Designer of The Week: Dana-Maxx Pomerantz

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I took one look Dana-Maxx‘s Fall designs and immediately decided that I had to feature them on YOU ARE WHO YOU WEAR. The designs are just striking, fierce and flirty and if you are anything like me you are already looking for inspiration for your Fall 2009 wardrobe. I recommend that you take a look at Ms. Maxx’s designs for just that.

I was immediately impressed with Ms. Maxx’s use of bold colors and feminine features (such as the ruffled bottom skirts) because that makes the designs feel and look edgy while also maintaining a feminine touch to them. I couldn’t help but find Dana-Maxx’s designs to be incredibly chic with a little mix of rock and roll and that is something that is completely in style this season (hello, Taylor Momsen!). However, it is even more impressive that Dana-Maxx designs are all created in the United States by fabrics that are imported from Italy and/or France. Dana-Maxx feels that designing her collections here in the U.S. allows for more control and better timing of products and I was so happy to hear that.

Dana-Maxx is no stranger to the world of Fashion Design. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, became an intern for Betsey Johnson and later worked for Marc Jacobs until she decided to create her own collection in 2007.  Her designs clearly show that she is no ordinary rookie and with celebrities such as Jaslene Gonzalez, Alexandra Alexis and  Janell Snowden all wearing her designs I expect you will see more of this newcomer.

Take a look at my favorite looks from Dana-Maxx’s Fall 2009 Collection and my interview of Dana-Maxx herself below:

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America’s Next Top Model Winner Whitney Thompson wearing Dana-Maxx

The collection is available from sizes 2-10 and petite and large. Find a store that carries The Dana-Maxx Collection near you here and take a look at my interview of Dana-Maxx herself below.

10 Questions for Dana-Maxx Pomerantz

1. You launched your own collection for the first time in 2007. Was that nerve-wracking or did you feel comfortable after having worked under the wing of great designers such as Betsey Johnson & Marc Jacobs?

DM: I honestly didn’t even think about how scary having my own business would be!  I felt the timing was right, made a careful decision, and dove right in.  I was very fortunate to have been able to hone my skills at 2 incredible fashion houses.  At Betsey Johnson, I had the opportunity to work with Betsey herself, one-on-one, and it was amazing.   I learned so much from both companies about properly running a business, treating others with respect, hard work, dedication, creativity, and humility.

2. How would you describe your collection and what are the inspirations behind them?

DM: Each season, my collections are a personal reflection of where I am in my life.  Everything and anything inspires me and the creative process is like healthy dose of fun therapy!  For example, Fall/Winter 2009 was inspired by love gained and love lost and the struggles we face in this economy.  The collection is moody and a bit edgy.  It’s very different than the Spring/Summer 2009 collection (which is in stores now).  At that time, I just met my boyfriend and I felt very child-like and playful.  The collection was created around chic Parisian candy shoppes and it’s very colorful and whimsical.The line is flirty, chic, and sophisticated with detailing that makes each piece special.  The entire line is proudly produced in the USA at a reasonable price.  Women want superb quality and styling- without the $1,000 price tag- which is why they like Dana-Maxx.

3. When did your interest for Fashion spark? In high school or even earlier?

DM: Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a fashion designer.  I use to have a pretend store setup in my bedroom.  My customers were my stuffed animals and I would sit and sketch clothing for them and take orders.  Who knew that is exactly what I would be doing 20 years later!  Fashion was always in my blood- I would sleep it, eat it, and dream it.  I could not wait to make that dream a reality one day.

4. Your collection has been viewed on one runway in May of 2009. Can you please describe what creating a collection for a Runway feels like? Are you nervous about so many individuals judging your designs or are you comfortable with that?

DM:Creating a collection for the runway is pretty similar to creating a collection in general.  I try not to think about who will be there and what people may think.  It’s important to stay true to yourself and believe in your product because there are always going to be people who try and stop you from succeeding.  We recently did our very first runway show at Greenhouse in May and it was a success!  I worked super hard and showed 2 collections- Summer and Fall/Winter 2009.  People were amazed!!  Being a newer designer, I always try and work ahead of schedule.

5. Your collections are created here in The United States. That is becoming very rare since most clothing is now created in countries such as China. Why did you decide to keep your creations within The United States?

DM: I was born and raised in the USA and I am very proud of the country I’m from.  The workmanship is amazing here and I love having hands on control with everything.  I attend every fitting and so I know exactly what’s going on.  Also, since everything is made in the heart of the fashion district, the turn around time is so fast- in this economy buyers and customers are placing last minute orders, so it’s great to know they can place an order and receive their goods within 2-3 weeks!

6. Where did you grow up? Who influenced you? And who suggested that you pursue a career in Fashion?

DM: I was born in NYC and then my family moved to NJ.  I always knew I wanted to go into fashion and I am lucky to have a very supportive family.  I took fashion courses in high school and graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology.  My family is very influential; I use to watch my grandmother and how she dressed.  She was always so beautifully put together and she looked like a movie star!  I credit my mom for her sense of strength and faith in me and my dad for his sense of determination and his ability to overcome failure in his life.  What drives me to succeed is the motivation to want to be able to give back to my parents one day for all they have ever given to me.

7. You state in your online biography that you got coffee and made photocopies during your time at Betsey Johnson when you also got the opportunity to redesign a skirt with Ms. Johnson herself. Do you feel “starting from the bottom” taught you character and gave you critical skills that you now use in your work today? Did Ms. Johnson or Marc Jacobs influence you as a designer and/or on a personal level in any way?

DM: Yes!!  Starting from the bottom and working to get to the top is so important in life.  It teaches you humility, character, and tests your strength.  I didn’t know anyone in the industry when I first started, but I always knew that if I wanted to be successful one day, I would have to work very hard and learn from the best.  My motto in life is you have to make things happen, not let them happen!  I’m always on the look out for opportunities. I never met Marc Jacobs himself, but Betsey was such an influence.  She always treated her interns with the same amount of respect as her Creative Director, she always had the ability to laugh at herself, and she made the work environment so fun.  That amount of kindness, humility, and passion was so inspirational- I knew I wanted to incorporate those exact traits into my own company one day.

8. What is your advice for individuals whom want to intern for a Fashion Designer or in the world of Fashion?

DM: Start at the bottom, dress for the job you want- not the job you have, and stay positive!!

9. What is your advice for individuals whom want to design their own collections?

DM: Have patience, persistence, and passion.  Believe in yourself and your product and expect rejection.  The only person who is going to stop you is yourself, so stay positive!!

10. When is your next Runway show? Where will it be held and does one need to purchase tickets?

DM: We have a bunch of events coming up!  We are planning a private cocktail/runway show event in the Hamptons for customers in July, a customer event at the store Glitter Girl in LA and The Housewives of California in August, and a fun customer event in NYC in September.  You can follow all updates and learn more about the events @ www.dana-maxx.com, on Twitter and Facebook.

Sources: Dana-Maxx Pomerantz

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