Do What You Love: Melissa Hall

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1.  How did you get into fashion? Tell me how and when everything started.
After undergrad, I worked in advertising and after six years in the business, I decided I wanted a change. I moved from Chicago to NYC and went back to school at Parsons The New School for Design studying fashion design. From there, I immersed myself in everything fashion including, styling, writing, event planning and sales (tradeshows, sample and showroom). My experiences has been invaluable and I continue to learn more each day.

2.  When did you first know that you wanted to be in fashion?
Probably during the midst of my advertising days. I always entertained the idea, but after going to a Big Ten Midwestern school, the natural step was to get a good job in my major which I devoted the past four years of undergrad to. About 2 years after working, I just got the itch to do it and it took some time to make the move, but I think I made the right one.

3.  If you weren’t in the fashion industry, what would you like to be doing?
Well, I’d be working in advertising or marketing still. I love the industry and people and do love those Mad Men like scenarios that the business carries. Really though, I’m a concepter I love strategies, ideas and executing them. Fortunately, I get to use those same skill sets in fashion.

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4.  Tell us about your fabulous store and what products or serviced do you offered?
I recently started a collection of luxury headbands and hair accessories that I design and hand make in NYC. The are simple,  elegant and make the a right statement, but also sophisticated. I’m a firm believer that every outfit should have a dominant piece. Whether it’s your shoes, bags or hair accessories, it’s important to make yourself stand out.

5.  How would you describe your personal style?
My style is two fold: Relaxed for work, skinny jeans, cotton tops and pieces to move and run around the city in. I live in Tom’s, Converse and Vans. For dress up, (when I get a chance), I love to mix it up with bold colors and shoes that make me tall. I love shoes!

6.  Who is  your favorite designer?
I have 3 favorite designers that work with my aesthetic:

Missoni: because of their use of bright colors and and amazing patterns

Oscar de la Renta: because of his classic and timeless elegance

Yigal Azrouel: for his modern aesthetic mixed with beautiful fabrications and his ability to drape pieces into stunning garments.

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7. Are there any special projects you would like to work on?
For my headbands, I’d love to make some one off pieces that are a bit more bold and non functional. Perhaps for a costume and editorial.

8.  Which magazines do you read? Which magazine is your favorite?
I read them all. InStyle, Vogue, Glamour, W, but my favorite is Women’s Wear Daily. In this business, you have to know trends, business information in all sectors. WWD is my go to for this as they go in-depth about the business!

9. What do you see on stores that you think is really great?
I am a lover of shoes. So, every season I get a thrill going to the major stores to see what’s new on the market. Louboutin, Chanel, Giuseppe Zanotti. I practically fall in love with anything that has a bold color. Surprisingly, I only own one pair of black heels because I always buy something bright and well, not that “practical”

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10. What motivates you?
Well, I get bored easily. As in, I can’t sit still. So, to conquer boredom, I stay motivated. Now, what inspires me, is a few things: The people in NYC, every neighborhood has it’s own style and look. I love people watching. I also think it’s important to look at all types of people. I think some of my biggest inspiration are styles from small kids on the subway…they’ve got imagination and start a lot of trends.

11. What’s next for you?
Keep on developing Raymond & Agnes!

12. What do you do in your down time?
Well, not sure if there’s down time in the city, but if I had to say one thing it’s dinner with friends and cupcakes. Lots and lots of cupcakes.

Big thanks to Melissa Hall for taking the time to talk to Unik Apparel Style!

Images by Raymond & Agnes

Author: Rose Wheeler

Hey, I’m Rose! I work with words on a daily basis as a content manager and writer. When I’m not working with my awesome clients, I enjoy cooking, yoga, styling, blogging and curling up with a good book.

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