Megan Smith (@__meganrenee___) is a Los Angeles-based fashion designer whose bold and vibrant clothing from her contemporary womenswear brand, Megan Renee, is strongly inspired by her surroundings and family. Smith discusses how her passions for sustainability and self-expression inform her design process on this episode of In The Know: Style Changemakers.
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“Whenever I think of fashion, I think it’s wearable art,”Smith tells In The Know. “I think everybody has their own unique style, and I think that’s a way people express themselves visually to the world.”
Smith’s perspective regarding self-expression is evident in how she incorporates her core values and identity into her designs. “Sustainability is a huge deal for me and my brand,” explains Smith, who designs all of her prints using digital printing—which requires less water and ink than traditional printing—with sustainable fabrics.
In addition to the environmental ethos behind her clothing, Smith’s work also centers on her life in Los Angeles. “I really get inspired by just the scenery and also the women that I encounter every day,”Smith refers to their description. “easy glamor”She considers her clothing to be the foundation of how women should feel about themselves. “Very bold and powerful, but feminine at the same time.”
Smith’s current inspirations and beliefs that permeate her work can be traced back to her childhood. Her fascination with fashion started with her mother. “She had me when she was 16, so we sort of grew up together,”Smith recalls, noting: “She was always made up every day and very fashionable and glamorous.”
Smith learned in her childhood that clothing can be used as a way to escape. Smith was forced to quickly grow up after her mother was diagnosed suffering from a mental disorder. She found comfort in fashion. “I loved that I could create these clothes that made me feel like I was somebody else or in a different situation,”Smith said that Smith before sharing. “I like to think that I’m building this brand for her.”
Smith is a big fan of the 90s as an aesthetic influence in her designs. “I just love how everything was over the top and very bold and powerful. I love strong shoulders and interesting shapes and bold colors and bright prints,”She exudes enthusiasm.
Despite fashion’s reputation for exclusivity, Smith believes clothing and style are inherently communal. “I think everybody has their own unique style, and I think that’s a way to communicate without actually speaking,”She says. Community is also at the forefront of Smith’s creative process. “When I create my best pieces is when I’m deeply attached to something or someone.”
With respect to aspiring designers, Smith’s advice is simple. “Life is short, so we don’t have time to sit and wait for the right opportunity,”Before encouraging anyone with a passion, she explains. “just do it.”
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