Caroline has worked in fashion design for over a decade.
She started her career in one of the world’s fashion capitals; London, with the boutique brand; Sara Berman (designed by sisters Amiee and Sara). Based in Camden, Caroline was part of the team that designed the main line for the brand that was stocked at many boutiques and department stores as well as designing for Urban Outfitters & ASOS. The brand was renowned for its knits, quirky prints and tailored pieces and Caroline helped create hundreds of pieces for their collections, resulting in thousands of products worn by British women.
Caroline then worked on the collections of N.Peal and their main line of knitwear stirring her passion for well-crafted pieces. She was enthralled with the ability to create your own fabric and knits and the almost-never-ending variations of yarns and knitting styles. “It was like I hadn’t realised how bloody fantastic knitwear was until that moment!”
In London Caroline met and worked with many people across the British fashion retail industry, experienced the factory floors of the UK and selling collections. It was an incredible start for this talented young designer. Whilst in London Caroline also worked with Sophie Cranston of Libelula, whose designs have been enjoyed by Kate Middleton. Sophie and Caroline remain friends and Sophie fully supports Caroline and her brand Maxted. Both hope to work together again one day.
“You’re never really going to beat a Trench coat from Burberry are you?”
Caroline then moved to the British brand Burberry. A brand that was always a dream location on her career path, Caroline wrote her dissertation on the difference between Englishness and Britishness and how that conveys in Fashion branding. She always had a passion for classic design along the lines of Alexander McQueen, Vivian Westwood, Hardy Amies and of course, Burberry. When she started at Burberry Caroline had an idea of what working for a brand like Burberry would be, but this was the first time her eyes were opened to the incredible dedication required in high-end luxury fashion. The passion, the hours, the intensity that go in to designing a runway collection. Working on Prorsum Men’s and Women’s knitwear and eventually outwear, she was able to shadow some of the world’s most talented designers. Flying to the factory in Italy on a moment’s notice and witnessing the craft and skill of hand and machine knitting. It was intense and she loved it, the people she met and the experience this gave her as a designer.
Caroline had a desire to travel and followed this desire which led her to move to Melbourne, Australia where Witchery quickly utilised her talents before she moved to Cotton On where she was able to learn more about high street brands and the demands of the market designing their knitwear and outerwear collections. Caroline found these highly commercial brands very different from her experience in London; focusing on high volume, high margin, fast-fashion.
“It’s a beast!"
But after years in this market she began to enjoy it, to know the customer’s fashion needs and enjoyed being part of Cotton On’s success. Caroline can also claim to have designed Cotton On’s bestselling knitwear piece, that sold over half a million units globally.
My father has always offered to help me set up my own brand and I have always said ‘no’. But I read ‘Daring and Disruptive: unleash the Entrepreneur’, by Lisa Messenger, who set up The Collective and I thought ‘bugger it, I’m ready for the next thing and maybe it’s that I do it on my own’. I think I have enough experience now to give it a crack. Since I started designing the initial Maxted range I am so happy, it just feels right.”
“I wanted a brand name that would be as classic as the British brands I love. The name Maxted has a personal connection to me and it’s important to me that my influence on the brand resonates through every part of it, including the name.”
Where I like to shop?
“Most recently I went to LA and the flea markets are amazing. I got the best pair of vintage YSL sunglasses. I like to source my clothes from everywhere. There are so many great brands in Australia, like Assembly Label, and if Maxted could be as great that I would be so happy.”