How Mathilde Mader is Positioning Everlane as the Go-To Brand for Timeless Classics

Watch the full conversation between Mathilde Mader and Editor-in-Chief Dhani Mau on The Fashionista Network.

For some fashion creatives, the decision to pursue a career in the industry takes shape through gradual steps. In the case of designer Mathilde Mader, there was “this moment where it was almost like a light switch turned on,” she told Dhani Mau live on The Fashionista Network. (Watch it here!)

Growing up in Copenhagen, she enjoyed making things from a very young age, but it wasn’t until her early teenage years, when her mother suggested becoming a fashion designer, that Mader knew it was the career path for her. Mader studied in London at Ravensbourne University before attaining her master’s at Central Saint Martins to start laying the groundwork for her professional career.

“I think London has always been very good at supporting young talent and understanding that young talent of now will become the establishment of tomorrow,” she said, reflecting on the time she spent studying in the city. “So there was a lot of support…There was just a lot of energy, and it was very democratic in the sense that we were all going to the same parties. We all had access to each other. We had access to these names that went on to become household names; it was all very natural.”

After graduation, Mader landed her first proper job working for designer Vanessa Bruno, but working for industry veteran Kim Jones at his namesake brand may have had the biggest impact on her professionally. She described Jones as someone with “incredibly creative energy” that “invests in people that are close to him” and has those “incredible skills where he can see other people’s creativity as a value.”

Her biggest takeaway from working for the likes of Jones was the importance of fostering a positive and encouraging environment that brings out the best in people. It influenced how she’s worked with others throughout the rest of her career.

In 2022, Mader joined San Francisco-based Everlane, where she currently serves as the Creative Director. She said she resonated with the brand due to its mission of creating a production line that is sustainable as well as the appeal of working within a more accessible price point.

Having gone from the European designer world to overseeing an American company, Mader discussed the differences between European and American style, highlighting the “polished, luxury, laid-back look Americans can nail like nobody else.” In contrast, she said, “I think in European fashion, the ease isn’t always there — it can be more about what you’re wearing as opposed to the wearer…Most of us have a life outside of just looking put together and things we have to accomplish during the day, and I think that’s what American fashion really brings to the table.”

<p>Everlane Editions&period; Photos&colon; Courtesy of Everlane</p>

Everlane Editions&period; Photos&colon; Courtesy of Everlane

Her vision for guiding the brand forward is to highlight the “whole wardrobe opportunity” Everlane offers, rather just presenting the lineup as individual pieces, and also to spread brand awareness.

“I would say not enough people know that we exist, so that’s something that we’re really trying to work on,” she said. “Because I think as soon as people have touched and understood our quality, it will just show we’re such an incredible player in the market in terms of timeless classics and even just building blocks of the wardrobe.”

This directly translates into the cleverly styled Everlane Editions line she introduced at the brand; the second collection just launched in February. Mader teased that future launches will continue to build “on the sustainability angle” and platform Everlane as “an incredible option for sustainable shopping with style still at the forefront.”

Mader’s advice for aspiring designers is to “manifest what you believe you want to do” and be honest “with what you need to make [yourself] succeed” so “the better and faster you’ll get there.”

This conversation was hosted on The Fashionista Network powered by interactive media platform Fireside, where viewers get the chance to participate and speak directly with industry figures. Learn more about The Fashionista Network here.

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