Designer sparkles in NYC
Meagan Wellman picks her three essentials for surviving New York Fashion Week:
1. Blistex lip balm. Because one cannot function with chapped lips.
2. Kickers heeled booties (in patent red). You’ll be doing a long of walking, so need comfy shoes to help with the task.
3. Denim jeans. These staple items go with everything from day to night wear.
Crazy, hectic and exciting — that’s how Meagan Wellman described New York Fashion Week.
It was a first for the 23-year-old Bermudian whose collection M-SEW featured in the Harlem Fashion Row Show.
She won the chance through her participation in the Bermuda Fashion Festival this summer.
“It showed me that I’m meant to be in fashion at this level,” said Miss Wellman, who lives in London, England.
“Showcasing my work and sharing my designs and dream with a large audience is something that felt natural to me. I’m still a bit shocked that I wasn’t nervous about the show and just went in headfirst and did it.
“As a designer, I learnt where I need to develop my brand to help it grow in the future. My ideas for my next collection have become clearer from this experience and I can’t wait to get started.”
The entire summer was a whirlwind for the designer.
She returned to the UK in July to ready her collection for New York, based on advice received at the Bermuda show. In addition to preparing the clothes and choosing appropriate models for them, she had to organise a look book of her work for fashion editors.
“Getting the collection pieces to look great up close and from afar was the main thing to do to get ready for the show,” she said.
“I selected my models over Skype, which was fun and it just so happened that my fitting model from London — the same model in my campaign shoot — was in New York!
“Of course I chose her to walk in the show. It was such a great surprise!”
The editors’ luncheon was one of the highlights of her time in New York City. She was able to show samples of her work to representatives from Ebony, Huffington Post, Interview and Essence Magazine.
But the real test came on September 10 — the day of the Harlem Fashion Row Show. “Being backstage was crazy,” she said. “I had help from some of the Bermuda team from the City of Hamilton, which was much appreciated, to get the collection to the venue. Once we got there it was go, go, go.”
Some items hadn’t been completed or had come apart, one model came at the last minute — another not at all.
“And all whilst this is happening, people from Women’s Wear Daily, Ebony Magazine and BET were doing interviews with me along with photographers capturing the moment,” Miss Wellman said.
“[Despite all that], the feedback after the show was amazing. People really loved my designs especially the dresses and a crop top that was introduced in the collection.
“I was the youngest of the designers there too, so people were impressed and supportive that a young designer was being given such a massive opportunity. Even Brandice Henderson [the owner of the Harlem’s Fashion Row] gave me a nod of approval.”
Days later she was back at her day job in London, working in retail.
“The day after I got back I had a shift at work. It feels somewhat strange to be working part-time as I’m pushing towards working full-time designing but I’m sure something will pop up from the NYFW show experience,” she said.
It’s only been two years since she graduated from fashion school. Miss Wellman said she never expected success so early in her career.
“It feels awesome to have achieved what I’ve managed so far,” she said. “I didn’t think it would happen so suddenly! And in New York? I always figured London Fashion Week as I live here. People perceive me to be shy and extremely quiet, so I’m sure I’ve surprised a lot of people going into fashion and now doing a show in New York. I would certainly say I’ve proven any naysayers wrong and plan to keep on proving them wrong in future.”
• Visit www.m-sew.com.