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MAMAN WOMEN || Marilyn Whelan

They don't come more inspirational and iconic than our dear friend and Maman Woman, Marilyn Whelan.  Marilyn's dedication to her friends and family, her industry and her loyal customers is respected and admired by everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her.  

1977 was the year that Marilyn opened her first salon, Marilyn's Hairdressing.  As a brilliant stylist, Marilyn worked tirelessly to build a brand that has now become an institution, both in the local Remuera area and in the hairdressing industry.  Whilst she is no longer on the floor, her focus remains on the future of Marilyn's and the training of young hairdressers and stylists.

We caught up with Marilyn before the end of the current Auckland Level 3 lockdown, 48 hours before the salon opened it's doors again to her beloved customers. She is upbeat, positive and excited about it, welcoming us into her haven where you can't help but get caught up in her passion for what she does and her overall lust for life and love of people.   As a fellow business woman, her outlook on running a business over the last couple of COVID effected years is refreshing and lacking in negativity, a truly aspirational approach to business in the current climate.

Marilyn wears clothes, they don't wear her.  Here at Maman we have a love for styling and pulling together outfits, but Marilyn is truly in her own league!   We stood in awe as she took a scarf and turned it into the perfect hair accessory in less than a minute!   Pushing the boundaries of colour, texture and fabric was so much fun to watch as she mixed her new purchases from Maman with pieces from her amazing back catalogue of products from our store.

We wanted to support Marilyn as much as she continues to support us and our Maman team, so we hope you enjoy reading the below and finding out more about the wonderful woman that is Marilyn Whelan.

 Introducing Marilyn Whelan

Company Director Marilyn's Hairstyling

Marilyn Whelan.

Company Director Marilyn's hairstyling.

What inspires you:
Life! Working with young people.

Favourite Maman Brands:
Paige, Anine Bing, Ulla Johnson and American Vintage.

Go to Outfit:
A good jacket, hat and scarf can dress anything up.

Fashion Mantra:
Do I feel good in this?

Style Inspiration/Fashion Icon:
Vivienne Westwood

Last thing you googled:
Ottolenghi recipe

Last book you read:
“Boy swallows universe” by Trent Dalton

A day in the life of Marilyn looks like:
A coffee and catch up on emails, social media and the news. Walk 6 kms around the Domain. I take a shower, make a hearty breakfast and then maybe take another walk and definitely a coffee fix at the Foundation. If not in lockdown I check in on the Salon for the morning and then head home for lunch and return to the Salon for some of the afternoon if they need my help and to catch up with clients. Being a news junkie we always watch the news and enjoy a glass of red wine and dinner. I love my bed and head off 8ish to read and sleep for 9 hours!

Favourite Instagram Accounts to follow:
Lindawright, soldato-semplice-di-stile, Camargue and of course Maman

What’s in your handbag right now:
Lipstick, sunglasses, diary and tissues.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without:
My Rexy (my partner) and my lipstick.

What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe:
My mother's black velvet cape lined beautifully in red and emerald green checked silk. I can't bear to part with it.

Most coveted fashion item at Maman right now:
Vanessa Baroni necklace

What’s the biggest fashion mistake you’ve ever made:
Too many to recall

What are you doing for the rest of your day:
Lockdown drinkies with the splendid neighbours on the footpath!

Current song on rotate:
Easy on Me by Adele.

Are you a ‘wish list’ or and ‘add to cart’ kind of girl:
Add to cart.

Last picture you took on your phone:

Best compliment you have ever received:
You have a beautiful soul.

Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with:
Liam Neeson.

Favourite quote or saying:
Getting older ain’t for the fainthearted, but it is a privelege.

Best piece of advise your Mother gave you:
Quality dear, always buy quality.

Once the borders open what is your first Holiday Destination: Waihi beach.

Last words:
Although I love fashion I am not a shopper, not like Emma and Kate's mother Deb who was fabulous at it! But when I visit Maman I feel the comfort and the warmth of their presence and their gorgeous team, not to mention the temptation of so many beautiful purchases. Maman is a credit to you. It takes courage and tenacity in today's business world and you girls have it in spades, your Mother would be so proud of you.

Location: Maman Boutique and Remuera Precinct

Photographer: Jono Parker

Styling: Marilyn Whelan

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