ASK AN EXPERT INTERVIEW: Fashion Designer Dana-Maxx!
Find out the key to being the best in the fashion industry from our style experts, including designer Dana Maxx, makeup artist, Joey Maalouf from The Rachel Zoe Project, CW’s America’s Next Top Model cohost and runway expert, Miss J Alexander, as well as Chris March, who stars in his new show Mad Fashion on Bravo! Check out more of our ASK AN EXPERT features here!
Dana-Maxx Pomerantz is the mastermind behind the advanced contemporary collection Dana-Maxx. Upon graduating from FIT, Dana-Maxx then moved on to work with two of the industry’s most coveted designers, Betsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs. After working with them, Dana-Maxx was inspired to start her own collection, where she could showcase her talents and skills as a designer. The Dana-Maxx Contemporary line was launched in 2007. Since then, Dana-Maxx and the Dana-Maxx Collection have captured the hearts of customers as well as some of the fashion industries’ top heavyweights
GLITTER: How and when were you inspired to pursue fashion?
DANA-MAXX: When I was a little girl I had a store called D-M’s World in my bedroom and I would pretend that my stuffed animals were my customers. I would design and come up with sketches, write invoices, and use my parent’s old credit cards to make purchases.
GLITTER: What was the most memorable part of attending FIT?
DANA-MAXX: The most memorable part about attending FIT was when I decided to get a tutor because I was almost failing my sewing and patternmaking classes at FIT. I worked my butt off to improve my skills, and in my senior year, I presented my collection with the hopes that I would make the senior runway show. I remember how big of deal it was to make the show and thinking that only students who didn’t have talent didn’t make the show. All of a sudden, my teacher came into the classroom after the presentation and called out 10 names, including mine. She said, “I’m sorry but you didn’t make the show.” I remember running home and crying so hard out of disbelief and thinking that I failed miserably. The next day I received my presentation grade, and I got an A- one of the only 3 A’s in the class. Then later that year I went on an interview at Betsey Johnson and the interviewer asked me, “So, what grade did you get in your senior class?” I quietly responded, “I got an A” and the interviewer promptly replied, “You’re hired.” The moral of the story is don’t let your weaknesses stop you from succeeding!
GLITTER: What was something that proved valuable that you learned there?
DANA-MAXX: I remember having a patternmaking teacher at FIT, who, for some reason, was really out to get me. One day in the middle of class, she pulled me outside and said to me, “You will never get any further in life than where you are now.” I couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. Some students may have crumbled at a teacher saying this to them, but it only made me stronger.
GLITTER: What was it like working with Betsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs?
DANA-MAXX: When I had the opportunity to work for Betsey Johnson, I was able to refine my technical and design skills, both of which serve me very well today. I also had the unique experience of learning from Betsey herself. Betsey was like a mentor to me. I got to see firsthand how wonderfully she treated her staff and how she always remained humble and free-loving amidst all the stresses of running a successful business. When I worked for Marc Jacobs, I was able to understand how a larger company conducts business, which has helped my own business sense today. I was also able to continue to refine my design and technical skills in a more precise way. Attention to detail was so important there!
GLITTER: Describe a day in the life of Dana-Maxx.
DANA-MAXX: Every day is different! I usually get to the office around 10 AM and work until about 9 PM. I have my schedule ready for that day, which consists of anything from going to fittings, meeting with my vendors, meeting with press and/or buyers etc. What I love about the industry is that there is always something to do and that my schedule is so unpredictable.
GLITTER: Can you tell us about your new collection?
DANA-MAXX: The new Spring 12 collection is inspired by the color, beauty, and architecture of Barcelona, Spain. I incorporated the bright colors of Spain – geranium, magenta, turquoise, and poppy – into the collection, along with the magnificent floral architecture displayed on many of the buildings.
GLITTER: How does architecture play a role in your designs?
DANA-MAXX: I have always been inspired by the idea of shape, from the beauty of a woman’s curves to the architecture of a building.
GLITTER: What inspires your use of color?
DANA-MAXX: I have a very vivid imagination. I dream in lots of color, so incorporating color into my collections is very natural! I also love how opposites attract. Whether it’s mixing bright pops of colors with neutrals or combining a feminine silhouette with a more masculine shape.
GLITTER: Who are some of your designer favorites?
DANA-MAXX: I admire DVF; I love Matthew Williamson’s use of color; and I am a fan of Lanvin.
GLITTER: What advice do you have for GIRLS WHO ROCK, who are aspiring to work in the design industry?
DANA-MAXX: Learn from others, whether it’s through an internship or employment, before starting your own clothing line. And don’t be afraid to go after what you want in life! No one is going to stop you from succeeding except for yourself.
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