All That Glitters & Glows: Melody Ehsani [Interview]
Thursday, December 30, 2010 by Team Greedmont | 6 Comments; | Category: Art, Design
I recall early mornings waiting on my mother to get ready to go to work and drop me off to school in New York. There, admiring my single, working mother I gained essential fashion rules. More times than not, I find myself breaking those rules like a true style renegade. I wear black with brown, I mix prints, and sometimes if the mood is right I stack on more instead of taking things off. However, some things have never been shattered by my rebellion. My mother told me that accessories are the cornerstone of any fashionista’s closet and shoes are the punctuation to every outfit.
With that being embedded in me as a child like the pledge of allegiance, it makes sense that designer and visionary, Melody Ehsani is someone who I had to sit-down with and get to know a little better.
Melody Ehsani is the designer behind some of the hot accessories you see being rocked by Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan, Keri Hilson, and Nicki Minaj. Her bold, imaginative accessories are also paired with equally breath-taking shoes that balance beautifully between feminine elegance and modern funk. It’s no surprise that Melody Ehsani is as sweet and interesting as her designs.
Melody’s upbringing was a kind of trail of traditional Americana living with some very heavy curve-balls. “I grew up in Los Angeles in a middle class family, to two parents that were both artists.” she continues, “My father passed away when I was 10 years old. I was immediately placed in a position where I sort of became the glue in my family.” She grew up quickly into the role. ” I became the one that consoled my mother and raised my younger brother, so I learned how to be practical at a very young age.” It was this time in her life that shaped the woman we see before us. “I joined a dance troop when I was 12 years old and it introduced me to Hip-Hop and many of the other cultures that ended up heavily influencing me to this day.”
Fast forward and Melody Ehsani was interning at a sneaker company and awakened a spark inside of her. “[...] I realized that I had a passion for footwear, and that I wanted to create a collection of women’s shoes. I was fortunate enough to have some friends overseas in Hong Kong at the time, so I moved there for a short time to be able to work with some factories and learn the process. After six months or so I came back with my first collection.” The birth of her jewelry was a natural development. “The jewelry followed about a year later, it was the result of me needing something to do in-between seasons and craving some sort of local production where I could be more hands on and creative.”
It’s obvious in Ms. Ehsani’s designs that there’s plenty of thought and intention put into every shoe and piece of jewelry. When asked what inspires her, she responds, “Life, culture, people, truth. All things authentic.” Along with authenticity, there’s a heavy influence of Persian and Egyptian culture in her designs. “I’m really into history and the study of ancient civilizations. Something about Egyptian, African, and Persian culture is especially close to my heart.
It’s very mystical and mathematical. The imagery always makes me dream about what type of people were here before us.” Her dreams are not just her own, Melody divulges that there are a few design collaborations in the works, amongst them is Mata Hari.”[...] I am in the process of a couple different collaborations. I can’t talk too much about some of them, I don’t like to talk about things until they are done. However, one that is well on its way and will be in the market in Spring is a handbag collaboration with a high-end line called Mata Hari. I designed 3 pieces that I’m very excited to release.”
Melody describes style as knowing your true self and showing up as you without apology. She confessed the one thing she can’t live without is sugar, you’d might forget that Ehsani is design maven. She knows the love of having celebrities and artists like Mariah Carey, Kelis, Patti Labelle, and Erykah Badu wearing her items, but she addresses humbly. “It’s great, it’s a big deal to have another artist endorse your artistry. It’s very humbling.” She appreciates each experience. “[...] every time it happens it creates a special and unique feeling for me, no one experience is greater than the other.” She confesses that she would love to see Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones parading in her pieces sooner than later.
Melody’s down-to-earth disposition melts over and it’s as endearing as it is comforting. Her nature is innate and nurtured by the people around her. “Actually, I’m very fortunate in having a group of very real, grounded people around me who constantly mirror back to me who I really am.
By nature, Im also very humble [...]“
Melody Ehsani insures her next collection will contain plenty of staple pieces and within the next decade she will be somewhere in every household across the world. Now, you can get a piece of Melody Ehsani at www.karmaloop.com, as well. “Karmaloop is definitely one of my favorite retailers. They carry a wide selection of my items online, and they work very closely with me to do limited edition pieces, collaborations and specialty items that are exclusive to their site.”
Now, I’m no psychic and I don’t even own a crystal-ball, but I do have a knack that in 10 years I’ll be reciting my own ‘fashion rules’ to my off-spring and Melody Ehsani will be apart of every fashionista’s closet on this side of the moon.
- Myles E. Johnson