Designed and made in New York by native New Yorker Marilyn B. Thompson, Fatale Maison draws on cultural, musical and fashion influences to create unique, wearable garments of the highest quality. The latest collection features the finest French leather, suede and fur with a distinct New York twist. Everything that we love here at House of Coco so we went along to find out more.
Here Marilyn talks to us about her inspirations, plans for the future and what style means to her…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I launched Fatale Maison on October 2015. I’ve always had ideas in my head of what I wanted to have made, how I would change an existing garment, etc. I’ve made storyboards on my walls since I was a teenager. I thought it was about time that I took my ideas and storyboards and brought them to life. That’s why I finally created a line.
What’s your background?
I’m biracial. My mother is from Germany and my father Black American. So I grew up with both cultures evenly and am very fortunate for that.
I was a language major in college. I studied French, Italian and German and lived in Paris for a semester. I love languages and culture. I worked in a Chinese restaurant in High School and taught myself basic Chinese. So I knew I had a knack for language at a young age. But as far as fashion, no formal training, unless you count watching hours of fashion shows and reading magazines fashion training.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I am the only person/employee for Fatale Maison so far. But I work with a seamstress and patternmaker.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I had a great idea to do two photoshoots by using two different photographers and two different models for my debut. I wanted two different interpretations for my debut. It turned out to be a waste of time and money because I ended up liking the second photoshoot so much better.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
People’s responses and the cost. It is hard to convince someone to spend money on a luxury item from an unknown designer. A famous designer/label can put any price tag on their goods. But for the unknown designer, you must gain a reputation/popularity first. This is a challenge. The cost to make goods is not cheap. I had no idea it was this difficult.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I play the drums.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I want to continue to grow Fatale Maison worldwide. I want to have people wearing, requesting and buying my brand.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Being chosen for Not Just A Label’s pop up shop in NYC. From there, I have gotten press.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I’ve only been to London once. So I have to say New York and Paris. Though at times, I can feel like an outcast in both cities, but I connect to Paris because of the language and the fashion. In NY, I connect with the culture and language. I just wish New York was more fashionably diverse. There is great style here, but the same style is seen on many.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream. Nars Bolero lip pencil and Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil.
Being a non-conformist, aka David Bowie.
Best thing about London to you?
My nephew lives there. The British are musically and culturally open. They have great style and taste.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
Red Toscana vest (to be debuted Fall 2016)
Favourite love song?
I don’t have one actually.
Best place for a coffee?
I drink tea.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On an exotic island. I would sleep on the beach for a day.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Hiring a PR firm. Working with stylists and bloggers. Creating a customer base.
Where can people find out more?