What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.
After visiting the United States for the first time in 2019, Australian fashion influencer and content creator Maxine Wylde was instantly inspired by the fashion, architecture, and energy to create an Instagram account that featured her style. She and her partner hit several cities during their extensive US tour, and Maxine felt a special connection to New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. “It was so much fun!” She recalls. “There’s so much cool stuff out there. Travel is such a good way to get new inspiration and learn about different people and cultures.”
For Maxine, it’s all about authenticity. Initially, she attempted to tailor her creative content to match what was trendy on social media at the time. But once she decided to lean into her own uniqueness, her audience exploded. “The minute I started being totally genuine on Instagram is when I noticed that growth. I think it’s all about just being a real person, a real human,” she says. “Because of COVID, we haven’t seen anyone for two years, and I think people just want a connection and genuine people to follow online.”
Having earned a degree in interior design, Maxine is particularly drawn to pieces that are colorful and quirky. Her most prized possession is her pink Gustaf Westman mirror, which she has in the medium size. “At the time, I didn’t have my own place, so I couldn’t justify the huge one,” she explains. “But this is a smaller one that can hang in the lounge room or somewhere really cute, like a powder room. I just know it will be something that I will have forever.”
As a lover of Scandi style, Maxine was captivated by the mirror’s bold design and curvy detailing. “I think Gustaf started a whole movement with the whole squiggly mirror thing, and back then it was really, really unique,” she says. Maxine sees both fashion and interior design as essential channels of self-expression, and she purchased the mirror to complement her pink-themed bedroom. For now, she’s still in the process of decorating, so the mirror has a temporary home on her living room wall.
When and how?
Last January, Maxine decided to splurge on the mirror, but it took her months to decide on the color. “I was tossing between the pink and green, and I was really torn. I’m normally very decisive, but because it’s such an investment piece, I knew I had to get this right,” she says. Maxine reached out directly to Gustaf on Instagram directly to mull over the color choices. “I asked him ‘What do you think I should do?’ He was helping me decide, he was really, really lovely.”
After settling on the pink mirror, the next hurdle was shipping the piece all the way to Maxine’s home in Melbourne, Australia. With COVID-related delays affecting shipping and arrival times, there was a bit of back and forth during the shipping process. But when the piece finally arrived, Maxine was blown away by its aesthetic. “Pictures really don’t do it justice!” She says over Zoom.
When asked how people can better lean into self-expression, whether in interior design or in fashion, Maxine recommends honing in on what you actually like. “Whenever I’m approaching a new project, I do a lot of research. I’ll look at different websites to see what’s out there, then I screenshot the things that really stick out the most for me. I start from there,” she explains. “It could be tied to anything, like a memory or a childhood color you loved. Start from there, because those things are what make you you.”