In 2018, MARY was born out of my love of beautiful dresses, beautiful vintage patterns and colourful prints. I spent years experimenting with textiles, illustration, working within the fashion industry and making collections under my first label ‘Mary Benson’. I adore vintage markets, charity shops, car boot sales, flea markets, church summer fairs and jumble sales. I spend a lot of my time collecting a plethora of second hand curiosities from clothing to flower pots and anything for the home. I love spending my time with my fiancé, Tadgh, and our beautiful son. When I’m not designing, I am a landlady at our wonderful pub, The Pensioner in Poplar.
Mary Benson - Founder, creative director and CEO
Sustainability is at the heart of my brand, and every item is made with integrity from start to finish. I love to illustrate, and I hand draw all of my prints before editing them on the computer to create the final piece. My made-to-order printed pieces are assembled together into finished garments in London by a talented seamstress, who I have been working with for a very long time. MARY pre-loved up-cycled garments are transformed by hand in London by myself and my small team.
I absolutely love to collaborate, and have worked with some amazing talented people and brands. My collaborations include Terry De Havilland on bespoke shoes; Stephen Jones OBE on several hat collections; Tatty Devine on a series of showpieces; ASOS for a Christmas party season shoes and accessories range; Gemma Cairney on a limited edition up-cycled beret collection.
I was born and bred in Yorkshire, and have resided in London since 2009. I studied at Leeds Art College, appeared on Mary Queen of Shops, and worked for the late Alexander McQueen and Richard Nicoll before attending my degree in Fashion Design at The University of Westminster. I have since been sponsored by TOPSHOP, Fashion East, British Fashion Council, River Island and Swarovski. I was presented with The Award for Enterprise in Business and Management at the Yorkshire Awards in 2015, as well as the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Award for Business & Management in 2016.