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.
Name: Tyla Mella McKenzie
Can you share a little bit about yourself, your background, upbringing and career? What aspects have contributed to the woman you are today?
I grew up in Mount Maunganui / Papamoa so the beach was a huge part of my childhood and upbringing. I feel happiest and most at ease near the sea, so it is no surprise I have full circled back to my hometown where (among many other things) I’m the Brand Co-Ordinator for Marle.
I moved to London when I was 18, and spent two years living, working and travelling. Going from what was then, a small beach town to one of the biggest cities in the world at young age significantly shaped the person I am today. There are a lot of qualities I see in myself now that I know grew from that experience. I’m an introvert at heart but was forced out of my comfort zone and I think that instilled a confidence I still carry today. From there, I spent 5 years in Auckland working across a various roles within the fashion industry before eventually making my way back to The Mount.
My family is large and very close. The saying “it takes a village” accurately describes my upbringing and I feel really fortunate to have grown up with grandparents, aunties, uncles and extended family that feel like second parents. Everything we do usually revolves around food and our love of cooking and entertaining. My most treasured memories include outdoor lunches or dinner parties at my Grandparents house on the beach. This instilled my love for cooking and baking, something I have been lucky enough to learn (and continue to learn) from my Mum and Nana. I find it really therapeutic, and get the biggest joy out of creating a meal for my friends and family.
I’m also a fur-mum, my lovely partner Ben and I have a very spoilt, two year old puppy, Pippi. We’re a tight knit little trio and spend our weekends biking to our favourite cafes, hunting out the best bush walks or at the beach.
How would you describe your personal style? Has it always been this way or has it evolved over the years? How?
I’ve always loved fashion and clothing and my Mum used to make a lot of pieces for me. I’d tear pages of inspiration out of magazines and we’d go to Auckland to find the perfect fabric. It always felt very special to have one off, unique styles made especially for me.
My style has always been quite paired back and focused around a more neutral colour palette. In terms of silhouettes, I’m consistently drawn to dresses and skirts, structured blazers and over-sized knitwear.
Have you always been confident in your style, or is it something one learns with age?
I’ve always been fairly confident with my style despite occasionally falling victim to unflattering trends throughout the years. I’m slowly learning what fabrics, tones and silhouettes make me feel most confident, and try to stick to a refined wardrobe built up of pieces that all work together.
What do you love most about wearing Marle? How does it make you feel?
I love the sense of ease my Marle pieces offer, and how effortlessly they pair back with other items in my wardrobe. I also love our 'season-less’ approach and continue to wear styles from three or four years ago along with new season pieces. My Marle wardrobe always makes feel comfortable, polished and put together.
What is your take on a personal ritual? Do you have any rituals when getting dressed each morning?
A personal ritual is a moment of self care just for yourself. For me, a clean space makes for a calm mindset so each morning usually includes a quick tidy up around the house before I begin getting ready for the day.
I genuinely love getting dressed each morning and enjoy taking the time to put outfits together. It usually starts with one key item, then I build the rest of the outfit around that depending on the day and weather.
What conversations do you wish more people were having day to day?
I wish more people (in particular women) were comfortable owning their achievements. We can be so quick push back on a compliment or the praise of an accomplishment that we can often shrink our achievements in the process. We all work really hard to achieve certain goals, and big or small we should never minimize them.
What do you wish people were more aware of? Is there something you wish was discussed more openly?
As I reach my late 20’s and edge closer to turning 30, the decisions around starting a family are naturally a topic of conversation within my friend group. I feel really fortunate to work for a company that provides the flexibility to balance family and work life but I know this isn’t the case for a lot of people. I wish more workplaces openly discussed the opportunities and were more supportive of working parents trying to balance both aspects of life.
What is a piece of personal wisdom that you carry with you?
I’m a firm believer in the power of the mind - what you think, you become. It’s easy to let small things annoy you and dictate a negative tone, so I try to keep a relatively positive mindset. There is also a real power in perspective, stepping back and taking a few minutes to look at what’s going on can be a great way to distinguish a bad moment from a bad day.
Quick fire questions:
Most treasured accessory? I have a few pieces of very special jewellery; a Saint Christopher pendant my Mum gave to me before I moved to London, a Tiffany & Co necklace my Dad and Step-Mum gifted to me for my 21st birthday and a diamond eternity band Ben bought me a few years ago.
Texture or colour? Texture. Unless khaki and grey marle count as colour...
Spring/ Summer or Autumn/Winter? Spring/Summer. I’m so ready for lunchtime ice creams, al fresco dinners and after work swims.