Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Featured Blogger: Mallory of Mallory Makes Things

I got the privilege of interviewing Mallory from Mallory Makes Things for my first featured blogger. Being a fashion student, I was so happy when I came across her blog earlier in the year. She goes to school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her success has completely blown me away.

Hi Leesha's readers!  I'm Mallory Fausz of Mallory Makes Things.  I have one more semester studying fashion design at the University of Cincinnati.  I'm currently starting my own line of bags and accessories.  I'm also getting married a month after graduating!

What made you want to go into fashion design?
I’ve known for a long time that fashion was my thing.  As early as elementary school I was stealing catalogs and magazines from my older sisters and using them for inspiration while drawing my own designs.  My mom is a very creative person, so she has always supported my fashion and shopping obsessions.

What are your main inspirations when it comes to your blog and your designs?
As far as my blog goes, I started without a plan and just wung it for a few years.  Only this past year I have realized exactly where I want my blog to go in the future.  Of course during working with Elsie and Emma they have given me great advice on blogging and business.  Now my content is more focused, to represent my point of view as a designer and as a person.  I also want to inspire women to take chances with their personal style.
With design I feel most inspired by architecture, my classmates’ drive, design from the 1960s, quirky details, and practicality.  I try to not get too focused on one designer or another person’s style.  It’s too easy to lose your own voice that way, but I found that out after a lot of school and practice.  Of course it is still important to be educated about trends and shows, so my favorite fashion brands include Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenburg, Acne, Louis Vuitton, and Dior Couture. 

What challenges do you face when you’re designing?
I usually take a while to chose my inspiration.  Usually though I try to find a building or piece of art, because you can’t find depth from a person or other garments.  Once I have inspiration I have the hardest time with color palettes.  I only like a certain few colors so I have to find a way to make each collection or project new by trying to build a different color story.
How have your internships helped you grow as a designer? How haven't they helped you?
When I graduate in April I will have some great experience already because my school requires design students to have 6 co-ops (paid internships) before graduation.  I've also gotten very lucky.  I got my first co-op job production sewing at Sewing Services because I came into college with advanced sewing skills because my mom taught me.  There I got much faster at sewing and gleaned a lot of information on how to better pattern make and sew from the owner.  Then I got the position with Red Velvet producing and helping with design on their first collection because I had experience.  We worked so well together that I was asked back to manage production of the second collection and to help a lot more with design.  There I learned about starting a fashion brand, about the business side, how to manage employees, and I started to build a network of really great friends/supporters.  Then I assisted at styling for photoshoots at My Habit, where I still work.  I’ve learned here to push my designs more because I work with luxury brands every day.  Seeing expensive things and how they’re made is important.  Also, working with world renowned photographers, stylists, and art directors has really given me some more insight into a side of fashion I hadn’t worked in yet.
The thing you don’t learn at internships is your own style you have to do that work and testing on your own.  You should sketch & doodle notes often!

What advice could you give to someone who wanted to start designing?
First, go to school.  Then, don’t blow off your sewing, draping, and pattern making classes because without those skills you can’t become a great designer.  You have to continually challenge yourself to be better and to get as much as possible out of your school projects.  The students who coast along aren’t going to be as successful as the ones who are driven to always improve.  Stay humble, but don’t lose confidence in yourself because you are always your own worst enemy.  After learning is over, you have to do some cruddy jobs and work your way up before you can have enough real industry experience to get to your dream job.  Make up your mind and work, work, work, to achieve it!

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