Harry has an eye for detail, lush fabrics and a creative passion that fills his heart. I interviewed Harry when he had just completed his diploma of applied fashion design and technology at Kangan, but today four years on, he's launched his own label and is taking his brand to the next level. His collection is sold at Rose st Artist market and he's gained a regular spot in In.cube8r. A store that gives a platform for small Australian businesses to show their collection in a retail space, and giving the designer 100% of sales to the designer.
Harry took the time to discuss with me where he's at now, and what everyone needs to know with this updated interview. If you wish to read our interview back in 2015 then click the link here, it's a little bit of a throwback, but you'll get a great understanding of who Harry Millward is and what he does best.
(A stands for myself the interviewer (Adriana) and H stands for Harry the interviewee)
A: Harry, you graduated sometime back, tell us what you've been up to and about this new collection you've created?
H: Yes, I did! I graduated back in 2017 and when I was awarded 'inspirational student of the year' I won some prize money which I used to travel through China and Hong Kong with designer Vincent Li, who I interned with for a year. It was a great experience going through Asia!
My first full collection since starting my label officially is called 'The River'. It is a genderless streetwear collection inspired by a lucid fever dream I had when I was hospitalised from an unusually dangerous case of influenza; being lost in an endless desert with a river flowing through it.
It uses almost entirely natural fabrics, cotton, linens, wools, and tencel. Utilising designs with flow, attitude, and emotion while remaining wearable. After lots of trials and ideas, it took about 9 months to get to the point that I was happy with it. I generally sew everything my self, and it's important for me to put out what I would be happy to wear my self, so I need to perfect it for those key reasons before showing the public my designs.
A: You're also selling your collection at the Rose at Artist market, tell us a bit about that?
H: Rose st artist market was recommended to me by my friend, mentor and fellow designer Jude Ng. Before this, I'd never had the chance to show my designs in person before, it was a massive difference to selling online.
I had more customers on the first day of selling at the market and finding new customers than I did in months of selling online.
A: Really? Why do you think you sold better at the market than online?
H: I think for the customers being able to touch and feel the high-quality fabrics of my designs told part of the story that is so hard to get across with online, especially when competing with cheap fast-fashion that looks beautiful in photos but isn't necessarily of great quality.
A: That's very true, I agree with you, I think customers love being able to touch and feel the fabrics, I honestly think fast-fashion is slowly had it's time, it's all about wearable pieces and quality. When will you be heading back?
H: I'll be heading back to Rose St artist market every Saturday and Sunday from October 26th to December 2019
A: This was also one of your first fashion films, since graduating, tell us the experience and how you created your vision to the screen?
H: For my fashion film, I wanted it to be more emotive than a literal commercial for clothes. I wanted to tell part of my story in a way that I think everyone can relate to when turning their dark moments into something beautiful. We might be pulled under, but we learn to swim and there's something universal about that. I was super lucky to have such amazing support for everyone on set, from the model, stylist, makeup artist, photographer to all the way of my sister helping out and making sure everyone was fed. My sister has been a rock for me so having her there was really special. I edited the video my self, so I had to learn a little on the fly, but I'm super happy and proud of how it turned out.
A: That's pretty amazing Harry, the video is beautiful, I enjoyed watching it. Did you have any other friends you'd like to mention that also helped?
My friend Ed helped me learn the editing software also made the 3D printed mask featured in the video and photoshoot. And my cousin Hugh of the band Beakin helped me by making the original music for the video. They are both amazingly talented
A: You were also invited to showcase your new collection at In.cube8r in Melbourne’s renowned arts district; Fitzroy, what's your plans there?
H: When I was at the Rose St artist market I met one of the amazing ladies who work at In.cube8r. It's a great store that gives a real platform for small Australian businesses and creatives to show their work in a retail setting as well as give them 100% of the sales of their work, which I think is fantastic! In the short time I've been there it's been a great community of artists, as well as invaluable business knowledge from the store staff. I plan to remain their long term as a way of giving a physical space to my work
A: This has been all very exciting stuff, where to next Harry, tell us?
H: This year I'll be travelling for my first time to Europe, across Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Belgium. I'm looking to see as many local artists, galleries, museums, and designers as I can. I'm currently sourcing fabric for my next collection, and have some very cool items in the works. But I have been wondering, that after Europe I'll have something new in mind, design for me can be a very fluid process.
This year has also been massive for me. I've sold to my first international customers, I've finally got a physical space to share my work with people, and the feedback has been amazing from both fans of what I do as well as customers. Looking forward to what's next, but I'd love to show in Melbourne fashion week or hold a pop-up store.
Thank you Harry! We can't wait to see what you get up to next. Watch Harry's remarkable clip down below, tell us your thoughts and make sure to check out his socials, and if you’re in Melbourne town, make sure to drop by Harry’s stall at Rose at artist market and In.cube8r.
Info on In.cube8r https://www.instagram.com/incube8r/
Thanks for reading Foxes... till next time.