Harry Millward is a unisex streetwear designer, drawing inspiration from dreams, stories, mythology, gaming, and art. Starting business in 2017 Harry Millward is a brand with an aim to move away from the environmentally destructive fast fashion model, embrace the idea of quality over quantity and develop a culture where men, as well as women can explore themselves through fashion. His collection is currently available at our Fitzroy store.
We asked Harry about how he got into fashion, what he wanted to be when he ‘grew up’ and what’s next for him.
What do you create?
Wearable garments with an edge. I find my inspiration in travel, in art, in mythology, in video games. I’m focused mostly on natural fabrics and fibers, and buy fabric locally, and make myself or locally.
Tell us a little about your background and what made you start your craft.
I originally studied photography, but I was always drawn to fashion as a form of expression and art. Before I went to study, I couldn’t even sew a straight seam, I can only say that my teachers really performed miracles when it came to my sewing ability. After studying, I went to intern with a couple of local designers for a year, Vincent Li, and Jude Ng, both have been great mentors and the experience gave me the confidence to put my own work forward in a big way. In 2018 I launched my website and had my first garments made, but the biggest steps have been having a stall at Rose St Artists Market, and now a space at In.cube8r.
Why did you choose in.cube8r? What do you hope to accomplish as a cuber?
Beyond the obvious chance to have a physical location, and 100% of the profits for everything sold; for me, it been more important to have a sense of community and frank, yet helpful feedback. It’s not just a business, its an extended family that cares that you’re successful.
How many hour a week do you spend doing your craft?
Depending on what I have to do, I can spend anything from 8 hours to 40 hours. I’m constantly planning, helping someone else or editing photos for social media from behind the desk at work.
What is your favourite thing about being a maker and what is the hardest?
I think the best part is to be able to stay true to my own vision and maintain artistic direction over what I do. I guess creating my own little universe is what really makes me happiest.
I find it hard trying to juggle everything while also holding down a job, and doing so much of it alone. Sometimes the hardest part is simply not having a second person to bounce ideas off of.
What are you working on? What are your future plans for your craft?
I’m taking my first ever trip to Europe this September, so I’m not trying to plan too much, but I have started sourcing really beautiful fabrics for my next collection… however I’m trying to keep in mind that after travelling I’ll probably want to change everything. As for future plans, I think growing organically is super important for a small label, but I’d love one day to be successful enough to quit my day job and do it full time.
As a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?
A clown, a teacher, a lawyer. I don’t think growing up as a kid on a farm outside a small town in SA I ever really saw my self in the world around me, but I did love to play dress up and I remember always having an emotional attachment to certain clothes. I think it’s always been inside me, I just didn’t know what it was or how to do it.
What are you listening to and/or reading at the moment?
I am listening to Momentary by Beakin and Breath Me by Sia and I’ve just finished reading the first book of the The Magicians Series.
Have you won any awards? Exhibited somewhere prominent?
In fashion school, I won the ‘Technology Award’ in my second year and then ‘Inspirational of the student of the year’ during graduation. I had the opportunity to show as a student in Melbourne Fashion Week, as well as having my work in a charity show for Guide Dogs Victoria. I’ve also worked on costumes for a few Shakespearian plays.