The Heroine’s Journey of Marlene P. Naicker

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Connecting to the deepest part of my being, standing centered in a private world, where animate and inanimate merge, where emotions, color, ideas flow – capturing the subtle, the unseen and being able to transcribe that into a design, a color – a story…

The discovery of something new, whether from the past, the present, the future in art, culture, history, literature, people, places…  

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  

When my mind, body and soul work seamlessly in blissful harmony. That’s when the magic happens, being in the flow of radiant energy and light, where passion for craft and creativity come together turning something ordinary into extraordinary…

What is your greatest fear?  

When we turn against each other. Self-sabotaging, despite all wanting to get through successfully in this life journey…

What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself?  

Way too critical on myself…!!

Which living persons in your profession do you most admire? 

The late Lilliane Bettencourt, Delphine Arnault, Carine Roitfeld, Pier Luigi Loro-Piana, Grace Coddington, Francois Pinault, Professor Francis Corner, Aerin Lauder, Karl Lagerfeld, Claire Wright Keller, Christopher Bailey, Issey Miyake and anyone who is pushing the boundaries in technology and innovation!

What is your greatest extravagance?  

Extravagance to me is buying, what you don’t need – but you do anyway, so it would have to be the handmade gold leafed Rosenthal porcelain dinnerware, two watercolor paintings and my archives of Vogue + Harpers & Queens collected over two decades.

What is the thing that you dislike the most in your industry?  

The bigotry, at times superficiality and intense rivalry…

When and where were you the happiest, in your work?  

2012. Two years into my diagnosis of breast cancer, and sensing the breaking of a glass ceiling, when my Muldooneys collection was positively received. It was a moment of silent triumph, quiet elation, whilst having steadily climbed a steep mountain with beleaguered shoulders and the feeling that we will be okay – Muldooneys & me – come what may…

If you could, what would you change about myself?  

My forthrightness….A little too Dutch, in that sense (!

What is your greatest achievement in work?  

Every Muldooneys collection I have crafted and put out on the market, although if I had to highlight one design, it would have to be the Muldooneys “Hope Clutch” 2010 which has poignant significance, as it was designed during the devastating episode of trying to save my ovaries, with cryopreservation….

Where would you most like to live? 

I am where I need to be, home in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Netherlands has been good to me, although Paris, France is right up there..:)!

What is your most treasured possession?

My late daddy’s knitted, woollen beret.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My mind…..:)!

What is your most inspirational location, in my city?  

Basilica St. Nicolas, Amsterdam The Netherlands

What is your favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

The terrace garden at the Dylan Hotel

What books influenced my life and how?

John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath) & Ernest Hemingway (The Old man & The Sea) – Perseverance & Determination

Frank McCourt’s – (Angelas Ashes) – On the imperfection and hard reality of life.

The Upanishads & Yoga Lessons for Children – On my heritage and spirituality.

Gerald Durrel (Rosey is my Relative) & Enid Blyton’s (The magic faraway tree)- inspiring quirky creativity. The Great Gatsby (Theatre & Drama)

Sun Tzu – (The Art of War) – The i-ching philosophy/strategy on balancing one’s quest for power with that of one’s moral virtue.

James Joyce (Ulysses) – self-reflection, that life is a constant ebb and flow, backwards and forwards, that in the tree of life, time does not stand still and that everything comes to pass – whilst there is no beginning nor ending….

Who are your favorite writers?

Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzegerald, Rudyard Kipling, D.H Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, philosophers – Baudelaire, Satre

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

An ode to a life well lived, it would have to be the following list in that order:

Chariots of fire – Vangelis

Injection – London Music Works (Inception Theme)

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Finding Beauty – Craig Armstrong

The Gift of Mortality – James Horner

Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keys

Noir cest Noir – Johnny Hallyday

End Title – John Barry

Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten – Tante Leen

When The Game Stands Tall – John Paesano

She – Charles Aznavour

Time – Hans Zimmer

Numb – Max Jury

Closure – Gabrielle

Who is your hero or heroine in fiction? 

Belle in Beauty & the Beast (Grace & Compassion)

Frodo in Lord of the Rings (His innocent selflessness)

Ned Stark in Game of Thrones (His judicious reasoning and humility)

Who are your heroes and heroines in real life?

Any man, woman and child who stands tall in adversity.

Angela Merkel for her steadfast vision on Europe and mental resilience at a time when so much is challenged and torn asunder.

Which movie would you recommend to see once in a lifetime? 

John Woos – Red Cliff. Ingeniously clever, entertaining and fascinating with the many themes of value vs virtue weaved through.

What role plays art in your life and work?

It’s my base camp! Soul frequency. My starting, my never-ending…

Who is your greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  


Whom would I like to work with in 2019?  

Alexandre Vreeland – grandson of the late Mrs. Diana Vreeland.

Alber Elbaz (it would be crazy-funny!!)

Pier Luigi Loro Piana (A visionary…)

Which people in your profession would you love to meet in 2019?

Carine Roitfeld, Issey Miyake, Delphine Arnault, Aerin Lauder, Karl Lagerfeld, Grace Coddington, Pier Luigi Loro-Piana, Elon Musk

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?  

MULDOONEYS 2.0. Seeing the brand, I founded in 2005, unflinchingly yet stubbornly holding on in 2009 whilst battling my cancer, heartbreakingly having to stop in 2014, as there was no way out – with my soul tearing apart. Nothing, would bring me greater joy than to see her redemption, getting her wings back and rise up again….

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? 


How can you contact me?

On social media channels :

Facebook :

My Book : Muldooneys & Me. A Memoir (available on

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