We had the good fortune of connecting with Daria Mason and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daria, what principle do you value most?
I value showing up as myself authentically in whatever I do regardless of whether it fits the mold of who society wants me to be or not. Showing up as myself authentically to me means not hiding my true identity from the world & choosing to pursue my own personal goals regardless of whether the people around me have the same goals as me or not. It means choosing to wear my hair however feels best to me & not feeling obligated to wear makeup if I don’t want to. It means wearing an outfit because I think it’s cute; not because it’s currently trendy. It means me going after what I desire. I’m all about feeling comfortable in my own skin & I’ve never really been afraid to stand out. I’m also confident in my fashion sense and appearance for the most part.
When I was in high school, I learned how to sew & decided that I was going to pursue a career in fashion. My high school was academically rigorous & promoted going to the top colleges. More traditional job paths were encouraged & aside from theater, there weren’t many creative/ arts classes. I didn’t know anyone who was as serious about a career in fashion as me in high school & there were very few resources, but I chose to work towards my dream career anyway. I chose to put myself out there even though I had not seen any of my peers do it. With time, I eventually met people along the way who had similar career goals as I did. So long story short, I believe that if you live your life based on your personal decisions & beliefs; based on who you truly are, you will not only be more fulfilled at the end of the day, but you will eventually run into others who are doing similar things or who have similar goals/ beliefs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My brand is called DM Collections and my goal is to empower, uplift, and inspire those who wear my clothes. I specialize in custom fit apparel for the individual and I design mostly high end womens apparel. My clothing is often described as couture and runway ready. I like to use a lot of detail in my designs & I value authenticity in my pieces as well. If I’ve seen something be made too many times, I don’t have the desire to make it. I feel like what’s the point of making it when it’s already out there. What is going to make the customer shop my brand over somebody else’s? I want to create something that I haven’t seen before, but will also appeal to my audience. I want to put my own spin on fashion and push the boundaries.
I am most proud of the several successful fashion shows I’ve done, the collections I’ve made, & the YouTube DIYs I’ve done. In addition to that, I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to design for two music videos, have my work published in three local magazines, & been interviewed for Roku TV (coming out soon). I also worked for 3 years as an after school teacher where I taught fashion classes for kids. I’m proud that I’ve had the opportunity to share my knowledge with them & those around me.
Though I’m not where I want to be in my career yet, I have faced some challenges. I am currently a full time college student & do not have a car so just simply getting around to do my work is a challenge on its own. In addition to that, marketing, budgeting, pricing my garments, are also some challenges I face.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Day 1: My best friend is into fashion like me so I would take her to Rodeo Drive to check out all the designer stores followed by lunch at El Cartel burrito spot.
Day 2: A beach day in Santa Monica. We’d go to Santa Monica Pier, hit third street promenade, and have Mercado for lunch. If she’s up for it, I know this bar called Brennan’s in Marina Del Ray that we could go to that night.
Day 3: Beach and hiking day in Palos Verdes. I recommend this place to so many people. A lot of people know about Malibu, but don’t even know that Palos Verdes even exists. In PV, you get to take a nice scenic drive down PCH (in the opposite direction of Malibu) & you get to see the ocean from high up. I would go on a good hike & then hit Abolone Cove Beach out there. There’s so much to explore & it’s beautiful. Perfect for pictures. We would do a little impromptu photoshoot out there for sure. After that, we would go to Captain Kidds for a seafood lunch & grab some Handels ice cream on the way back.
Day 4: It’s time to take a little break from the beach and do a little more shopping. I would take my best friend to Melrose where we’d explore all the little stores out there & then go eat at Urth Cafe in Beverly Hills.
Day 5: Let’s go to Malibu! I would take my best friend for a drive down PCH & check out El Matador Beach. On the way back, we could grab a quick bite from Tito’s Tacos in Culver City. At night, we could go to this hidden bar/ club spot known as the Blind Barber in Culver City. Barber by day, club by night.
Day 6: My best friend can’t leave LA without going to Venice Beach. I’m honestly not a huge fan of Venice, but it’s a major tourist spot & I’d owe it to her to take her there if she wants to go. Plus I know this cool bar called the Venice Whaler that we could sip margarita at after.
Day 7: Fabric shopping in Downtown LA. I’d give my best friend a glimpse of my world as a designer. We could check out some fabrics together, go explore things to do in Downtown LA, & then grab a quick bite from this place called Little Wong Kung in Little Tokyo.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout-out to Precious Castillo & Zana Messia for all that they’ve done for me & my career!
Linkedin: Daria Mason
Facebook: DM Collections
Youtube: Daria the designer or Daria Mason