People & Places

In the studio with bespoke clothing rack designer Melissa Brooks

What began as a father-and-daughter project involving a few steel pipes has blossomed into a successful business for Melissa Brooks, creator of bespoke clothing racks

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Mel, tell us about your business, and when did it all start?

Ours are not your typical homeware-store clothing racks. Our vision is to place a piece of New York or downtown LA into your homes. The designs are reflections of our travels and lust for exploring clothing stores all over the world. They are bold, elegantly stylish, raw and simple. I’ll Hang It Here was inspired by my own experience of not being able to find the right piece to display my clothing on. Established in 2014, we started out as a father-and-daughter combo but the business is now run by myself and my partner, from our studio loft in Takapuna, Auckland.

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How has I’ll Hang It Here evolved in the past two years?

Everything was very meek in the beginning; a lot of learning and playing with ideas. We did everything ourselves. As a business grows, you realise you can’t do everything, so we now work with a local engineer for some of our newer designs and have moved our branding in a new direction. I also found it was more time efficient to work alongside a graphic designer. We still make our original designs in our studio and then send them to the engineer to be powder-coated – I’m not sure I’m ready to give that up yet.

melissa-brooks

Describe your customers…

They are me. I think that’s why I can relate to them so easily and feel like I know what they will want next. A lot of our racks adorn old renovated villas – who would have thought having no built-in wardrobes would be an upside?! You will also find our racks in a lot of boutique stores around New Zealand and Australia. We are only stocked exclusively at Tessuti in Herne Bay at the moment, but loads of stores have used us in their fit-outs, including Father Rabbit, Blush Flowers, So Beau Baby, Rodd & Gunn and Rue de Seine.

Where do you see the business going in the future?

It’s growing with us, and us with it. My partner and I are both quite eco- conscious so we’d love to keep pushing boundaries and finding better ways to do things. I’d love to move more in the direction of designing bespoke wardrobes and complete, luxurious fit-outs as there is no creature on earth quite as content as a woman with a wonderfully decadent, walk-in dressing room!

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Tell us about your office space and where you found those pink couches!

Our studio space is a loft-style, big, open space with a garage roller door, brick walls and high, open-beam ceilings. The pink couches were actually a little find courtesy of my friend Annie O – she has a great eye for eclectic pieces. She called me when she spotted them in a vintage store and I drove straight there to swoop them up.

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What is your aesthetic?

I draw inspiration from a diverse range of sources. Not one for the mundane, I often find myself in exotic places, scouring for treasures. I’m a lover of ‘eternal trends’ – things with a refined look and feel; quality over quantity. My own wardrobe is largely monochrome, with stripes, little black dresses and camel overcoats. I’m an avid reader of blogs so modern trends do play a part and, entwined with my aesthetic, give us the refined minimalism of our clothing racks.

Mel’s original racks are made from galvanised steel pipe and are available in white or black. The range has now extended to copper racks, hanging racks and an opulent new brass design. Prices start at $199.

I’ll Hang It Here
illhangithere.com

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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