What inspired your since of style in fashion?
My grandmother inspired my love of fashion . She was confident ,beautiful, poised , and her eye for exclusive luxury clothing was unmatched. She would take me with her as she shopped at the finest boutiques. And when she entered a room , every head would turn. She walked with such grace and elegance without an ounce of arrogance. The reason I wanted to be just like her was that her real beauty exuded from the inside out . Her willingness to serve , and pour her heart into all those around her was beyond amazing . Watching her life taught me that fashion is in the clothes BUT style is in the heart of the wearer .
How has your exposure fueled your creativity?
I understand from my own life that there is great comfort in the familiar but absolutely no growth and minimal creativity. So while creating my latest collection. I spent the last year traveling monthly to the Caribbean. The amazing waterfalls and waves , the richness of the agriculture, and the resilience of the people opened an entire world of inspiration for me . So much so that I created an entire sew team there. We often shy away from those that seem to be nothing like us but if your willing to open your heart and mind, you will find the matters of the heart are all the same .
Why did you become a designer in such a competitive industry?
When I became a designer, I really never considered the competitive industry. I saw a need and was just focused on fulfilling it. There will always be competition and time is everything. Walking in your purpose means that you are an answer to a problem . I saw a void, I believed I had the answer, the skillset, the finances , and a mirage of personal clients to test the market, so I moved forward.
What makes your fashion offering so unique?
My best selling dress with pockets was designed to minimize the places that a woman may feel uncomfortable and optimize the areas that makes them feel like their best self . My dresses can fit from a size 2 -16 . I literally spent countless amount of time to figure out placement of the pockets while innovating details that still give a classic sophisticated dress that adds body illusion in areas that will help women look and feel more confident .
How have African American women impacted the world of fashion?
Since the very beginning of what we consider the “fashion industry” black seamstresses, pattern makers, and designers have set the tone for femininity, power, and strength through the expression of clothing and beauty.
What were your thoughts of being featured in the upcoming New York Fashion Week?
I am beyond excited to introduce my point of view through my designs to the world. My faith in God, in MYSELF , and what i’ve been gifted to do work hand in hand. It is an absolute honor and privilege to able to express all of that on such a major global fashion platform .
What designers have inspired you and why?
Honestly, “designers “‘themselves inspire me .To have the guts to create and use your voice through design to tell your point of view is powerful . It speaks to my belief that we don’t have to agree to honor each other gifts and callings .
Ps- Besides myself .. I love Luxury Couture so we can just sit that right there .. lol
What would you share with a young African American girl who seeks to become a designer?
I would tell her that becoming a designer takes more than creativity . It takes grit and tenacity . It’s not just enough to be inspired. You have to be willing to learn, create a plan, and then execute . So often we think we have an idea and it’s just going to magically happen because we want it to. Not so. Success is intentional. Surround yourself with people that are not just creative but even more knowledgeable about the BUSINESS of fashion. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be wiling to shift when necessary. And above all else, BELIEVE that you have everything within you it takes to WIN !
Where would you like your career to be in the next five years?
Honestly, I began designing clothes as a bi product to help women show up and own their beauty, optimism, and power through their image. I never in a million years envisioned my designs on the runway in NYFW. It really is a testament to God dreaming bigger for us than we dream for ourselves. So 5 years from now, The Michele Lopez brand will be a household name. It will impact the lives of millions of women globally not only through the designs but through my story of faith, my refusal to quit, and the willingness to use what was already in my hands to create the life I desired.
Michele Lopez LLC
“There’s Power & Purpose In Your Image.”
Michele’s exceptional style and expertise has graced the pages of Ebony, Essence and Black Enterprise Magazines, to name a few , as well as daytime talk shows and highly ranked media outlets such as Dr. Oz , Morning Joe , TV ONE, CBS, and MSNBC. Michele’s keen eye is currently relied upon by Iyanla Vanzant for Oprah Winfrey Network’s hit shows Iyanla: Fix My Life, Life Class with Oprah, and other media opportunities.