Meet the Maker: Tamila and Mariya Tkachenko from MTTC
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
Tamila and Mariya, are the mother-daughter duo behind the couture designer brand, MTTC. With a focus on creating sustainable luxury fashion and millinery, and all of their products are designed and handmade in their Sydney studio.
They believe that fashion shouldn’t negatively impact the Earth, that the clothing you wear can be both stylish and comfortable. Focusing on slow fashion, each MTTC piece is unique, and most are actually one-off designs. Tamila and Mariya love to use natural fabrics and often incorporate rare, vintage or even antique materials, making each collection they produce truly exclusive.
How did you start your homegrown business? Sewing skills run in our blood! Originally from Europe, Tamila learnt to sew from the women in her family and has been passing her knowledge down to Mariya. It has always been Tamila’s dream to have her own label and she has been making her own clothes for as long as she can remember, she even made her own wedding dress! Mariya’s interest in fashion grew from her work in theatre where she worked and practiced her skills in the costume and design department.
We firstly worked together on a millinery collection then shortly after we launched our brand with a couture collection and the rest in history!
What inspires you? We inspire each other, we have quite different styles and so together we are able to create some wonderfully unique designs. One of the main driving forces behind our label is the fact that we both dislike mass produced designs, not only are they bad for the planet but it is so hard to find something that you haven’t seen everywhere else.
We remember when Mariya was still in school we had trouble finding her a formal dress that was different and that would stand out in the crowd (actually some of the girls in her year even showed up in the same outfits!), we ended up designing our own dresses for her.
We also believe that if you buy clothing, it should last! Not only do do we focus on quality craftsmanship, but we believe in creating timeless designs that don’t go out of style, designs that you love and can style and re-style. Quite a few of our pieces are what we call, ‘transformational’, they allow you to wear them in various ways, such as a skirt that is also a cape, a hood on a gown that is also a train, a dress that is actually a three-piece set and can be worn separately etc. In this way each MTTC piece is like an investment, not only are our customers supporting local Aussie business but they are buying something that will stand the test of time.
What makes the Australian consumer unique? When it comes to fashion, the Aussie consumer is not willing to sacrifice comfort for style, and that is important. That’s why we focus on making pieces that are easy to wear but are beautiful too!
What is the best business advice you have ever received? “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Chanel
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? One of the biggest challenges for us has been dealing with the business side of things. As creative people, we have had to learn how to do the ‘boring stuff’ too!
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? The pandemic has negatively impacted so many businesses, but the positive has been a shift in the way if thinking. The Aussie consumer has started to realise that we need to support local if we want to sustain our economy and protect the environment.
What was your first job? Tamila’s first job was actually in childcare and Mariya was a costume design assistant.
Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Tamila keeps hers in the pantry and Mariya has a small jar in the fridge!
Favourite Australian film quote? Gert: A dress can’t change anything. Tilly: Watch and learn, Gert, watch and learn.
Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Tamila: Shannon Knoll’s rendition of ‘What about me?”
Mariya: “Working class man” Jimmy Barnes
Check out MTTC for sustainable luxury couture designed and handmade in Australia!