What inspired you to name your brand?
Murri is a neighborhood in Bologna, Italy, where Selma and I took our first trip together in 2016.
What is your earliest design memory for your brand?
We have both been in textiles for a long time, but in very different areas; Selma in cultural and textile restoration, and me in fashion. As a creative team, the first significant moment was our visit to the exhibition on David Bowie at the Museum of Design in Barcelona.
“We focus our efforts on keeping production simple and traceable, with studied and responsible materials, while also keeping our products affordable.”
Where do you find inspiration?
We take inspiration from a lot of things in our everyday lives, like cinema and art exhibits. We also regularly look for items in the markets during our travels for inspiration.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed?
There are a few favorites, but it is difficult to say for certain as we often rework our patterns and designs. For example, the Lajoie jacket is a piece that we released in our first collection, but since then we have created a dozen variants. A favorite of mine from this season is the Dumais coat - it’s a very beautiful piece. Also, the new Suna sneakers, which has been an interesting material project.
What sets your brand apart from the rest?
At this moment and in this world, it’s hard to say how we stand out. In such a globalized world, it’s easy to encounter creators who’ve come up with the same ideas that we have. But in any case, we try to continue coming up with new pieces. We focus our efforts on keeping production simple and traceable, with studied and responsible materials, while also keeping our products affordable.
What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?
Phew! I think there are a bunch. The distance between Montréal, where we have our store front, and Barcelona, where we live and create our products, poses a challenge. Especially with our small team, we often see errors in organization and logistics coming up for which we must immediately find solutions. We also set up our Montréal store only a year before the pandemic. There was not just one hurdle but a lot of them. But it’s good to see them as challenges and to move forward despite them, as long as we can overcome them all is well!
How has the fashion industry changed since you first started out?
There are always interesting new things happening because this is an industry full of talent. But it is also an industry that requires a lot of money and therefore it can be difficult to move forward in a good direction. I think that since 2018, when we started this brand, there has been more greenwashing than real eco-friendly solutions. Our hope is for Murri to be a force of real change in this respect.
How important is sustainability to your brand?
We give it a lot of importance. If there is one thing that we’ve had in mind from the beginning, that’s it. Sustainability influences everything aspect of our process - materials, production, technical choices, and suppliers. We are also working with BCome to better understand our mistakes and possibilities.
“We do our best to learn from the wants and needs of our customers and innovate based on that. If it’s not enough, we will come back and try to do even better.”
What do you envision for the future of your brand?
For the moment we do not know. We are going forward, step by step. I think it’s too difficult to set goals that only become a source of frustration. We know that we want to keep creating and innovating, to develop new materials, and to help our team reach its potential. As much as possible, we try not to give ourselves strict commercial goals, as these can pull us away from our creativity.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?
I try not to give general advice on these things, since everyone, and every designer, is a unique person and will therefore face their own unique hurdles. As a university teacher, I never give advice for my students’ professional projects purely based on my own experience. I prefer to use these experiences as a starting point for discussion and debate.
How important is social media to your brand?
It certainly is helpful for staying connected and up to date with our Montréal customers while we are in Barcelona! It’s clear that social media has become an integral part of the fashion industry, and indeed the world, and so we ensure that Atelier Murri maintains a presence. However, we prefer to connect with, learn from, and be inspired by things in the real world as much as possible.
What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?
We would like our customers to be happy with their finds from us. That their products are long-lasting and comfortable, and that people continue to come to us for that reason.
How would you define fashion?
For us, fashion is very broad. It is a world full of resources, innovation, effort, passion, and skill - but also at times a world of folly and hypocrisy. To me it is a beautiful industry full of incongruities.
What is your favorite fashion trend? Least favorite?
We prefer trends that come back through the decades, reworked and reimagined. The remastering makes them more and more interesting with each iteration.
What can consumers expect to see next from your brand?
We’re learning from the challenges of the last few years and using those lessons to map out our next steps. Learning to be more efficient and organized with the logistical side of the company. We will be offering more sustainable products; our efforts in material development will be largely focused on Vinoleather (vegan leather made from grape fibers for shoes and accessories), and our technical hemp fabric that we have been developing for the last two years.
We do our best to learn from the wants and needs of our customers and innovate based on that. If it’s not enough, we will come back and try to do even better.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
I would tell myself to be more applied, more organized, and sometimes more serious about my projects. In this industry, you need to be all in, and sometimes we learn this the hard way!