Pink Pineapple showcases at Sfh Designs

iModel Fashion catches up with new designer Michelle Potts from Pink Pineapple

Q: First of all, can we start with your name, please?

A: Michelle Potts.

Q: Michelle, whereabouts are you from?

A: Brisbane.

Q: Now, a bit of exciting information, you worked for Easton Pearson in the past.

A: Yes, Easton Pearson.  I started there when I was a student at TAFE, and there was another student in my class that was already working for Easton Pearson and asked me if I’d like to come along and get a job there, and I said, “Yes, I would.”  So, I jumped on a bus, left TAFE, left my lessons for the afternoon and went and got a job there.  That was back in 2001.  I was there until I had my first child in 2008.  That’s terrible; I can’t remember when he was born. 

Q: What was your starting role?

A: I started hand sewing.  So, literally sewing on press studs, buttons, anything.  Eventually, I was taken under the wing by the senior sample machinist, and she trained me as a sample machinist.  Then I took a big break and came back into the sewing world through Opera Queensland, where I did about four seasons at the Opera, and then I went and did a season over at the ballet as well.

Q: So, you were sewing all the outfits for all the actors –

A: Some of the costumes, yes.

Q: Did that differ from where you’d just come from?

A: Oh, yeah.  Absolutely.  Fashion is a totally different type of sewing.  Costumes, wow.  Mostly the costumes need to be worn loads and loads of times, repeatedly by many other people.  So, everything has to be made so that it’s alterable.  So, you have lots of prominent side seams, so you can let it in and take it out as it needs to be.  And then lots of repairing because a lot of the costumes are worn for 20 years.  So, you’re constantly going over everything, making all the seams work again. 

While I was at the ballet and the Opera, I realised that I want to be back in fashion.  So, I approached Sarah.  I noticed Sarah and SFH Designs on Instagram.  I came along to one of her parades here when she first opened her shop, and eventually, I sent her a big, long email saying, “I want to work with you.  I think you’re great.  These are the skills that I have.  How can we work together?”  She said, “Oh my God, come over right now.”  She wants to design for years, so I’ve helped her create her label within the shop.  So, she brings me designs, and I sew for her.  So, probably half my week, I sew things for her and then sew something for myself the rest of the week.

Q: And your designs, where does it fit in the fashion world?  What person, what’s your genre that you target in age group?

A: Yes.  I only use vintage fabrics.  So, I’m specifically targeting people that are interested in sustainable fashion and ethically made fashion.  Everything is very ‘60s or ‘70s vibe.  So, it’s colourful, really feminine, a lot of fun.  The target market, I guess, is mainly 35 plus women, usually.  I’ve been selling at markets now for almost a year, and I’m looking to get a pop up by the end of the year.

Q: Have you got any other shows coming up?  I see you’ve got a little runway show today. Do you have any other shows coming up?

A: Not at the moment.  I’m looking to get a pop-up space to put all of my work on display, and I want to be working in-house.  I want to be there with my sewing machine, with my cutting table.  It’s essential to me to build that connection between the wearer and the maker because so often now we’re just walking into a massive shop, buying a $5 t-shirt, not thinking about who the person was that made it.  So, I want to recreate that connection. 

So, people used to value their clothes so much more.  You’d buy only a couple of things every year, but now people are buying a hundred things every year.  But we’re changing that.  We want it to be ethical; we want it to be sustainable.  We want people to really love their clothes and keep them forever.

Q: And you want to wash them more than once, and the colour doesn’t fade

A: Yes.

Thank You for your time today and hope we see more of you around town

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