High-end Australian childrenswear label, Mischka Aoki, launched in 2009 and quickly garnered a reputation for exclusive fantasy frocks that are confections of girlie gorgeousness, made with exceptional craftsmanship. Winnie, design genius behind the brand, is an inspiring example of what success can look like when an authentic vision is put into action.
“Mischka Aoki came from my love of fashion. When my daughter Mischka was born five years ago, I couldn’t find anything for her that looked stylish and different enough, so I ended up making her dresses. We received constant compliments, and that’s how it all started.”
Her breathtaking creations for girls between one and twelve years of age are unashamedly fairy princess: satin and silk dresses resplendent with netted skirts, tulle, and fluffy ruffles, and bodices strewn with flowers, appliqué, and intricate embellishment. Such is the success of her dreamy designs that they are now available in exclusive stores and boutiques around the world.
“I really enjoy coming up with stunning pieces that outshine the season before,” she says. “My inspiration can come from places I visit, people, different cultures... The current Spring/Summer 2014 collection was prompted by the beauty of a Versailles garden.” When it comes to the design process, Winnie keeps a fluid approach. “Creating a piece can start with a gorgeous fabric, and then the concept arrives. My favorite moment is when it becomes the sum of its parts.”
Gloriously glittering detailing is a key element of Winnie’s designs. “Every little girl loves sparkle. There are so many Swarovski shapes and colors that the possibilities are endless.” Her favorite piece, she says, is the ‘Her Royale Highness’ dress from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, which is a work of art, with thousands of Swarovski crystals hand-sewn onto it.
Keeping a healthy balance between work and play with a rapidly growing label is an art in itself. “Dividing my time wisely is very important. I love to be with my family—my children are only little so I don’t want to miss them growing up.” That said, she realizes how lucky she is to make a living out of her skill and passion. “I don’t think of this as my career—I’m doing what I love.”
View more pieces of the Spring/Summer 2014 collection here!