There is a movement emerging that you may not be aware of… You may not be apart of, but the movement exists. Partaking in the creation of said movement are a few creative and stylish individuals. A stir has formed around one particular taste-maker. The evolution of her personal style and individuality has set her apart. There is an organic sentiment upon engaging with this Brooklyn native—she is what New York was in the late 1970s (think: breakdancing, sportswear, and authentic mens street style).
Mellany Sanchez grew up in Brooklyn, New York with her father being her biggest style icon. His day-to-day ensembles of Champion hoodies and Nike sneakers were classic for a Puerto Rican male in those days. Mellany’s mother had a different approach to fashion, having studied at FIT. She delighted in thrifting at small shops in their Hasidic neighborhood. Provided, designer names were apart of Mellany’s wardrobe growing up, but never at a costly price. (Which speaks to the chic style of Mellany’s mother.)
High school for Mellany presented a challenge. Her distinctive style was not accepted amongst her female peers. When you attend a school with girls who wore body con attire for attention, but were influenced by a father who dressed along the lines of urban street style, “fitting in” would not be an option. Constantly criticized for not following trends, being told “No boys are gonna like you,” Mellany quickly realized she needed to progress from that course.
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Supporting her creative style began at sportswear stores like David Z, wearing Tek leggings with sneakers and a leather jacket. With each job her look emerged implementing key items into her wardrobe. Denim shirts from American brands like J.Crew were included. Mellany’s style was an ongoing work-in-progress as was her career. She has worked hard to pave the way for herself in the fashion industry. Mellany is now working with Kith NYC (one of the biggest names in streetwear) on Creative Content. Her role is to make sure Kith is evolving in the right direction.
Sitting in Brooklyn bar Soft Spot with Mellany, ironically listening to 2pac “All Eyez On Me,” we began dissecting the roles of female celebrities—roles that are defined by their sexuality and relationships with men. Considering Mellany’s femininity was questioned as a result of her personal style, when these women begin to embrace the tomboy aesthetic for their boyfriends, it poses a problem. “Your man friend should not dress you and vice versa.” The look then becomes a fad and dilutes its originality and authenticity. For Mellany the authenticity lies within the past. The late 1990s show Seinfeld encouraged her style, “Jerry was a sneaker collector and Elaine always wore oversized clothes and jackets. It was very New York.”
Wrapping up the interview, Mellany let me in on her look for spring. “Jennifer Lopez’s ‘If You Had My Love‘ video, wearing off white and cream but carrying black Timbs into the look. Andre Agassi, he used to be sponsored by Nike. He always showed his stomach.” Vintage images of female athletes and the Venice Beach Boardwalk will also play a role on her Spring/Summer 2013 uniform. Do expect for Mellany to season it with her own ingredients, adding into it a quality of style only she possess.