MARLE WOMEN IS CREATED TO CELEBRATE OUR PHILOSOPHY OF DESIGNING PIECES FOR WOMEN OF ALL AGES AND STAGES OF THEIR LIVES. EACH FEATURE PROFILES A SELECTION OF WOMEN ACROSS THE GENERATIONS THAT WE ADMIRE. WE HOPE EACH INTERVIEW INSPIRES YOU, THE SAME WAY IN WHICH THESE WOMEN DO TO US.
Olivia Thornton is a model and a student, currently studying Digital/UX Design and Fine Art - Painting – and here, she talks us through the benefits of growing up in a small town, what she wishes more people were aware of and how wearing Marle makes her feel.
CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR BACKGROUND, CAREER AND UPBRINGING? WHAT ASPECTS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE WOMAN YOU ARE TODAY?
I grew up in a small town called Murwillumbah, north of Byron Bay in New South Wales. I probably resented my bucolic upbringing when I was younger, as it felt stifling and uninspiring, but now I can see the grounding impact it has had on me, and the way it has fostered my natural curiosity and affinity for nature.
My childhood and teenage years were wrought with many creative pursuits, all of which were enthusiastically encouraged by my parents, and just before beginning year 12, I was scouted by a Brisbane-based agency, who launched my career locally as I worked between Brisbane and Sydney all the while juggling my HSC workload.
I moved to Sydney to model full time in 2011, and have since had the opportunity to work between New York, Paris, Milan, London and Los Angeles. The two opposing forces of the often gruelling and incredibly transient nature of this profession I’ve been in for 9 years and my small-town upbringing have been instrumental for my growth into the woman I am today, teaching me patience, self-sufficiency, and a rock-solid sense of self.
On a more day to day basis, I am inspired and encouraged by the beautiful people I choose to surround myself with- my wonderfully loving and supportive family; the strong, creative and intelligent women and men I call my closest friends; and my collaborators, brands and creatives I get the opportunity to work with and learn from.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY OR HAS IT EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS? HOW?
I always find my personal style difficult to define beyond ‘I like what I like, and I put it all together’. Some days I dress quite minimally, often with a masculine influence, opting for black suit pants or loose/straight leg denim with a crisp white tee. Other days I mix colour and pattern, sometimes referencing the 70’s with a large-collared shirt, or the 90’s with band t-shirts and vintage sundresses. I think over the years there has been a pretty consistent impetus to both experiment and reference past decades. I have also always relied heavily on vintage clothing- I would say that over 50% of my wardrobe is vintage, and that ratio has stayed pretty consistent since I was a teen!
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN CONFIDENT IN YOUR STYLE, OR IS IT SOMETHING ONE LEARNS WITH AGE?
I think I have always been pretty confident in my style. Sometimes eschewing (some) reason and potentially judgement for the sake of feeling great about yourself and what you’re wearing is worth it. I’m sure this ethos led to some faux pas in my teen years, but it’s all about experimentation baby!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WEARING MARLE? HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Marle does what so many New Zealand brands do so well- creating pieces that bridge the gap between being staple and statement, every day and luxe. Not only do the garments look good, but they feel even better, the emphasis on beautiful natural fibres makes the pieces a joy to wear.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON A PERSONAL RITUAL? DO YOU HAVE ANY RITUALS WHEN GETTING DRESSED EACH MORNING?
I have a pretty strict several-step skincare routine, but beyond that my morning ritual, especially pertaining to what I’m going to wear, is fairly loosely defined. I usually begin by checking the weather because I hate being ill-prepared, and other than taking into account what’s on the cards for that particular day, how I feel that day often dictates what I’ll wear. I also pretty much value comfort above all else.
WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE WERE MORE AWARE OF? IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH WAS DISCUSSED MORE OPENLY?
I make a pretty conceded effort to be candid about my struggles with my mental health, in an attempt to encourage others to do the same. Someone hearing your story and resonating with it could literally save a life, likewise if more people felt as though they could talk more openly about what they are potentially going through.
WHAT IS A PIECE OF PERSONAL WISDOM THAT YOU CARRY WITH YOU?
As I get older, I’ve adopted a sort of optimistic ‘who cares?’ attitude- not one grounded in apathy, but rather as a means of encouragement and an antidote to negative self-talk or anxiety, or fears around judgement. It’s a less-cliché way to remind myself that life is short, so if you want to do something, you should just do it. (Within reason of course!)
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
Most treasured accessory? Either my red Gucci loafers, or this weird but great giant tote bag printed with vintage cars that I got from a CWA market stall in my hometown.
Texture or colour? Colour!
Spring/ Summer or Autumn/Winter? Summer. Not even spring. Just summer always.
Olivia wears the Cooper Top, Dawn Top, Sara Pant, Bryley Cardi and Karie Knit.