We recently had a chance to catch up with the designer behind the M.E. X My Melody collection that launched last month, Melody Ehsani.
The legacy of Melody Ehsani was born in her hometown of Los Angeles when she began making pieces out of her studio apartment. The popularity of her designs instantly spread solely from word of mouth. Melody has always had an original and authentic design language that was a product of the counterculture. Each collection that she creates strives to push the boundaries of urban sensibilities.
We hope you enjoy our interview with this inspirational champion of self-expression.
Sweet Happy News: We always have to ask, who is your favorite Sanrio character?
Melody Ehsani: My Melody…. of course.
Sweet Happy News: Of course! Did your parents name you after My Melody, or is that just an amazing coincidence?
Melody Ehsani: It was a magical coincidence, but I’d like to believe that my parents were cool enough to do it on purpose.
Sweet Happy News: What was your inspiration behind the Melody Ehsani x My Melody collection?
Melody Ehsani: It was great, because this is the first collaboration that I have done where the character and story played such an instrumental role in inspiring me. I’ve always loved Sanrio products because of their incredible design and combined functionality. I strive to share those elements in common with my name brand. What I really wanted to do is bring My Melody more so into the M.E. world, it was so cool to place her in an old school low rider - which is very iconic to the Los Angeles culture I grew up in. Also giving her a flip phone and putting her in a windbreaker gave her more of a street edge that was really cool to see, because she’s so dimensional and so are we.
Sweet Happy News: Speaking of the M.E. world, your company’s ethos is “Stop waiting to be who you already are”. What does that mean to you?
Melody Ehsani: I truly believe that everything we are and need is already within us, it’s just a matter of going in and mining the jewels we each already have and are. However, as we grow up we hear all kinds of myths like “You have to pay your dues”. I started to question who made up these types of messaging, and decided to break with that historic culture. What if I already am what I think I am, why would I have to pay dues if I’m already “it”. So I kind of made “Stop waiting to be who you already are” as a little quote to encourage and inspire young women to claim their identity and talents and to not wait because we need all of us.
Sweet Happy News: Amazing. What was it like to open your store on Fairfax Ave in LA, a locale that has traditionally been a skateboarding community?
Melody Ehsani: It has been a really cool experience; we are the balance on the block, which is a privilege and honor.
Sweet Happy News: Speaking of the store, the launch event that took place there on November 10th was super fun! What was it like to see My Melody wearing one of your designs?
Melody Ehsani: First of all, I got to meet My Melody in person, that alone was incredible…. the cherry on top was seeing her wear one of my designs. Many of my close friends who understand me, messaged me with “ok you can retire now”. Haha.
Sweet Happy News: Oh geez, please don’t do that! Besides My Melody, your designs have been worn by a ton of amazing icons like Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and Rihanna (just to name a few…). Is there someone that you dream about designing for or working with next?
Melody Ehsani: I’d love to do something for Michelle Obama or Grace Jones.
Sweet Happy News: Yes, that would be so cool! What motivates you to create?
Melody Ehsani: Sometimes I have the pleasure of receiving letters or meeting girls who own a piece from my collection, and they always talk about how my story inspired them to grow in their own way or follow their own dream. I started to treat my designs like totems that would go out in the world and make women remember who they are, what type of greatness they’re capable of and how amazing they are. Knowing that I have the opportunity to do that motivates me to wake up and work harder every day.
Sweet Happy News: That’s super inspiring! At the end of the day, what do you do to relax?
Melody Ehsani: I don’t get a lot of free time to hang out with my friends or do simple things like go to the movies, so I love to talk on the phone with my friends and hear about their lives - especially my friends who have kids or have lives that are starkly different than mine. There are also a couple books and movies, some of which I’ve watched and read many times, and when I revisit them, it feels like I’m hanging out with old friends - when in actuality they are just characters that I really love.
Thank you, Melody, for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to check out the fresh new M.E. x My Melody collection at her store in Fairfax, Los Angeles and online a melodyehsani.com. The collection is also coming to Sanrio.com later this month. And don’t forget to follow Melody Ehsani on Instagram and Twitter!