Monk House Design

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This week we had the pleasure of visiting Emma Cutri and Alice McIntosh of Sister Studios at their Brunswick headquarters.  Founded in Melbourne in 2015, SISTER is designed and made in Melbourne. Inspired by the process of making, Sister love using their hands to create practical yet playful clothing for all sisters to wear. "We believe in forming a sisterhood through ethical making and affordability for joyful everyday clothing".


What do you do?

Together we run a clothing label called SISTER, based in Brunswick our garments are made from predominantly natural fibres and manufactured locally. When we are not working on SISTER Alice works at a Kindergarten, makes art and has a small marble table business with her sister. Emma works as a relief teacher around the inner north mainly teaching art and Italian, and dj's on the weekends. 

How did you both meet?

We met many moons ago at a dance party in the city when we were teenagers. 

Do you have a daily routine? What does a normal day for you look like?

A normal day in the SISTER studio starts just before 9, usually one of us will pick up the other and we will go to the studio in Brunswick. We always do the post first and have a chat to Pippa our studio assistant and pattern maker and try on any new samples. Unfortunately, a lot of our work is just on our laptops independently. Around 11 we go and sit at Juanita Peaches and have about a million  filter coffees, draw pictures and plan out our next few weeks, discuss creative dreams and goals. Then we come back to the studio and work through things together. We do a lot of running around for SISTER, so we usually have to go to our manufacturer, fabric wholesalers, stockists so forth. 

What is your favourite thing about what you do? And what is the biggest challenge about what you do?

Our favourite thing about SISTER is working together, one of the reasons we started was just because we loved hanging out together. Everyone tells us we could get a million more things done if we delegated better, but we like working through our tasks together because it's more fun! haha Our favourite reward from SISTER, is when we see people wearing our clothes, also all the lovely customers that always come up and have a chat to us around town. There are so many challenges with running a small business, especially in fashion. Some of our biggest challenges are local production and keeping up with demands and growths of a small business. 

Do you listen to anything while you are in the studio? 

Yes, we love working with our music up loud. We usually listen to mixes by our friend Dom. Depending on our mood we could be listening to Migos or Stevie Nicks in the same day!

What is in store for Sister in 2018?

2018 is going to be an exciting year for us both personally and professionally. Alice is going on a big trip to New Zealand in Feb and then going  to be travelling to Nepal for 2 months to be part of an art residency at Marpha Foundation. Emma is getting married in March and taking on some new teaching positions around Melbourne. Professionally we are working on a Pop-up in Sydney and again in Melbourne with some friends. We are also currently working on a very bright spring summer 19 collection and re jigging our classics collection around. 

What influences your work?

We are influenced by everything we see. For styles and ideas usually it's videos and photos from the 60s and 70s, as well as our favourite glam designers like Gucci, Prada, Rodarte. Colours are a huge influence for us, it takes us a LONG time to decide on the colours and mood for our collections. Once colours are chosen the collection usually just falls into place.


Photography by Madeleine Burke