Behind the Business
6th May 2021
This week we are hearing from - Murrii Quu Couture - Cheryl Creed
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 56-year-old fashion designer/owner of the fashion label, Murrii Quu Couture, mother, grandmother and have no plans of stopping, there’s so much in life to do and opportunities my elders could not pursue or enjoy. I am a direct descendant of the Gunggari/Pitta-Pitta/Bindal/Quandamooka peoples from Queensland.
I am originally from the Aboriginal Community ‘Cherbourg’, in the late 1990’s I visited Cairns and fell in love with the city. Following that visit I decided to move there permanently with my two young sons. That decision was the best decision I made for my small family. I feel that becoming a fashion designer may not have found me if I didn’t follow my mother to Northern Queensland.
Can you tell us about your business?
Murrii Quu Couture explores fashion through an eco-friendly approach, from my love of second-hand shopping, a shared favourable past time with my mother, grandmother, sisters, and aunties, I have so many fond memories of trips to the second-hand shopping and "mooching" (a word my grandmother uses when second-hand shopping) around the store with the family.
When asked to model for a second season, at local Indigenous fashion event, “Regional Indigenous Fashion Textile Show” (RIFTS, 2016). Following the show, coordinators, casually asked if any of the models would like to try their hand out as designers, without a second thought, I jumped at the opportunity. The coordinators, simply said, “ok then, see you next year with your collection on the runway”. That was the beginning of Murrii Quu Couture and how I fell into the fashion industry.
Inspired by other Indigenous Designers to model and design, as a self-taught designer, I was inspired by other Indigenous Designers, who modelled and designed their looks, I launched my first collection in 2017, sashaying on the runway in a two-piece black satin pleated gown, a top hat and I’ve never looked back.
Prior to the fashion industry, I was an accomplished portrait artist, with a degree in visual communication (majoring in fine arts) and a master’s degree in Education. Swapping the canvas and calico for the more luxurious fabrics such as velvet, satin, chiffon, organza, taffeta and tulle And using the needle & thread and sewing machine (which my granddaughter affectionately named "Vanellope" Von Schweetz) is now my preferred creative tool and the poor paint brush is resigned tokeeping Vanellope fluff free.
When reflecting on my heritage and love of working with black fabric etc, I created my fashion style “Blaque Fashion” with a sustainable edge. Bringing focus towards Indigenous designers, models, and fashion, while shining a spotlight on the fashion industries awareness on the negative impact disposable or fast fashion has on the planet.
In 2020 I was shortlisted for the First Indigenous Fashion Award, quite an achievement for someone who, fell into the industry with no fashion, design experience or qualification.
Murrii Quu Couture may be a late bloomer into the world of fashion but has already made it onto several runways, Black Bold & Beautiful Fashion parade, The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Brisbane, renamed Brisbane Fashion Week, Global Indigenous Runway, Melbourne fashion Week, Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair. In 2021 I became the first Indigenous Designer to represent Australia on the Emerging Talents Milan runway, Milan Fashion Week.
I plan to take Murrii Quu Couture internationally in the future, something I was not interested in until I created Murrii Quu Couture.
Is there any other information or encouragement you would like to share with other Indigenous Women?
Allow yourself to dream, if you have a passion, run with it, no obstacle is too big, welcome the challenge, it is part of the journey and the excitement to realise your dream.
Surround yourself with like-minded friends, those you know will support you, do not be afraid of mistakes, let them be your drive, your motivation, they are your learning tools, it is the only way you are going to really learn. There is nothing wrong with being self-taught, but there is enormous value in seeking advice, learn as much as you can, always be open to ideas and do not let opportunities slip away - you may never get them back.
Here are some ways you can connect with me:
Business Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murriiquucouture/
Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cherylcreed/