We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Soto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melissa, why did you pursue a creative career?
Ever since I was a kid I always love drawing, painting, playing with clay. I think my mom being a painter herself influenced me into loving art, museums and creativity in general. As I grew older I found that fashion interested me from sociological stand point as well as an artistic one and that’s how I decided that I was going to pursue a career in Fashion Design. At the time I had a more naive vision of fashion maybe haha but I thought that what one would wear would be like a second skin almost, like a true representation of who we were. With time I started adding my passion for drawing to my fashion designs and incorporating more illustration and textile design. Fast forward all these years my career is the perfect combination of fashion and visual art.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What get’s me more excited is being able to work with brands that have so much recognition because it allows my designs to reach more people. When I am out at an event or even on the street and see someone wearing a design I’ve made it fills me with joy and it reminds me why I do what I do. At the end of the day I like making people feel good through what their wearing.

I think that what I do is kind of niche and there is not so many people that combine fashion design and visual art to create garments that tell a story. When I start designing a graphic tee I not only have to think about the t-shirt itself, but how is that body going to interact with the art work, what wash will it have, how soft is the fabric going to be, what color, etc. So you really have to have a 360 view of the garment and I think that is something you learn through the years. Then of course you also have to think of the marketing side of it, who am I selling this piece to? Will it resonate with my client’s audience? And this is also key because one of the most important things in what I do is being able to detach yourself from the piece, because your designing for an array of different people, that like different things. I’ve learned that I dont necessarily have to design something I’d wear for the design to be successful.

I would say the hardest thing for me over the years was trusting my own vision and skills but I’ve learned to be more confident and trust my intuition more. If you love what you do and you trust yourself and the work you do, you’ll will succeed no doubt about it. It’s all about minsdet.

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.
If someone came to visit me in LA I would take them to:

Brunch at Fred 62
Drinks at Cafe Stella or the Black Cat
Coffee at Maru
Lake Hollywood Park for a picnic and views
Hiking at Griffith Park
The Broad for some art + walk through the arts district in DTLA
aaand dancing at The Echo “Funky Sole” (when it opens back again)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think my career took a huge turn when I started changing my mindset about how I conducted myself in business, in life, in relationships. One of those life changing books for me is “Ask and it is given” by Abraham Hicks. The teachings of Abraham have most definitely helped me get where I am today. Of course I would also want to dedicate this shoutout to my family and friends who’ve always supported me and help me out along the way.

Image Credits
My image: @seccif Work images: Free People & Anthropologie

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