Fashionista Of The Week : Designer Maneka Monette

Questions by Alyzae Ranae

1. Maneka Monette , at what age did modeling catch your interest ? 
In my younger days from the ages of 2-6 years old my parents had me participate in local beauty pageants ... it wasn’t untill I was 18 years old when I decided to pursue my own modeling career

2. Who/What created that spark and caught your interest in joining the fashion industry? 
I have always been in love with fashion. During Middle School I was heavily involved in dance & cheer. I would later turn my uniforms into what I thought were “Couture Creations” . I was drawn to the vibrant colors & sparkle of the materials used to create the uniforms & would make form-fitting pieces for myself after the cheer or dance season had ended. In 7th grade I took home economics - Still my absolute favorite course to this day! :) & that’s where i learned to use a sewing machine. While growing up , most of my clothes were  hand-me-downs given to me by my older cousins. My first creations on my sewing machine  we’re altering my hand-me-downs to fit myself properly .

3. What inspired you to create your own online store, and the pieces your store promotes ?
 I would say my biggest inspiration for being a fashion designer is being able to create garments that fit women of all shapes & sizes. Me being an XS sometimes XXS size it’s not as easy to find clothes that fit . I remember , I used to only shop at American Apparel & Charolette Russ because they carried sizes starting at XXS. My garments are made CUSTOM to fit all women how they’d desire. Most Garments are made with adjustable straps and have the option to add removable padding. I really want women to feel their BEST & the most BEAUTIFUL when wearing my creations.
4. Maneka who is your emotional support? why? 
My father.
Without him , his guidance + wisdom I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.  

5. Do you believe your fashion is up to date , vintage , from your perspective? how would you classify your look ?
I believe my fashion is Vintage Couture. A lot of my inspiration stems from the Mid 1500’s Royalty Era as you will see in my upcoming collections  

6. What celebrity today would you relate your fashion sense more towards? who in the industry do you want your career level to be like ? 
Rihanna , Definitely.
She EXUDES Classic Beauty , no doubt.
I honestly hope to achieve my own level of success & would not like to base it off any one else’s career. .. With that being said though ,  I do admire Zac Posen & the level of his career as-well as him being at such a high level at a young age , that is very inspiring. I plan to be a World Renowned Fashion Designer - A True Household Name .

7. Miss Maneka , do you ever question today’s new trends , if so which ones and how come ?
Lol UMMMM tbh sometimes i question it but never for too long. Fast Fashion Brands Trending are ...  funny i would say but nevertheless Fashion is still Art . People will wear & look however they want & I will always encourage that. STAND OUT . Be yourself , always. 

8. Has your career grown more than you expected within the last year? Good or bad? 
Well I wouldn’t say my business has grown but I , myself as a designer & business woman have grown. When i first started my online business 3 years ago I started with selling my handmade jewelry & cosmetics , then i slowly transitioned into creating garments & adding them to my store. Also , when I first started my business I was selling on 3 platforms ; Etsy , Poshmark &  my own personal website. Now I am only selling on my personal website.  So sales have been slower than usual but the content & knowledge for my brand is growing so I’m grateful & I am excited to up my sales during this summer 

9. If you could expand Maneka Monette as far as your line , would you keep it online or open your own pop up shop ? What in today’s society makes your store stand out more so than others? 
I have always dreamed of having my own store-front , multiple actually so that will be next. 

What makes my store stand out is that I offer a service AND high-quality Couture garments. The service I provide is letting women create their dream gown or outfit from start to finish with professional customer service along the way. 

10. Maneka , do you plan on expanding if so do you you plan on keeping it in the U.S or worldwide ? 

11. What is the story behind Maneka Monette and your store , what led to the opening ?
Oh my , the story ... my story ...
 I don’t think we have enough time for that today but check back! Lol 
—- Just to sum it up though , what lead to me finally pursuing my dreams & launching my online store was fear. Fear was no more. I  figured I had nothing to loose ... nothing to loose at all . Funds , I would say was the only thing  holding me back .. . or so I thought. 
I started my business with only  $125 . I made it work.

12. What’s the boldest move you’ve ever made?
Showcasing in my very FIRST fashion show while trying to find a place to live & move lmao. Talk about stressful , sometimes doubtful but ooooohhh soooo worth it lol. Everything literally came together , moving situation & production for the show just 2 days before the show ... wow wow wow .

13. What makes you Regal?
I made it out the mud.
I am here.
I am ME.

14. Where can people find your collection online and on The Runway? 
Shop my online store at :
@maneka.monette on Instagram 

Come out & see 
Maneka Monett√©’s Fall/Winter 2019
Couture Showcase - 
Tickets are $20 & will be sold at the door ! Follow @unhushedfoundation on Instagram for more info


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