Chatting fashion with young gun Madi Roberts

Thu 06 Jul

Social media has undoubtedly changed modern business and of course the fashion industry. Trending styles and fabrics are hitting the shelves moments after they’ve been snapped on Instagram by the fashion elite – making the industry both easier to get into and harder to succeed in.

After designing a gorgeous Year 12 formal gown, Canberran Madi Roberts was discovered via Instagram. She realised that people genuinely wanted her designs. So, Madi decided that this could be her career and went full-time into designing, sewing and producing dresses for clients across the globe.

We sat down with young gun Madi Roberts to chat about her journey…

Where did your passion for design come from?

When I was younger I loved to dress up in costumes and really be the centre of attention. Anything with gorgeous fabric and design, I really took a shine to it!

Growing up in a modest household we couldn’t always afford to purchase on-trend clothing; so, my mum used to compromise with her sewing machine by saying that we could make anything we wanted ourselves out of old clothing, fabric, curtains, anything we wanted… 

I fell in love with the idea that with just a bit of fabric and a sewing machine, you could create your own persona and vibe – you can put your own flair into what you wear and decide how you want people to see you.


Who is your fashion idol?

I don’t have a favourite designer; however, I have great respect for Rihanna – because it’s not pretty unless Rihanna says it’s pretty! She could honestly wear a paper bag and make it look sexy.

She wears the clothes; the clothes don’t wear her! I think that clothing needs to be different, it needs to be a piece of art and it needs to test the limits – this is exactly what Rihanna is famous for.


What stage are you at with your business? 

At this stage, I am in the grassroots phase of my fashion career and business. The whole idea grew organically from my Year 12 formal last year.

Basically, I made my own bespoke dresses for my formal and obviously took a lot of photos and posted them on Instagram.

I had a bunch of people asking me where I bought the dresses from and as soon as I replied saying that I made them, everyone was asking me to make theirs too!

From there I realised that I love creating my own clothes and this is something that I can do for others and eventually make it my career.

Although I am in the grassroots stage of the business I have quite a few Canberra formals coming up, some orders from America and even a wedding that has ordered my designs - meaning that I have over 10 dresses to deliver by November!


Where do you see your business going in the future?

Dressing people on the red carpet at the Met Gala would definitely be my dream!


What are your goals for the rest of the year?

2017 is my trial year. I am giving this project 100% of my time and attention this year to see if it is a sustainable source of income.

As I said, I have 10 dresses to deliver in November, so getting everything done on time is the major goal and earning enough money to invest back into the business.

Looking further into the future I would love to create my own line to be ordered by clients, rather than create the bespoke designs that my clients ask for.

It would be great to have boutique retail stores purchase my line specifically and even have a show in Canberra’s very own Fashfest!