Melody Ehsani, over the years, has stirred up quite the buzz in the fashion and music industry with her eclectic designs that have been worn by Beyoncé, Keri Hilson, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna and more. She continues to push the envelope, taking her brand to new levels with each and every creative venture she pursues. It’s clear that she was destined to grace our wardrobes with such fabulous accessories and haute footwear. Needless to say, Melody never fails to capture our attention whether she’s putting a modern day twist on classic accessories such as bamboo earrings, adding a stunning shine with a dose of Swarovski or creating fun statement pieces, perfecting the woman that loves to live in style.
VIBE Vixen recently caught up with the designer to talk about her upcoming collaboration with Reebok, thoughts on the current sneaker culture and her nature-inspired spring 2012 collection.
VIBE VIXEN: What’s it like being your own boss and having artistic control over every aspect of your fashion brand?
MELODY EHSANI: It’s sort of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s the dream and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m far too deviant to be a part of some mass corporate structure, especially when it has to do with creativity. On the other hand, it’s difficult to remain tapped in and inspired while having to oversee business strategies and manage all the intricate details that go into running a company.
What’s your creative process like and where do you look for motivation?
My creative process is sort of like walking through a dark tunnel that eventually leads to an opening where there is light [laughs]. I have to look within for motivation. My most reliable guide is my intuition. The challenge is listening to it.
I’ve noticed that a few designs from your past collections were Egyptian-inspired. What was the muse for Spring 2012 collection?
I draw a lot of inspiration from nature. This next one plays into that; a lot of different animals that possess attributes that I am fond of or personally trying to work on.
In addition to accessories, you’ve proven that you have a knack for designing footwear. What can we expect to see with your collaboration with Reebok?
I actually started off with footwear. Jewelry didn’t come into the picture until much later. I’m thrilled to be doing a sneaker! It’s scheduled to drop sometime mid-year. They chose the actual style of the shoe, and I got to design the elements. It’s part of a concept they are doing called the “Beat Collab.” They chose a female “tastemaker” from each continent, had them design the shoe and are correlating it with a service project. So, Reebok will be donating a nice chunk of money to a charity of my choice which is pretty rad.
There are a few people who feel Reebok isn’t as prominent and popular as it used to be. What are your thoughts on that?
I can understand that. I’m personally a Jordan connoisseur. However, I’ve never really bought into the status quo. Everything in fashion moves in cycles, so for anyone to write off a brand like Reebok based on one particular cycle within the many that its had lacks vision in my opinion. I think it’s great that Reebok has enlisted Swizz Beatz as the new creative director; I’m excited about the possibilities.
What do you have to say about the current sneaker culture and the news surrounding youth killings over them?
Unfortunately, it’s nothing new to me; its kind of the backdrop to the era I grew up in. I remember getting jumped by some girls in the ninth grade for my bamboo earrings and had my sneakers stolen out of my locker in P.E. It’s obviously escalated a lot since then, but America has taught us that the highest value in society lies in the object. Kids learn at a young age that they need to be validated by material objects and have lost sight of what really matters. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like material things. I just think we need to know its place.
VV: What projects and ventures lie ahead in 2012 for your brand? Do you ever intend to expand to clothing design?
ME: Yes, I’ve wanted to expand for some time now. I’m hoping to show some new items this year along with plans of opening a retail store in the LA area and eventually in New York, London, Paris and Japan.
How would you describe your own personal style and signature look?
I’m into details. It’s important for me to have my nails done, have accessories that reflect how I feel and always a pair of shoes on that I love. Everything in-between is based on comfort. It’s not odd for me to wear sweats with a pair of 6 inch heels, a t-shirt and a blazer.
What do you think will be the most coveted accessory trends in 2012?
Statement pieces, neon, pop culture references.
What are three must-have statement accessories and wardrobe pieces every Vixen should have and why?
I think everyone is different. In my ideal world, I’d say every Vixen should have something old school to represent where they’re coming from (for me it’s bamboo earrings or a three-finger ring), something new to represent what trend they’re into this season and something different that showcases their individual character. I think every girl needs a custom-made piece, whether it is a name plate or whatever.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to get into fashion but too afraid of being rejected?
No one can reject who you are. All the greats were rejected at some point; it adds character.
Lastly, what do you think makes a Vixen?
Someone who is able to be completely who they are, unapologetically.
Be sure to get your fashion fix and check out Melody’s Spring 2012 Collection & lookbook here!