Erin Magee, creator and designer of MadeMe, has not only filled a void in women’s streetwear but also formulated a refreshing maturity and quality to her collections. MadeMe came on the scene only last year as the youngest brand to enter the streetwear market and was immediately celebrated as one of the most successful collections to date. As MadeMe launches its second collection for spring ‘08, Magee continues to fuse together what matters to her most, the comfortable and confrontational nature of streetwear with the confidence and sex appeal of a woman. For her spring ‘08 collection, Magee creates a line that separates her from the rest of the streetwear industry. While other designers focus solely on graphic t-shirts and cute phrases, Magee has expanded her vision to include stone washed denim shorts, drop crotch leggings with a vintage 70’s “op art” pattern, a cotton plaid motorcycle jacket and an array of soft graphic tees. MadeMe stands as an edgy collection for the grown up girl who was raised in the age of men’s streetwear. With her keen sense of style and individuality, Magee is taking the shifting women’s streetwear market by storm as one of the youngest and most talked about female designers in the field.
Q: Did you always want to be a designer?
I don’t really think of myself as a designer. Actually sitting down and ‘designing’ clothes takes up the least amount of time during my typical day. I spend the majority of the day on the phone, email, at factories, in mid-town buying fabrics, managing sales, photographers, artists, paying bills, etc. However, to answer your question I had no idea I was going to be a ‘designer.’ I was always really into clothes and always loved the feeling of expression through wardrobe. You can say a lot with clothes without ever opening your mouth. It’s a really cool concept. I just knew wherever my life was going to take me, it was going to be to a good place. So it has brought me here thus far, and I was right.
Q: Most entrepreneur’s kicked off in another career field or path before breaking away to pursue their passion. So dish…what was your everyday hustle before MadeMe?
I have always worked in fashion. My first job out of college was working for Umbro x Kim Jones, then I moved to Supreme as head of production, and in between I did some styling here and there. I also did a bunch of freelance gigs for other ‘streetwear’ brands. After compiling all of that experience, I decided to start my own brand.
Q: Is there a story or meaning behind the name “MadeMe”?
Yes, there are many reasons why I called my brand MadeMe. I will always make product for ME! I will only produce garments or products that I believe in 100 percent. It’s also an expression of of how I see the world. It’s everything that Made Me who I am. It’s all my experiences channeled into one expression. Also, it’s a funny little play on the word Madame….get it MadeMe??!?! How clever!?!
Q: What are the inspirations behind your current collection?
Ooohhh La La!!! There is a lot of inspiration coming from anything and everything French. I grew up in Canada, so I was exposed to the language a lot when I was younger. I miss being immersed in the French language so I wanted to reflect on my LOVE for the French language, it’s so sexy and beautiful. That being said, there is also a lot of sexual references in the Fall 2008 MadeMe collection. Mmmm, how sexy?!?
Q: We are sure you spend lots of time on the web. What are some of your favorite sites or blogs?
I actually don’t spend a lot of time on the web. I am so busy, that when I actually have some free time I don’t spend it on the computer. However, I do have some favorite sites and blogs. I love my girls over at Worship Worthy, Around the Girls, Mob Living, and Clutch of course! For shopping purposes, I love the support I get at Karmaloop.com and Cultistshop.com. I am also a huge Madonna fan so I always check out madonna.com and madonnalicious.com for my daily Madge updates.
Q: What designers or other brands do you respect or look up too?
This game is hard. It’s very difficult to have a successful and profitable clothing brand with longevity. I respect every designer/business owner who has been able to produce clothing at a certain success level season, season after season. That’s why someone like my mentor James Jebbia (owner/founder of Supreme) is such an amazing person to work with. He made a multi-mullion dollar brand out of nothing. He began selling tee shirts on the street in Soho and now owns seven stores world wide, manages one of the most sought after brands in the world, and does it all while turning a profit and keeping the Supreme cache. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Q: How do you feel about about being labeled as a “streetwear” brand. Do you think that pigeon holes you and your design expectations?
I know the term ‘streetwear’ comes with some pretty strong connotations. People think it’s like eating Cheese Wiz instead of Brie, it’s fashion but NOT REAL fashion. Well, all I can say to that is streetwear is who I am. I wear ‘street’ clothes, I have worked in the environment for a long time, it pays my bills, and allows me to eat. And to answer your question, no I don’t think it pigeon holes me. I can make whatever I want to make, and find some place for it in this big world. I think there is so much potential for growth in the women’s ‘streetwear’ market. We ladies can make whatever we want to make out of it! It’s up to us.
Q: On a typical day we can catch you rocking…
I will just tell you what I am wearing today to give you a hint of what I dress like on the regular. I will start with my shoes; Supreme x Vans Chukka, Purple Stussy socks, gray Opening Ceremony jeans, a studded belt I got in Tokyo, a vintage White Snake (yes the band) tank top from the Rose Bowl in LA, a MadeMe flannel button down sample for Fall 2008, and a pair of vintage Balenciaga sunglasses (yes, I wear sunglasses at my computer). My look today is kind of trailer park meets Soho. WORD!
Q: What’s next for you and MadeMe?
Lots and lots. Just building the brand day by day. I am working on a pretty dope footwear collabo for Spring 2009, building new images for my site, finishing Fall 08 design! Stay tuned!
For more information of Erin and MadeMe Clothing please visit www.mademeclothing.com