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Designer Interview: Melissa Velia Discusses Her Spring 2016 Collection

We recently caught up with Los Angeles Fashion Designer Melissa Velia and she gave us a sneak peek into her Spring 2016 Collection. We discussed how she got her start in fashion, her current line as well as what she's learned along the way. Keep reading to learn more about this L.A. designer, whose clothing offers a unique feel of vintage inspiration, feminine glam and modern touches.  

When did you learn you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I realized I wanted to be a designer when I was about 7-years-old. It was about that time I started making my Barbie Dolls clothes. I remember the first time I designed something for myself, I was in six grade and I wanted to have a dress made for my graduation. So I drew it, picked the colors and fabrics and my aunt made it for me. I knew at a very young age, this was something I wanted to do when I grew up but I didn't even think of how I would accomplish that. Until one day in my economics class in high school, while drawing some outfits, my teacher placed a brochure for FIDM on my table and said,"Since you don't pay attention in here, maybe you'll pay attention there." I thought, sure why not.

Were you always into fashion growing up?

 I was always into fashion! Not designer labels or actual designers but really more into the art of dressing, style. I had style. If I wasn't dressed like Madonna, I was over dressed and accessorized!

What do you think separates your line from others out there?  

I think what makes my line different is that every piece is designed, sourced and made by just me. Making every piece one of a kind in character and detail. I don't ever plan to mass produce any one style at a time but instead, create pieces that are unique and make a statement.

Can you tell us about your Spring 2016 Collection? 

I've created a collection around girly floral prints and flowy challis fabrics. The collection is something one would see wearing to the chicest tea party in the 1950s.

What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection and why? 

One of my favorite pieces in the collection is the full floral skirt. I just love how it moves and the print is my fav. My other favorite piece is the periwinkle peplum blouse with the rose buttons down the back. I love the details of the buttons and of course the peplum itself.

What inspired your pieces? 

My Spring collection was inspired by Alice in Wonderland meets the 1950's.  I'm not one to really follow trends, nor do I watch Paris fashion week and so forth. If you asked me what Gucci was doing this season I would have no idea. Instead what really inspires me are fabrics, films and things around me.

Tell us where we can purchase your clothing? 

At this moment you may shop my line on Etsy and Poshmark but come this Spring, you'll be able to shop my line at local boutiques.

Where can we see you next? Any runway shows or events you’re attending? 

Currently I have no shows lined up but when I do, it will be posted on my website. I am also currently looking to do some Holiday Pop-up shops in December. Once again, that info will be posted on my website once confirmed.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are today?

Wow, that just brought tears to my eyes. Well I must say, my list could be very long. My parents have always been very supportive. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I'd thank them. I'd also thank my husband for just letting do my thing and having my back. I'd thank my models, Melina, Janet, Danielle and Christa because if it weren't for their time and support it would have made this journey a lot harder. Lastly, I'd thank my biggest supporter, my go to, my "ugh I can't do this anymore" person, my sister. I wouldn't be where I am without her.

Any advice for aspiring fashion designers? 

One of the best things I did in my career was to work in all aspects of fashion. From, retail and wholesale to design and production. Even if it's just for a little while, you can learn and understand so much about this business. Not to mention, meeting important people along the way.

Let us know where our readers can find you online. 

Twitter: melissavelia
Youtube: melissa velia
Tumblr: melissa velia

About the Editor

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of DisarrayMAG. 

When she's not running Disarray, she's consulting for Tigerlily Consultants, helping businesses with their content marketing and social media strategies. 

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