Designer Bio: Melissa Gonzalez

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Fashion

September 5, 2015

2014 Graduate, Associate of Applied Science, Fashion Design, The Art Institute of New York City.
“I am finding that time management is key to preparing for my runway show. By planning wisely, I am hoping to avoiding chaos later.”

Raised in the Bronx, New York, Melissa Gonzalez was inspired by her single mother to strive for success. Melissa took that motivation and turned it into a strong foundation for a fashion career—earning both a degree from the New York City College of Technology in Fashion Marketing and an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of New York City.

She says that her design influences include music, the Internet, graffiti, art, the subway, cartoons, and sports. As a teenager she was fascinated by the neighborhood of SoHo, which seemed to be a “whole other world” in comparison to the Bronx. When she turned 15, she began working at a boutique, learning about merchandising, inventory, and gaining an understanding of what motivates customers. As a high school senior, Melissa was selected from many students to intern with the buyers of the Macy's junior department.

Today’s she’s inspired by designers Comme de Garçons, Rodarte, J.W.Anderson, Riccardo Tisci and Olivier Rousteing. “I draw inspiration from all types of mediums, from Vogue to Instagram. Once a particular artist catches my eye, I like to research all their work,” she says.

Melissa’s New York Fashion Week collection, “Meladama,” was inspired by the surreal and psychedelic elements of the film “Fantastic Planet.” “I see my collection as streetwear for the future. Worn by a woman who is cool, feminine, strong, and above-all, fearless.”

She adds that her fashion education at The Art Institute of New York City provided the foundation to explore her talents as a designer. “During my first Design Studio course, I realized how to be versatile by manipulating shapes and patterns. Then there are classes like Rapid Visualization, where I was able to explore roles other than that of a designer—and research and develop a store behind a collection.”

Keep up with all the designers here!

Stream the show live at 8PM on Tuesday, September 15.

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