Through Fashion: 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

For the love of all things Ankara... and a bit of a history lesson on the origin of Ankara

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And so the verdict is in!  When I asked this question, it did not even occur to me that I was actually conducting a poll.  I just needed an answer to a question that had been on my mind for years!  And my goodness, the response has been overwhelming.  Wow guys!  Thank you all so very much!

The best part of (what I would now call a survey) is that I learnt a lot!  I even discovered this new kind of fabric I never knew existed called Japanese Cotton.  It is amazing what you learn when you do a bit of research.  And the best part it, it was great connecting with people and rubbing minds with them.  I could really get used to this social media thing...

But you know what the really interesting thing is... 

The general idea is that ankara is african.  Let's even forget the fact that it is actually produced in Holland, from my little research, it turns out that ankara is actually Indonesian in origin.  I know right?!  

Here is just a tiny peek at the article without going too deep into a history lesson...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What makes ankara ankara?! Is it the print or the fabric?

OH for the love of all things ankara!  Ok this is just a random post from my random musings on a question I have been asking designers for years.

Yes we all love ankara!  And it's not so difficult to understand why.  The vibrant print!  The versatility of the fabric - like seriously anything and everything can be and is made from ankara. And of course, it's the fabric of choice for many designers because it is readily available and easy to work with PLUS it is made from one of the most durable fabrics that can withstand the highest temperature from an iron without melting or leaving an obvious shine (well obviously because the print "outshines" the shine).  

BUT the real question I have been asking for years is:

What makes ankara ankara?!  Is it the print or the fabric?

Monday, August 8, 2016

By far my FAVOURITE picture of the week!

I'm sorry I still can't get over this picture!  It is too deep!

If you missed this post on our Instagram page, here it is again.  

"As ‪#‎hilarious‬ as this ‪#‎picture‬ is there's a ‪#‎serious‬ ‪#‎lesson‬ to ‪#‎learn‬ ‪#‎here‬ It does not matter how the ‪#‎world‬ sees ‪#‎you‬ what is ‪#‎important‬ is how you ‪#‎see‬ ‪#‎yourself‬ ! I still can't stop ‪#‎laughing‬ though... 😄😄😄 ‪#‎thought‬ for the ‪#‎week‬ ‪#‎love‬ yourself ‪#‎believe‬ in yourself ‪#‎think‬ ‪#‎great‬ ‪#‎thoughts‬ "

Meanwhile.... if you did miss it, how is it possible you are not following us on Instagram?!  You really should!  Our handle is: 


And don't worry, we always follow everyone back! ;-)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why do we designers / tailors have SUCH a bad reputation around here?!

From Twitter...

Chei!  We "tailors" have suffered! Lol!  This seems to be the constant song around here!  Why oh why are we now the SI unit for lies, dishonesty and disappointment?!  

I was still talking about this same issue on the Martwayne Facebook group a few weeks back (yes we do have one for sharing ideas, seeking advice on anything fashion related that is bothering us and also asking for critiques on our work - you can click here to join us Join our Martwayne Facebook Group) and made a mental note to write about this topic.  I had procrastinated on it for so long until I saw this meme on Twitter:

... and I said to myself "okay nah... enough is enough.  It's high time I addressed this on the blog".

Yes oh... I won't lie.. I laughed and laughed when I saw it!  I really could not stop laughing.  But as hilarious as it is, and sad as it is to admit.... it actually is true!  It is a really serious issue around here! And truth be told, this awful reputation is really wrecking our reputation as professionals - and believe it or not... our businesses as well!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Passionate Plea to Fashion Designers.... Part 2

Image from:

Okies... so here is Part 2 of my ....err... "passionate plea" to fashion designers.  If you missed Part 1, here it is:

And it really is a plea.  Yes the last one was a rant because I was frustrated but I have since calmed down so now I am pleading with you.   

And why am I pleading with you?!  

Well first it makes our job easier of course.  We have had some success stories but we need more.  Second, you have to admit that constantly changing staff is a waste of time and resources for everyone involved.  I am sure if you search deep down within yourselves, you cannot be a happy person but your pride perhaps would not let you admit to yourself that, perhaps, you may be the problem.  Third, it costs a lot of money which can be better used elsewhere on training and retraining (on the assumption that you actually do train your staff) or at least, saving yourself the costs of a new person constantly wrecking your clothes.  Then the trust issues and the stress of constantly monitoring a new person in your space can be physically and mentally draining.  

Well... we know our Industry is far from perfect and our tailors are a nightmare to work with.  But have you bothered to ask yourself why your tailors keep leaving you?!  I can safely tell you that when 2 or 3 people sent to the same designer give us the exact same reason for their inability to work with you, then you are the problem.  Yes you might feel like a superwoman (or man) but truth be told, your business is pretty much at a standstill when you do not have the right people to work with. 

Here are just some of the problems we are aware of and our position on these issues.  If you know you do these things, then you need to stop them!  It is completely unfair and makes life just unnecessarily difficult for everyone involved.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Passionate Plea to Fashion Designers.... Part 1

I know this is for a legal document but it also works for this post.
Image from:

SO we've been working on a project for a while now. Of course we know how every designer around here complains about tailors... or a lack of.  So we decided to step in to fill the gap by sourcing machinists and pairing them with designers who need their services.  It seems pretty easy right?!  HA!  If only!  So far, it has been DI-FFI-CULT!  

Yes we have had some success stories but goodness the bulk of it has been  such a nightmare!  Yes we know tailors can be funny and granted some of the machinists' skills can be pretty questionable.  Which is fine.  We are not here to certify how perfect the person is.  The designer is expected to make a decision based on the sample of work the person has done in our office and is also expected to run their own tests.  But most importantly, the designer is expected to train the tailor to their standards and not just throw them on the job.  After all, bankers will confirm that they all get retrained when they move from one bank to the other, no matter how experienced they are.

But THAT is not even the reason for this post.  To be honest, I never really involve myself in how designers choose to pass across their values and mission statements to their staff.

My MAJOR issue is what I am about to list below which to be honest really breaks my heart whenever I get feedback from the machinists we send out.  It really is unfair the awful things I have heard.  Yes the general idea is that tailors are a nightmare to work it and yes I agree with you.  But this post is not about that either because chances are they probably won't read this post so why bother.

I am here to please please please PLEAD with you (whether or not you source machinists from us) to remember that your employees are people as well and deserve to be treated as such.   The way you treat others is a reflection of the way your business will turn out at the end of the day and if you are facing challenges, perhaps it could be because of how you treat your staff... which always sometimes comes back to bite you in the face!

Here is JUST a snapshot of the complaints I have been getting from our machinists...

Monday, February 15, 2016

New YouTube Video: "How to Leave Paid Employment to Start Your Clothing Line - Lessons from David Wej" [A MUST-WATCH for Every Aspiring Fashion Designer!]

Hello good people!!!!!!!  I BET you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day!!!!! Please don't ask me what I did yesterday.  I can safely tell you that I did absolutely ZILCH for no reason at all!  Sometimes, the best gift of all is the gift of sleep lol! :-D

SO!  Today... the post title says it all!  It has been a while since I posted anything relating to "Fashion Beyond Stitches".  I have been too busy hustling lol!  But I thought today would be as good a time as any to post this looooong overdue video... and by long overdue, I mean this interview was done even before fashion talk!  But since too many people have been resigning recently (Congratulations if you fall into those shoes :-D), I guess there's no better time than now to post this video!