Interview for Complexd Magazine
Name: Jodi Muter
Place of birth: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK
Label: Black Neon
I studied BA Fashion at Kingston University and specialised in lingerie. I love the sun and hope to move abroad at some point but when on holiday I can never find fashionable swimwear that I like. My label Black Neon enables me to design swimwear with creative shapes and colours that are flattering, functional and stylish. I design swimwear that you can actually swim in and not just sunbathe in. If you’re swimming for an hour you need it to stay on!
My grandma Tweedy, worked in the mills in Yorkshire and my mum was born and raised in Haworth, Yorkshire. My mum owned a wool and haberdashery shop, where I use to spend hours knitting and making things. Craft is an important part of all our lives. My stylish Grandmother, Georgina Muter (pictured above), who was an officer in the navy, in terms of style has been the most influential woman in my life. She passed away when I was thirteen but she was the one who gave me the desire to travel and a taste for luxury goods.
I worked at a swimwear factory in Mauritius for six months where I also made my first sample. Mauritius is a very diverse country with lots of religions coexisting with each other. This has a huge impact on everything from colours in the street, to food, ceremonies and life. The experience of integrating into the life and culture was much more fulfilling than discovering Mauritius as a mere beach-lounging tourist.
I have also spent a month in Sierra Leone which had a significant impact on my understanding of the world. Visiting a hospital with only one surgeon, three toilets and 200 people put the issues we face in this world into perspective.
I’ve only released one collection so far because production issues are one of the main dilemmas for small labels. I also work full time as a personal assistant in Canary Wharf, so how I manage my time is critical. On most days I get up at 6.15 am and get home at 6.30 pm. I then work on a variety of things from pattern cutting, to VAT returns from 7.30 pm to around midnight. I have one day off on the weekend. Running your own business has its adversities because there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
Hopefully, the future for Black Neon is bright! I aim to diversify the product range with leather goods and jewellery and perhaps find an investor Looking at long- term goals, I hope to set up an apprenticeship co-op scheme for women with craft skills based in the UK and overseas. For now, life is more about sun seeking adventures and sharing new experiences with the ones I love and am yet to meet.
To view the collection and shop online visit BLACKNEON.CO.UK