Behind The Scenes: The Creative Process


Have you ever wondered how a Manuka Life design goes from an idea in our design team’s head to a finished product being shipped out all over the world? Well here’s how it started with Spring/Summer 2016’s key botanical print and this season’s Midas star motif.
Firstly our Creative Director, Sarah Mac, works with an artist to create the seasonal motif; Spring/Summer was inspired by the Garden of Eden, Sarah wanted this collection to have a botanical, floral motif throughout. Together they came up with this beautiful botanical design which was handed over to the graphics team to create a digital vector image, making it easier to work with. For Autumn/Winter the design team wanted the collection to have “the Midas touch” and loved the idea of the Japanese Asa No Ha star print which is said to bring good fortune.

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The motif is then refined and edited by our graphic designers who add more details and work with Sarah until they’re all happy. Then the design gets transferred onto either our classic, favourite silhouettes or onto a brand new style, created by the design team for this season. 

The colour palette and fabrics for the season are decided upon by the design team after receiving colour samples, and all the elements come together to be sent off and made into press and buyer’s samples.

When the sample pieces for each design come in, they get handed over to trusted fitness professionals who trial and test each piece of clothing to ensure it meets their high standards; we really value their feedback as it’s important that each item performs as it should. Their notes are then given to the designers who tweak or cast off completely any designs which are reported to cause an issue, thumbholes are added, tops are lengthened and fabrics get changed before the final collection is refined and chosen.


Once only the best pieces are chosen to go forward, they are then shot in a studio for the images you see on the website. Many people don’t know that we exclusively hire models who practise yoga and we love to get their feedback on how the item performs and looks on set.


The final stage is the team’s favourite, shooting the campaign images on location. As Spring/Summer was inspired by the Garden of Eden, we could think of nowhere better than the tropical paradise of Ubud in Bali to compliment the collection.

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For Autumn/Winter we used the beautiful and varied locations of Ibiza, the ideal choice with the north of the island being popular for yoga retreats. The team also made use of the tiny size of the island, quickly zipping from the countryside to the beach to the city for a huge variety of shots. It’s great to see months of work come together for everyone involved, especially Sarah Mac, who as Creative Director oversees every stage of the process, from initial ideas to directing photoshoots and picking the images to feature in the campaign.

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See the latest collection on location in Ibiza here: