Tall brand launch - Diane Margaret

New Tall Brand Alert! Interview With the Founder of Diane Margaret

I’m excited to bring you an interview with Diane, the fabulous owner of new tall brand Diane Margaret. Diane reached out to me via email to let me know about her new venture and exuded such a positive and uplifting attitude that I knew I needed to learn more about her. I was also intrigued by her passion for environmentally and socially conscious fashion and my eyes perked up when I saw that she was planning to launch some golfwear soon since I had a terrible time finding golf apparel when I tried taking golf lessons to impress the husband a few years ago. Diane Margaret’s current line consists of a few classic dresses, a wrap jacket, patterned jeans and some accessories.

Read on to learn more about Diane and her plans for her tall clothing line!

New tall brand - Diane Margaret

Love the color and draping details of this maxi!

TFA: Tell me a bit about you, your background and what inspired you to launch the tall brand Diane Margaret.

DM: I am a tall woman, 5’10”, who has struggled to find ready to wear that fits my long lines. I am a lifelong sewer, inspired by my Mom. When I was 8 my parents gave me a “child’s play” sewing machine for Christmas.  It  broke immediately but not before I became passionate about  learning to sew. Mom started teaching me on her own machine. She was very inventive and always thinking of new and more effective ways of doing things. Mom was not  a rule follower and she taught me to approach sewing in the same way.  This approach earned me minimal success in high school Home Ec, but it did establish a practise of thinking outside the box!  The seed of an idea for Diane Margaret design was planted upon my return to Canada after living in Mexico for three years. I was very disappointed with the lack of clothing options for tall women and  with the poor construction and inferior quality of ready-to-wear clothing in general. What was available for tall women was basic and run of the mill.  My love for unique garments and proper fit fuelled that initial idea.

As I explored the possibilities and learned more of  the state of the fashion industry, it’s impact on our water & carbon footprints and the unethical treatment of textile factory workers, I felt inspired to build a clothing brand based on sustainability and social responsibility.

TFA: Over the past year, I have been paying more attention to fabrics and I’m impressed by your commitment to environmentally and socially conscious fashion. I’d love to know more about the fabric selections and sourcing for the Diane Margaret collection.

DM: I am so encouraged when I hear  people are paying attention to fabric choices particularly from an environmental and social perspective.   This is such an important part of Diane Margaret as we believe that we are at the crest of a wave of change.  We have seen the demand for “fast fashion” spawn into a saturated market of “disposable cotton clothing”. There are designers, clothing manufacturers and fashion retailers, like myself, who believe that sustainable, and socially conscious clothing can be fashionable, can be of high quality and can be produced in an ethical and financially viable way.

Several years ago, fashion industry leaders responded to abhorrent conditions in sweatshops, dye shops and fibre/textile production plants as well as the adverse effects the industry had on our world water and carbon footprints directly related to the production of cotton. Their response was to start a conversation asking the question “How can we clean up the mess our industry has created?” Since then those who follow the industry closely are now contributing to that conversation.

With the dialogue eventually trickling down to the general consumer, we will see a shift in the consumer conscious thereby initiating a change in our supply & demand chain.  My hope is Diane Margaret may help expedite that change. I am grateful to have sourced suppliers who share my vision and offer sustainable fabric choices like bamboo hemp and linen. The luxuriousness, wash & wearability, and drape of a fabric are also vital considerations in the selection process. We manufacture in our home community, Kelowna Canada, with a production team of local craftspeople who share our social and environmental consciousness.

New tall brand Diane Margaret

Classic LBD! Blank slate for pretty jewelry and beautiful shoes

Tall brand in Canada - Diane Margaret

Classic maxi dress – endless possibilities for accessorizing!

Tall cozy wrap jacket from new tall brand Diane Margaret

Cozy wrap jacket!

TFA: I see you plan to offer golf apparel in the future. I was taking golf lessons a few years ago and was dismayed that golf wear for tall women was virtually non-existent so your plans are very exciting for me! I’d love to hear about the golf apparel you’re designing.

DM: I started golfing several years ago and have put up with ill fitting golf clothing and  made do with regular street clothes.  Neither option works well. Regular fit golf wear in addition to skimpy sleeve lengths and short inseams have incorrect knee placement on a tall person which causes tension and restricted movement during your stance. My golf game demands  every ounce of focus I can muster up, worrying about tugging seams, creeping sleeves and how my flood pants must look are not attention stealers my game can afford! Street clothes do not offer the benefits of golf specific garments.

Diane Margaret Golf pants are designed with a longer front pocket bag.  The generous sized pocket comfortably stores extra balls and tees,  2 back welt pockets to easily slide your score card in and out and hold your glove when not in use, plus we allow extra room through the seat and thigh for unrestricted ease of movement during our stance and swing ……and  the most important reason for properly fitted golf specific garments….We deserve it! We deserve to look good, feel comfortable and enjoy all aspects of the game. You will notice on the golf course or watching tournaments on TV, golf attire is a very big and fun part of the whole golf experience! Remember the flamboyant style of professional golfer Payne Stewart and his take on the classic golf knickerbocker? Or John Daly and his over the top loud shirts? Many golfers may be ultra conservative dressers off the course but boy oh boy get them on the links and it’s a whole other ball game!!

