This was such a great story from start to finish! We had brought in Mayietta Moore to interview her because she's one of our favorite local fashion designers who we've been fortunate enough with to work with several times!
After the interview, she asked Hannah if she would be interested in sewing a couple little dresses for a fashion show she had coming up. The rest of their story is just awesome!! Read our original interview with Mayiettta followed by Hannah's story below it. I LOVE that we were able to bring these 4 together! Thank you so much Mayietta, Hannah and the True Blue Twins for everything it took to make this happen!
What inspires your unique designs?
My unique designs are inspired by my West African culture, incorporating fabrics embellished with artwork patterns and infused with modern elegance.
What is your favorite outfit you've made?
My favorite dress is the Semone dress featured on my website. It is an A-line knee length dress with a flair skirt. This vintage-inspired dress has a modern twist of elegance.
When did you get into fashion? And when did you know you wanted to pursue it?
I started this journey six years ago because of my passion for African-inspired modern designs. I knew I wanted to pursue fashion after designing my dresses with African fabrics for various occasions.
How did people help you get to be where you are now?
I participated in various fashion shows and network with other designers. Advertising my brand on Facebook and Instagram drives traffic that leads to many business opportunities.
Did you go to school for fashion?
No. I am a self-taught fashion designer.
How did you get into the fashion business?
I had a vision from God and decided to embark on this journey with no fashion background or experience. I am still learning, but have gained a lot of experience over the past years.
The fashion world is known for being competitive. Do you feel that pressure? If so, how do you deal with that?
Yes, I feel pressured in this competitive industry. As a self-taught designer, one doesn't always know the “in’s and out’s” of the Fashion Industry. It takes time to learn the rules of the game. Every mistake is a learning tool for improvement. I always have an optimistic attitude and a strong faith in God. Success requires hard work and perseverance, and no matter what, I will hang in there until I reach my goal of becoming an international designer.
How did you start your own company?
After teaching myself about the fashion world, I registered my fashion brand as Semoner Designs LLC and began launching the women’s attire.
What advice would you have for new business starters?
Always have a business plan.
Do you have advice on marketing in the fashion world?
Create your website and have a fashion portfolio to present to buyers. Social media marketing is the number one marketing tool in the fashion industry.
What gives you your inspiration?
My designs are African inspired with bold and beautiful motifs. I love the beauty of nature and I am inspired by artwork that leads to creativity.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I love that I am able to be creative with different fabric designs.
How are you constantly changing your designs to be different and innovative?
I am constantly changing my designs to be different and innovative by selecting unique prints and being creative.
What do you find most challenging about being a fashion designer?
This business is seasonal and may be slow at times.
Do you have any advice for teens who would like to pursue fashion as a career?
Don't be afraid to pursue fashion and make sure you find a good mentor.
Any other comments you’d like to share?
Seeing my creations come to life and being loved by others makes this all a worthwhile endeavor.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in doing what you do?
If you have an interest in fashion, make it your passion. This is not a quick money business. Do not worry if you have bumps and bruises down the road. A lesson learned from every mistake leads to hard work and perseverance.
What has been your favorite project so far?
My favorite project so far is adding on the kids’ collections to my brand. The kids’ collections will be launched in 2016.
What is the biggest influence in your designs?
The biggest influence in my designs is drawn from my West African culture. The fabrics are African-inspired with modern influence.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is simple and elegant. I prefer dresses to pants. My favorite store to shop is New York & Company. I love their patterns, colors and elegant styles.
Last winter I entered the CPI Showcase Design Competition. It was an unconventional competition and although I had a lot of problems making my dress and it wasn’t the best dress I’ve seen by any stretch of the imagination, it got me to think about how cool it would be to actually make my own clothes. So for Christmas that year I asked for a sewing machine, and because of my amazing and loving parents I was introduced into the incredible world of fashion.
Sewing isn’t as most imagine it to be. When people start to learn how to sew, they use things called patterns. Patterns are like templates of how to cut the fabric to your size and instructions on how to sew it together. Once I started, I made countless pajama pants just like everyone does to start off. After becoming bored with that I made some simple nightgowns.
At first the problem was I didn’t know who would be able to teach me how to sew so I went to a local Joann Fabrics store and took a class to make my first skater skirt, which took about 5 hours to make. Usually after this step people will start to work their way up with simpler patterns and easier fabrics to sew with. But me being me, I ignored all of that.
Over the summer I went to my grandmother’s house, because she knows a little bit about sewing, and started to make a 50’s style dress out of silk. Silk is one of the most difficult types of fabrics to work with that a lot of industries try to stay away from. This dress had 5 panels in the front and 6 in the back for the skirt and required a lining so it has two skirts as well as two tops that were sewn together. All in all it took me about 20 hours to make the dress. After, I had an abundance of fabric left so I made some accessories to go with it. With a little guidance from my Young Child teacher, Kathy Leaver, who happens to have a sewing club at my school, I made a wrap and handbag to go with the dress.
I wore this beautiful dress to this year’s CPI Showcase, where I entered the Design Competition again - AND WON! My dress and the others from both this year and last can be found throughout this issue of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
Last summer when we started this magazine, I was excited to learn I would get to share my fashion inspiration through it, but I had no idea where it would lead. In November, we interviewed Mayietta Moore, a local fashion designer, who, after the interview, asked me to sew two dresses for twin 4year old models for a fashion show. I had an absolute blast making it and it was a pleasure to
do so. After, we brought Mayietta and the twins in to get this adorable picture of the 4 of us!
Because it’s that time of the year my projects have mostly been Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. From
bowties to my Frozen obsessed 19 year old sister’s Elsa costume, it’s a busy time!
I’m looking forward to starting RUN A FASHION SHOW in February at Conway Productions Inc. If you like to sew or design, check it out and sign up!
Below are some extras from our time with the twins! They were so fun!