«The brand was born in August 2012, initially with the name personaliTee, since the project was first created with a t-shirt line», recalls the founder Sílvia Pereira to Portugal Têxtil, adding that «with the growing of the brand and the bet in styles increasingly distant from the ones that had initially dictate its creation, it was imperative a change of name». In September 2015, it was baptized Mahrla.
Mahrla’s founder quit her job in 2014 to dedicate herself 100% to the brand, therefore, right now, she “does everything”: «collections, management, distribution, marketing and brand communication, among others», she says.
Digital native, the brand has 13,200 followers in Facebook – the home where daily it reunites clients and curious, to see what’s new in its minimalistic aesthetic.
In Sílvia Pereira’s words, the success can be explained with the bet in «unique pieces, with a fair price, attractive cutting and design, fabric quality, and that allow people to use them both with sneakers and high heels» and, maybe that way one might also explain the brand’s eclectic target-consumer.
«I have young clients in the beginning of their career, modern girls that like to share that they use in their daily life and identify themselves a lot with the brand because it also works with several bloggers, but I also have clients that are more discreet, older, who even so love the way clothes adjust», points out Sílvia Pereira, who situates the target between 21 and 55 years old, «which is quite broad».
Assuming herself as a «very visual» person, Sílvia Pereira has in her photographs the starting point for each collection. «Every time I take my inspirational briefcase related to the collection that I’m going to do next, I have numerous images… sometimes they don’t even have a connection between them… but it’s from there that it always comes up something», she reveals to Portugal Têxtil.
Mahrla’s summer loves are “It Queen Collection”, «which was a Spring Preview and from which there are already some sold out pieces and that I’m not going to repeat», and “Wanderlust Collection”, which «marks the High Summer, with pieces already clearly dedicated to summer time».
Both lines bet in fluid and feminine pieces, namely dresses that seem to invite to dance, but also tops, jumpsuits and t-shirts. «One of the brand’s components is also its exclusivity and I never do more than three productions of the bestsellers», highlights Sílvia Pereira, who is already familiarized with sold out pieces.
The “phenomenon” is explained by the founder, who presents the renewed interest by “made in Portugal” as its main cause. «There are increasingly more demand for what is made here. There is also a growing interest in knowing what’s behind a brand and I have a very open relationship with my clients. And it’s curious to have already many loyal customers. There are only few of them buying one piece and never coming back and I think that’s a good sign», she admits.
Even though it’s been thriving in digital atmosphere, Mahrla’s shopping experience doesn’t end with a click. «The brand is also present in several stores in the country» and there’s also a project for a physical space in Oporto. «Until the end of the month I’m finally going to open the brand’s official showroom/store», she announces.
Meanwhile, in the website, 30 to 35 monthly orders «many of them with more than one piece» are sent, also, to international addresses. Germany, France, Italy, England, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg already have received Mahrla’s pieces, and the first international flight of the brand happened last year, «with an order of 25 pieces to a store in Mozambique», tells the brand’s founder.
Mahrla’s production is made in the north of the country and the main materials are neoprene, «considering the texture and the cut that allows to the pieces. Furthermore, most of materials that I work with are viscose and knit that always favours the feminine shape», explains Sílvia Pereira.
Together with apparel – with a price range between 35 and 60 euros – Sílvia Pereira’s adventures also take place with accessories, having recently launched, together with her sister Rita Pereira, leather clutchs. «The pieces are part of the project #sisterstrouble, which is part of the brand and where we also have satin scarfs with patterns that I develop and that after are transferred to the fabric recurring to sublimation», she reveals to Portugal Têxtil.
For the future, Sílvia Pereira wants to maintain the level of demand proposed from the beginning, «to which clients are already used to, and to conquer more people. I think the brand has a lot to grow and a lot of people to whom it might get to», she believes.