TFA: I am always intrigued and impressed by entrepreneurs, and I’m eternally grateful to the tall women who have bravely started their own clothing lines. What is it like being an entrepreneur especially in the tall fashion scene? What have been your biggest challenges? What bits of advice do you have for women who are toying with the idea of filling a niche in the tall clothing world by starting their own line?

DM: My husband and both of my children are  entrepreneurs which provides me with lots of experience to draw from.  Entrepreneurship demands a certain skill set and attitude regardless of the industry you are in. A well thought out business plan and market research are imperative steps combined with the ability to self motivate, commit and problem solve are all essential to success. My biggest challenge has been working through any self limiting beliefs! Acknowledging those beliefs, accepting where they came from and having the willingness to move through them has been the solution. Knowing with absolute certainty that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing and realizing failure is only a possibility if I chose to give up has helped move me forward.

We all have unique gifts, perspective and vision and there’s room for all of us to succeed!  Solve a problem, have a narrowly defined target market, strive to do one thing really well and while you’re doing all that keep your life in balance! Have fun, laugh with the people you love and be of  service to others by living your purpose.

TFA: What will we see next from Diane Margaret?

DM: I am currently working on a line of linen separates,  relaxed, unpretentious, with a simple elegance perfect for the long willowy lines of the taller woman.

I really admire and respect Diane Margaret’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility and can’t wait to see the linen separates since I’ve had a terrible time finding great linen pieces in tall sizes in the past.

Your turn…

Do you give much thought to where fabrics came from or how/where a garment was made when you buy clothing? Have you ever tried playing golf or other sports/activities but had a terrible time finding suitable apparel?

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13 Comments

  • Reply Mallory March 28, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    How exciting to see a new clothing line emerge tailored specifically for tall women! There’s such a serious lack of versatile clothing options for women on the tall side, so I’ll be interested to see what Diane Margaret produces, as a 5’10” woman myself, and how her endeavors in the fashion world go! 🙂

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Mallory! It is exciting to see new tall brands launch, isn’t it? I will also be keeping a close eye on Diane Margaret to how the line develops. If you’re curious about other tall shops, check out my “Where to Shop” section (assuming you haven’t already). 🙂

  • Reply Karen March 28, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for introducing us to another tall brand! I love the idea of environmentally and socially conscious fashion! Though not a golfer myself, I do think there’s ground to be covered in the tall sports clothing market, so hopefully you’ll find some golfing gear! I always struggled with horseriding pants when I still rode.

    Lovely post and congrats to Diane Margaret on her launch!

    Xx

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      I love the idea of this type of fashion too and have been thinking about how I might alter my shopping habits to support more brands that have this mission. My golfing attempt was a bit short lived I’m afraid but maybe I’ll be motivated to pick it up again if I buy some new clothing?! I tried to learn so that I could play with my husband but decided I’ll just drive the golf cart for now. A girl can only handle so many “swing-and-a-miss” moments I’m afraid. I can see where it would be hard to find long pants for riding! The niche active categories like riding and golf certainly deserve some more attention in the tall fashion world.

  • Reply Andrea@WellnessNotes March 29, 2016 at 5:28 am

    There is definitely a need for more tall women’s clothing. Another great interview! I love Diane’s commitment to sustainable and socially conscious clothing. I think of (and try to research) “where my clothes come from” and try to buy items that I know I’ll have for years. But I know I can improve…

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 29, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Andrea! I love the commitment too and it certainly inspires me to be more mindful of where my clothing comes from. I can definitely improve too though…

  • Reply Lauren March 30, 2016 at 1:42 am

    What an awesome interview and congratulations to Diane on her brand. I can’t wait to see what’s to come. As an athlete, I can relate to the importance that the right gear plays in your performance. Looking forward to seeing some great, tall golf clothing!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 31, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Glad you enjoyed it Lauren! And you’re so right about needing the right gear in order to perform well as an athlete.

  • Reply Allison @ The Tall Mama March 30, 2016 at 2:58 am

    It’s great to see another tall clothing line, but even more exciting to see that it is sustainable and socially conscious!! Yay for Diane! I just wrote a little piece on my blog about being careful about where my fabrics and clothing come from. x Allison

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

      I thought of you as I wrote this Allison! Diane’s vision is certainly exciting. I loved your write-up about knowing where your fabric comes from. Thank you for making me ponder such things!

  • Reply Tanasha April 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I really enjoyed this interview! Diane’s story is very inspiring! Great write-up!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures April 2, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Tanasha!

  • Reply Cathy Claypool May 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Love it

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