Designer Profile – Meredith Moultonviews: 0
What should everyone know about you?
MM: I studied Japanese for four years before studying fashion design. I did a lot of soul-searching before deciding to study at FIT and I think that helped to keep me grounded in a fast-paced environment. I work as an Associate Designer for women’s sportswear, and fashion illustration is my passion.
How would you describe what you do?
MM: I try to keep the clothing I design relatable, because I think we’re in a period of either a lot of bells and whistles or stark minimalism. That either/or split can be hard to maintain. In my illustrating I try to convey a feeling or a fantasy that speaks to people at a glance. When I’m collaborating, especially when illustrating, it’s about achieving an image that feels right to all involved parties. I think we’re seeing a backlash against fast, cheaply-made and virtual products which means a movement towards something crafted by hand and more meaningful.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
MM: A lot of people say “design chose me”, but honestly nothing in my life fell into place the way moving to New York to study fashion did. I tried to take many different, more “practical” avenues towards different careers and none of them worked out before making it into design, which is what I should’ve done in the first place.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
MM: My dad told me he wouldn’t support my education if I went to art school, so I earned a bachelor’s degree in Japanese language and culture. I graduated in Michigan during the height of the Great Recession, when state unemployment was nearly at 15%. I applied to tons of jobs but nothing worked out. I was working dead-end retail jobs and, with nothing to lose, returned to my old dream of designing. I had been drawing since I was a child but I didn’t know much about garment construction until I attended FIT.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
MM: Honestly I think the most challenging part of my day job is trying to design a product that meets myriad expectations set by many different people, not least of all the customer. We’re working in a tough economic environment right now and it can be a challenge to innovate when people are frightened of trying something unproven. The best part of my job is the illustration side—that’s what I’ve been doing since I was literally two years old!
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
MM: A psychoanalyst.
What do you like about what you do?
MM: I love illustrating an attitude, a feeling. I love recreating the look of a garment in an impressionistic way.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
MM: I think my extended family imagines something a lot more glamorous! Specifically for my day job, it’s very office-oriented.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MM: I’d like to be living off of my illustration business and studying psychology.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
MM: Even though I had always drawn my own designs, I was really fresh and new to the fashion world when I started at FIT. As a result a lot of my early work was completely outside of the box—I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of how things should be done. I didn’t watch runway shows, I didn’t know much about different pricepoints/labels, I just drew and created straight from the psyche, whether it worked or not. Now I have more of a framework to draw on and I think it enhances what I bring to the table.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
MM: Sneakers. I hate sneakers. I have one pair that I wear to the gym only.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
MM: Right now I’m engrossed in Jungian psychology and the way the psyche engages with archetypal images/symbols. My art keeps improving as I draw more on my own inner truth. I’m also trying to stay more connected to the Earth around me.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
MM: A lot of times a style doesn’t resonate with someone simply due to bad fit/tailoring.
What advice would you give to young designers?
MM: It’s not about the veneer—even if you look fabulous, if there’s no substance and you have nothing to offer you won’t last very long. Develop yourself and stay humble, and make friends!
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
MM: I’d like to continue growing my illustration business—visit my society 6! – https://society6.com/merplot
Other (feel free to tell the readers anything about you that we didn’t ask)
MM: My ultimate goal in life is to integrate my shadow as far as possible in order to live a happy, healthy, loving life.
Meredith Moulton is originally from Michigan and currently resides in NYC. When she’s not drawing or painting, she can be found at the C.G. Jung Foundation taking classes or recording dreams. Past illustration clients include Lowes Inc. and Arden Companies. For inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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