Margherita Caruana's life has come full circle into the fashion industry.
Margherita Caruana's life has come full circle into the fashion industry. Chris Lines

Leyburn designer follows in father's fashionable footsteps

DESIGNER Margherita Caruana's frustration with having to mend clothes from wholesalers motivated her to start her own business.

Ms Caruana had ordered the clothes for her daughter to sell in a stall in university but found every box she received seemed to be packed with problems.

"I thought it would be quicker for my daughter to get an income if I bought the clothes wholesale. I was quite shocked, there were loose threads and seams which weren't done properly,” she said.

"Eventually I realised I could do a better job myself, it is easier for me to make clothes than have to mend them all the time.”

This is how she started her brand MishNMesh, a clothing store that focuses on old school production methods and sustainably-sourced materials.

Ms Caruana's clothes-making ability had been with her since childhood as her father Sam was a reputable tailor.

"I grew up in a workshop with dad making custom suits and clothes for people, the trade has always been ingrained in me,” she said.

"Dad was a perfectionist with high standard and was very strict.

"If you didn't do something correctly once after he showed you he would make you go back, unpick it and do it again.”

Her father's high-quality standards have rubbed off on Ms Caruana as she offers her customers a guarantee her products will be exactly what they are after.

"I know what's quality, I know what is a good garment, tailor making is very different from dress making,” she said.

Working to such a high standard means Ms Caruana is pushed to her limit but she said it was worth it to deliver a quality product.

"It is a bit more full-on when I am doing everything I can but I need to make sure they are happy with what they are wearing,” she said.

"It is a pleasure to make something that someone loves, I get a lot of compliments on my garments.”

Eighty per cent of MishNMesh orders are customer-made to fit, just like her father's tailoring once was.

For Ms Caruana, this intimate customer relationship makes all the difference when creating clothes.

"My clothes are made to measure for women who find it hard to find nice clothes because of their size, every woman deserves to feel comfortable in what they're wearing,” she said.

"The one-size-fits-all mentality is rubbish, I provide women with garments tailor-made to their body.”

Following in her father's footsteps, Ms Caruana hopes to one day pass her life-trade onto her daughter and granddaughter.

To try on Ms Caruana's garments you can book an appointment in her Leyburn studio via

Fighting against fast fashion

By going back to her father's old traditions, Ms Caruana is also joining the global movement against the 'fast-fashion' industry.

She uses upcycled materials and hand-picked natural fabrics for her dresses, which are made to last.

"Brands like H&M and Target are all mass-producing clothes made of synthetic fibres which are made of oils and irritants which make people sweat and end up in landfill.”

"MishNMesh is a socially-conscious business, I have to be aware about how my brand is delivered and the environmental impact it has.”

"I make most of my clothes based on demand which means there is no excess inventory and I am reducing my resource consumption.”