08 Jun The Art Behind The Fashion: Get To Know Austin Designer, MYP Designs!
It’s always exciting when we find a shining new star of design, but more than that, it’s always exciting when we learn the story behind the brand.
Many times, a first question of ours when interviewing is always “what was your inspiration”? A ubiquitous question, we know, but as creatives ourselves, we can’t help but begin with this insightful information. With today’s designer, the inspiration was clear. At first glance, you can see that Austin native, Melina Perez of MYP Designs takes a breath from classical renaissance art and architecture. The young designer took inspiration for these creations on a vacation trip to Italy where she roamed freely through the halls of famous museums, floor to ceiling paintings, and stunning sculptures. She was encapsulated by views of man and woman, body and human. Many would agree, art is always influencing our style, even when we are oblivious to it. Luckily for her, this happened right before entering her final year of design school at The University of Texas at Austin, where she then designed garments inspired by one of the world’s most famous and appreciated works of art, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Perez decided to use women of color as her muse, she incorporated them as they are not traditionally depicted in Italian art. These designs landed her in Austin’s One For Us Art Exhibition. She felt it was important to show them in this art form, to make them shine as beautiful and ethereal women.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Perez and got to know a little bit more about the brand. Here is what she had to say.
SLTV: Were you always interested in design? How did you get involved with fashion, leading to the creation of MYP?
MYP: I didn’t start off as a fashion design major, I started off as pre –med because coming out of high school I felt that that’s what I needed to go into. I realized very quickly it was not what I enjoyed. My math professor was really involved in fashion and design on the side and he told me that the fashion track was better suited for me. He really influenced me as a mentor so I took his advice and applied for the fashion program. Fashion was always something that I was passionate about growing up, I was always drawing designs in a little notebook, I abandoned it as I grew older but once college came around I decided to go with my heart. My dream career kinda morphed into something different, I got into film but design is a side passion. I love that I am able to do everything I’m interested in. MYP being one of them.
MYP Senior Collection at The University of Texas at Austin.
Photography by Alexa Ocean Ray.
SLTV: Tell us about the moment you knew you needed to create artful pieces.
MYP: After my trip to Italy, where I fell in love with Italian Renaissance art, I decided to use The Birth of Venus in my final design for school. I knew this was unique, that I hadn’t seen other students do something like this. Once I saw that this was loved by people I felt that It was important for me to create pieces with the same inspirations but with more classic and modern styles. This is when I decided to focus on Halter tops, they are simple and easy to layer or wear by themselves. They are so versatile and are timeless. I would love to offer custom pieces for evening wear in the future but for now, I want to focus on casual wear for my brand.
SLTV: What inspiration did you take from your trip to Italy?
MYP: I was always fascinated by the churches and cathedrals I saw in Italy, I was drawn to the details and the decadence in their art and architecture. Everywhere you look there are hints of magic. It is hard to leave there and not be inspired. For me, it was clear that I had to bring these classic art pieces into the modern day.
SLTV: What has been your favorite part of designing for MYP, and what has been your most challenging part so far?
MYP: My favorite part of designing so far has been the clients I have gained. Each piece is inspired by them in conjunction with art. I am solely here to provide wearable art pieces, so each piece is designed with the art of the client in mind. They choose what is featured and I create a custom piece around that. The photos and feedback of clients I get back are what keeps me going. I love seeing people styling and putting out my designs to the world. The most challenging would be time management as I am fitting my passions into my career. I make it happen, I keep learning and I do what I can when I can. Setting these boundaries and knowing the capacity of design that I have has helped me a lot.
SLTV: As you are such a young brand, I know there may be so many things you wish to accomplish. What would be your dream for MYP?
MYP: I would love to have one of my pieces to be featured in a movie or TV show, bringing my love for the film industry and the fashion industry together. Although, It would have to make sense with the character it’s paired in. If I could pick someone, my dream would be to style Grace Blood from UK Skins, her fashion sense was very different and unique. Feminine and frilly, mixing patterns and fabrics, always having fun with her fashion. I could see her wearing one of my pieces. My overall dream for my brand is to watch it grow as I grow within it as well. This is only the beginning and I am having so much fun doing what I love.
It was clear that Melina was talented, and once speaking to her and getting to see her extensive portfolio, we are thrilled and excited to watch her career grow. Fashion is art and Melina represents this in a youthful and refreshing way. As the Birth of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty arriving on land, MYP has arrived with the same intensity and beauty. We can only imagine what lies ahead.
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