Born in Manipur, Northeast India, Mawi’s life has spanned many continents and cultures. As the daughter of a diplomat, she spent the majority of her childhood travelling the world, an influence clearly manifested in her eclectic designs. Hailing from a creative family, Mawi was destined to excel in the arts and an early exposure to sewing, knitting, and crochet was a key influence on her appreciation of craftsmanship – a quality that remains at the core of the brand. There was no doubt that Mawi would pursue a career in fashion, and after studying Fashion Design at Auckland Institute of Technology in New Zealand, she relocated to New York to work at Isaac Mizrahi.
Mawi had always been drawn to London’s creative vibe, the music scene and diverse subcultures. It was when she moved to London 16 years ago that she met Tim, her future husband and business partner. Tim, the son of an antiques dealer, grew up surrounded by the trade that would develop a keen eye for vintage and antique collectibles. Tim and Mawi’s continually growing repertoire of over a thousand trinkets made for ample material for inspiration, experimentation and customization and launching the Mawi brand in 2002 was a natural progression.
Following its initial success, Mawi made its debut at London Fashion Week in 2003 with a collection of jewellery and handbags. The luxurious, contemporary designs caught the attention of the British Fashion Council who awarded the brand the New Generation Award for three consecutive seasons; her designs were immediately snapped up by prestigious stores such as Selfridges, Barneys, Liberty and Browns. As a result of its seasonal transformation and ability to capture a signature aesthetic, requests for the brand poured in, not only from stockists but also from stylists and editors worldwide.
When the brand first launched the collections comprised of eclectic accessories as well as vintage inspired costume jewellery and trinkets. Mawi then honed in on a niche in the market for contemporary costume jewellery and the brand ultimately evolved into two lines: Heirloom and Costume Luxe. The Heirloom collection is inspired by British heritage, drawing influence from vintage treasures, royal and historical jewels and romantic and sentimental family heirlooms that stand the test of time. In contrast, the Costume Luxe collection draws inspiration from architectural, sculptural, and futuristic aesthetics with an emphasis on high end luxury. The Costume Luxe collection combines traditional aesthetics with contemporary vision through the exploration of new materials and techniques. Having pushed the boundaries of traditional costume jewellery, the inimitable designs are timeless collectibles in their own right and the brand has since become one of the foremost trendsetters in the industry, winning numerous awards and accolades. Over the years the brand has partnered with some of the world’s most iconic brands, top fashion houses, and some of the biggest players on the high street. Collaborations have included Hugo Boss, Temperley London, Swarovski, ASOS, Topshop, and Disney Couture.
April 2011 marked a turning point for the brand with the opening of its first flagship boutique in London. Situated in Shoreditch alongside creative powerhouses The Rochelle School, Frieze Art, Shoreditch House and a host of new creative talent as well as established names, the store reflects the brand’s loyalty to its East London creative roots and the signature juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
The past year marked the 10th anniversary of the brand and the movement into our second decade of luxury innovation. After re-launching Sir by Mawi exclusively at Lane Crawford, premiering our new line of luxury clutches and collaborating with both Swarovski elements and Bruno Magli this year is set to be our biggest and best yet.