Known for its clashing prints, colourful designs and super-flattering cuts, a Molby The Label dress is hot property. Opening it's doors weekly for new orders (that usually sell out in a matter of minutes), each piece is thoughtfully handmade by its founder - Karina Molby - and her small team in Liverpool. Luckily, a combination of favoured classics and new party pieces are now yours to rent on HURR - to celebrate, we chatted with Karina to find out about her design ethos, its earth-conscious mission and what it takes to start (and nail) your own business.
It all started from my Grandma Rita. An eccentric, funny and confident woman that would not hesitate to cut her own hair and regularly rock fingerless gloves paired with a choker. She always owned small fashion boutiques around Merseyside and as long I could remember I would dress the mannequins and serve customers. Since then, I have had a fascination with fashion and how creative and fun it can be. During my time at Liverpool University, I interned at Jonathan Saunders, moving to London for six months and working full time in a busy studio with many skilled professionals from around the world. I gained more experience during those six months than I could ever explain. From pattern cutting to sampling and sewing for fashion week, it became so clear to me that this was something I wanted to pursue, so I started making clothes and sewing from home. I made the move to full time during lockdown which - although extremely uncertain times - allowed me to focus on my brand and create designs I was truly proud of. Once I was able to do this, I left my job and I will never look back.
Of course, I am inspired by fabrics, shapes and new silhouettes I have seen on the catwalk and have my favourite brands and influencers that always interest me, but it is my followers and customers that really inspire me! When I see them wearing my designs, I love the way they fit and style them - which can inspire me to add a new colourway, a different shape etc. Being able to see my pieces on these amazing women encourages me to create new designs and different dresses based on what I can visualise on them.
First, you need the idea. Then, you must source the fabric and create the perfect pattern, find the time to make it the dress, test the fit and market your product. A single dress can take up to 4 hours to cut and make but it can take a lot longer to think of the shape, pattern and then piece it together. As you already know, I am all about mixing fabrics and prints and sometimes I visualise something and put it together, but something is just not right. For me, if I do not get that WOW feeling about a dress, it’s straight back to the drawing board to start all over again!
My aim is to focus on a more ethical way of working, by reducing fabric wastage and carbon emissions and creating high-quality, timeless garments, which can be worn again and again. I do this in a variety of ways including locally sourcing fabrics. Everything is made-to-order to reduce fabric wastage and any scraps are reused in our new ‘Save the Scraps’ initiative in which we use scrap materials to create unique, one-off accessories from bows to scrunchies. Shopping sustainably can be expensive but we strive to make it more accessible for the everyday woman.
My advice for a new business is honestly (as cliche as this may sound) to never give up, keep pushing, keep trying and just keep going. In the past, I have put my heart and soul into launching a collection, put it out there and I have not sold one single thing. You must believe in what you are doing to succeed and start growing into the business you are destined to be.
I love the way I can interact with new customers who may love the brand but perhaps are not ready to purchase just yet. I also love how my pieces can be enjoyed, valued and loved by people again and again. As mentioned, shopping sustainably can be expensive and renting feels more accessible to everyone. In terms of the future, my hope is simply this: for a world completely driven by sustainable and recycled fashion.