DESIGNER TALK: AMEHL

From a young age, Amanda Mehl was intrigued by fashion. Unsatisfied with the clothing options on the market, Mehl began designing and constructing her own pieces. Today, she designs for her own successful women’s wear brand, Amehl following in her mother's footsteps.

Mehl’s signature is combining both traditional and unorthodox materials into her pieces; this includes finding material from home improvement stores that add an unexpected texture or finish. Her latest collection, Cybergloss, features a theme of statement color paired with a holographic/retro-flective accent. Utterly unique, Amehl is one brand to watch; we chat with the designer below.

How did you become involved in fashion design? I grew up in fashion. My mother is a fashion designer and I've been exposed to the industry from a young age. Ever since we moved to America when I was seven years old, I was going with her to the garment district. Two years ago, I began co-designing my mother's label, Beverly Mehl full-time.  My mother specializes in beautiful high-end party dresses and I wanted to do a more casual line that is more suited to my lifestyle, so Amehl was born. As a kid and up to today, I was never satisfied with the standard clothes that were available to me, so I would improvise and make my own. I used to take my mother’s fabrics and cut and staple them together and wear them. As a teenager I was more drawn to art, I studied art and worked full time as a visual artist (mostly sculpture and installation), and now I switched to fashion but I exhibit periodically as well. Being an artist helps me as a designer because it gives me an unusual perspective and I can incorporate objects and materials into my designs.

What materials do you most like to work with? My work is all about interesting materials. I go to Home Depot for inspiration and the materials speak to me. Materials such as a shower mat, rubber flooring, cables, staples, duct tape, and astro-turf have been used in my clothes. I also like to mix very expensive and 'refined' stuffy old lady materials with a bit of shiny/trashy ones, as well as hardware and plastic.

How does your geographical location influence your atheistic? I live in NY so my clothes are not flowy/beachy, they are very urban and a bit ironic.

What’s been your greatest professional achievement to date? The fact that everyone that sees it loves it and wants to wear it is something I consider a success. I’m just starting out, but my first collection had a great response and buyers from amazing stores have been in touch and will be checking out my SS17 collection, so I’m very excited. I created my brand from scratch and put myself in every little detail from the clothes themselves to the font on my website, so I'm proud of myself.

What’s one thing people would never guess about you? That besides being a fashion designer I'm also a pretty crazy artist (check out AmandaMehl.com).