DESIGNER, EVA MELENDEZ
1. Before we dive into hella detail give the 4ormypeople readers a quick background of yourself and your business Fashionedby MAE?
My name is Eva Melendez, I was New Jersey, Jersey City born, Texas raised! It wasn't until I reached the age of 23, a bachelor’s degree and a little bit of a master program in psychology and counseling later, when I realized I had a serious passion for fashion. When beginning my business I called it 'Project Mae', because that's exactly what it was. It was a project to see how well I would do, to gain more experience, and to find my place in the fashion world. Once I felt that I found my place in the fashion world I rebranded into 'Fashionedby Mae' in which I specialize in custom design. Mae believes and promotes self love and care. One problem I saw in wholesale fashion is the lack of personalization. Everyone is blessed with unique curves and sizes that I don't believe should be defined by fit models that are suppose to represent the majority. Mae believes people deserve to feel good with their purchase and look great in it by creating each hand made piece in their measured size. The style I found most attractive to create is upscale streetwear, however, I go with the flow and create based on inspiration I receive. One of my goals in my business and life is to contribute and invest in my legacy that is ahead of me.
2. Did anyone in particular spark spark your interest for fashion/design?
Some of my favorite designers/ brands include Supreme, Alexander Wang, and Fendi. I love the style and uniqueness all three have to offer but the history of Fendi is what fueled my interest for growth in the fashion industry. The house of Fendi was launched in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Via del Plebiscito Rome. Since 1946, the five second generation sisters joined the company. In 1965 well known designer Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi and became the creative director for the ready to wear collections. With that said. Fendi began with a husband and wife who passed on the business to their five daughters who grew it into a household brand. Their story is so inspiring and helped me to realize no matter where or how you begin, it can grown into whatever you make it.
3. What was the first piece you’ve ever made? And describe that whole process.
The very first piece I ever made was a beaded purse I hand sewed together out of a shirt that no longer fit. I was 16. Growing up, I was talented in terms of getting creative with any resources I had available. The process wasn't too complex, I cut the bodice out and hand sewed the bottom closed and added a strap. I made sure to double the front so I could sew the beads on the front without the thread being seen on the inside. I literally sewed a good 50 individual colorful beads to the front. When completed, I took it out for a spin to a Wednesday night youth church service. I shared that I made my purse myself out of an old shirt with a guy I had a crush on and he said "oh. I can tell." LOL! It took me years to perfect my craft and I'm still growing. Practice makes perfect!
4. What’s the timeframe it takes for you to create and finish a custom bridal shower dress?
This process normally takes me two weeks to a month, depending on the project.
5. So in your own words,describe the Dallas fashion scene.
The fashion scene in Dallas is one that merges with all art. I love how all artists come together in collaboration. I've experienced and had to pleasure to collaborate with other designers, photographers, make up artists, music artists, and painting artists. The fashion scene is low-key but once discovered it’s literally a whole other world I appreciate so much.
6. Describe the moment when it hit you that this is what you want to do and it was time to take that leap and fully invest into Fashionedby MAE?
The moment I realized it was time to take the leap and invest in Fashionedby Mae was MAGICAL! I had the pleasure of making my very first bridal dress for my best friend Latrice Moore for her bridal shower party. The venue had glass windows and glass doors so everyone at the party had the best view of her getting out of the car and gracefully walking up the stairs in my piece made especially for her. It all literally happened in slow motion as she walked up the stairs and entered the venue everyone was at awe at how beautiful she looked. I was so grateful I was able to add to that special occasion. That was the moment I knew I found my purpose in fashion designing.
7. Who are some your inspirations in the industry?
Some of my inspirations include Supreme, Alexander Wang, and Fendi.
8. What do we need to be on the lookout for coming from you and Fashionedby MAE?
Mae is hosting the MOOD SWINGS FASHION SHOW May 18th 2019! Not only to donate to various organizations that keep the community of Dallas at its best but to also celebrate new endeavors. Mae is moving to LA, California to build new relationships and further expand in the fashion industry.
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Giving back to Dallas with style. The designers: @199scrilla @richelledenise @nakedsandneutrals @fashionedbymae Donating proceeds to participating benefits: @project_beauty_dfw @thefamilyplace @bgcdallas Vendors. Food. Open bar. Thank you to our sponsors! Education is Freedom, business advisor Derek Winkley, and business owner Justin Rogers. Interested in becoming a vendor or sponsor? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Describe your personal style, any favorite brands/designers?
My personal styles constantly changes as I receive inspiration. It's clear to see on my IG that I always like to switch it up. To sum it up, I have 10 different looks and my looks all kill *duck lips*.
One thing T.D. Jakes said during his Soar book interview with Steven Furtick always stuck with me when finding my brand, "Instead of concerning yourself about wearing someone else name, you should focus on your own." I buy whatever looks good no matter the price or the name. It's not about what you wear it's how you wear it!
10. We know your a busy busy woman, but outside of work what do you like to do when it’s time to decompress? Any other outside interest or hobbies?
Creating is my way of decompressing. Anything that involves creating, drawing, painting, building, and photography. One of my favorite things to do is park in either downtown or Deep Ellum, hop on a bird with my camera and get shots of whatever inspires me! I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and going to concerts. Im very spontaneous so I'm usually down for having fun at all times.
11. Any advice or words of wisdom for young bright designers just starting and looking to a make an imprint on the industry?
Yes! practice, practice, and practice some more. Get out of your comfort zone to challenge your skills and don't focus on those negatives thoughts that tell you that you can't. The truth is, YOU CAN! The more you step out of your comfort zone the more you will discover what you like and what you don't like to design in order to find your style in the industry. Also, I started from nothing, you don't need money to begin your journey, that will come along the way. Utilize all your resources, you usually have everything you need in your reach if you don't, then make it hap'n cap'n! It doesn't matter how slow you go just don't stop!
12. Who are some your favorite media outlets/websites/podcasts in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex that’s of the people 4or the people?
4MP of course!! But I also had the pleasure of working with "The Problematic Safe Place" and enjoy listening to their show that's all about hip hop, controversial trends, and all things problematic!