In celebration of our imminent arrival in Melbourne, we explore the meaning of local community. Through the inspiring eyes of some of Melbourne’s creatives.

We discover much-loved eateries, secret nooks, and small brands doing incredible things, needing a little extra love and support while we are all apart.

First up, talented Maggie Zhou is a writer, content creator, and half of the podcast duo from Culture Club. With a penchant for sustainable brands, Maggie is often scouting out new, up-and-coming designers, exploring a more conscious lifestyle, and vying for a table at her local eateries - soaking up inspiration and creativity from her surroundings.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got here?

A: Hi, I’m Maggie Zhou. I’m a 22-year-old Melbourne-based writer, content creator and co-host of the pop culture podcast Culture Club. I’ve been on (read: addicted) to social media for a decade and have become accustomed to sharing my many thoughts and outfit photos. I have a double degree in Communication Design and Media Communication (specialising in Journalism) but have found that just being out in the industry and getting my hands dirty has been the best experience.

What do you love most about living in Melbourne?

A: Gah, everything! I have been biased and ill-informed as this is the only place I have properly lived but its food, quirkiness, fashion, and culture scene is just so alive.

Which Australian creative are you particularly coveting at the moment, and what inspires you about their work?

A: I love Elly Malone’s designs. I’ve followed her for years and it’s really special seeing her style evolve into this great colourful, fun and impactful thing.

Where do you source inspiration, and how does this affect your creative process?

A: Quite unoriginal, but Instagram is a massive source of inspiration. Though there can be a lot of noise, I really value the global connectedness of the platform. I love that I can be inspired by someone’s summer outfit in the Northern hemisphere, and translate that to my own fashion choices here in winter. I also draw inspiration from the people around me, from close friends, to strangers walking down the street. I really do feel like there are endless streams of creativity and inspiration around us.

What is your favourite way to unwind and relax?

A: Spending quality time with my boyfriend, Tom. I also love cooking, playing piano, getting into a good book, or a crappy TV show.

How are you trying to curate a more considered wardrobe?

A: I was an avid op shopper (still am) for many years which gave me a fun, eclectic wardrobe. As I continue to mature, I’m looking to invest in quality staples that reflect my personal style more.

What are your tips for those wanting to embark on a more sustainable lifestyle?

A: There’s no need to go zero to 100, baby steps are good. Whether that be cutting meat from your diet once a week, or purchasing one fast fashion item instead of three, these are all steps towards a better direction.

What is your signature dish or drink?

A: I make a mean cheese toastie.

What do you hope the remainder of 2021 brings?

A: Rest and good luck.


Favourite cafe?
Terror Twilight

Favourite restaurant?
Tipo 00

Favourite space?
Shifting Worlds

Favourite thing to do in Melbourne?Explore the Northern suburbs

Most-loved local eatery or business?Mitch Studio, my hairdresser