Out Of This World:The Moon And Mars
With a weakness for the glory days of the space age of the 60s, and a passion for beautiful clothes, Kate Barrett began The Moon And Mars in late 2009. Stocking more than 20 designers, the eboutique includes garments from Samantha Pleet, IVANAHelsinki, Surface To Air, Stine Goya and Isobel and Cleo, as well as a collection of jewellery by the likes of Daydream Nation, Dirty Librarian Chains and Bliss Lau. There is even a small selection of magazines and books. We spoke with Kate about her motivation and what she plans to do next.
Where did the inspiration for the name come from?
Although I wasn't even born I am strangely nostalgic about the 60s era of space travel. I hang out on the NASA webpage a fair bit, looking at the cosmos, and one of the drop down menus is Missions: The Moon and Mars. It has a nice ring to it!
Where do you live and work at the moment? Is there support for independent businesses?
I just moved to Edinburgh a year ago and immediately gravitated to Analogue Books in Grassmarket. As small business owners (and friendly Scots) Julie and Russell were so helpful introducing me to talent like local artist Lizzy Stewart, who does the illustration on the website and The Lindstrom Effect, who are now doing my photography.
What training did you have? Is it business or design based?
Neither, I have a background in science. However, I have done a lot of project management so I think I have the head for it. I've been collecting fashion magazines since the age 7 so I have the love for it too.
What was the motivation for your business start up?
A lot of the classic reasons apply, I wanted to start to reap the benefits of my own personal work ethic. Also I really miss the accessibility of North American brands and I thought it would be exciting to support them in the UK. Along the way I've fallen in love with a lot of European designers such as Stine Goya too.
Why did you decide to start an online boutique rather than open a bricks and mortar shop?
I originally planned to open up in London when I lived there, but I moved up to Edinburgh for my partner's work. It meant that I was starting in a city I was not familiar with. A street shop is on the cards, and I'd like to do a pop-up event sometime soon in Edinburgh.
In three words describe your boutique and the designs that it stocks?
What makes you choose specific designers, what is it about their work that appeals to you?
I love luxurious fabrics and unfussy clothes, like easy daywear pieces in velvet or heavy silk. As far is local talent goes, The Moon And Mars is going to be working more with the Glasgow-based line Isobel and Cleo in the fall; the designer is incredibly talented.
Do you have a favourite design brand?
It's hard to choose but I would say I'm particularly proud to be the first UK boutique to stock Samantha Pleet.
Do you have any tips for the coming season that you can share with us?
Be brave and wear anything you love. Also, I have to support anything that channels the 90s.
What are your plans for the future – is there anything exciting in the pipeline?
More shoes. I'm a big fan of quality footwear and we'll be bringing in the amazing Rachel Comey line over the summer, it's so dreamy.
What is your biggest success so far?
I'm not saving the world, but frankly every day is better when you've got something nice to wear, it is a public service!
Garments - The Moon And Mars www.themoonandmars.co.uk
Styling - Alexandra Fiddes, Frances Spencer
Principle photographer on shoot- Darran Barton
Hair and make up - Katie Angus
Assistant - Emma Segal
Model - Romane at Superior Model Management