Erin Magee is the founder and designer behind women’s streetwear line MadeMe. Since the release of its first line in fall 2007, MadeMe has gone from a New York incarnation to a global force, landing in the pages of the New York Post, Nylon and Trace, not to mention, collabos with artists like Alicia Keys. We caught up with the unstoppable missile that is Erin Magee to hit her up with a few questions on her inspirations, the collection and what’s next.
In your biography, you talk about filling a void in women’s streetwear. What do you see as being the void and how does your line fill that void?
Erin Magee: I have always worn “streetwear” and a lot of the time, wore men’s stuff. When I started MadeMe, there were only a few women’s streetwear brands out there. The ones that did exist didn’t make complete collections. They mainly made Ts and hoodies, which was cool, but I wanted to take it to the next level. My whole premise was to provide girls with top to bottom selection. I wanted to make a brand that embodied an entire lifestyle, so out came MadeMe.
What inspired you to start MadeMe?
EM: I was just going through a really shitty time in my life. I was really bored professionally and personally, so instead of sitting around working for other people all the time and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do something. Since then, my life has completely changed direction, for the better of course! I have met so many dope people through my brand, learned so much and experienced even more. It’s challenging, but maybe that’s what I was missing.
EM: The brand says everything about me. Its everything I like, I wear, I want to wear. It’s just an expression of me. It’s how I see fashion and the world.
What is your design process and how important is it?
EM: It’s really important! But it happens to be the part of the business I spend the least amount of time on. Running a business is the most time consuming and essential part to making this work. I am constantly collecting references and inspiration, so when it comes time to design, it flows really easily.
I read on Riottt.com that you are a big fan of Madonna‘s. Does her persona have any influence on your MadeMe collection? Do you have a favorite track or album?
EM: “Vogue” is my favorite Madonna song. I fucking loveee it! It was really a whole movement and represented a lot to me. That song really brought gay dance culture to the mainstream. She got a lot of shit for that, but I think it was a monumental time in pop culture. My favorite Madonna album… hmmm… that’s hard. I think I am going to say Erotica. That’s the one everybody hated, but that’s my shit right there. Madonna rapping in 1992… it’s amazing. And yes, Madonna finds her way into every season of MadeMe. She always will.
Any other fashion / music idols that inspire you?
EM: I love Alicia Keys. I think she’s incredibly talented. It’s rare to have someone like her in “popular” music today. As for fashion icons, of course I am really into Vivienne Westwood. I want to look like that when I am 67! She basically invented the screen-printed T-shirt, so all of us streetwear ladies owe her a lot.
How has working at Supreme influenced your own line? Are you still with Supreme, and how much time does that allow you to work on your MadeMe line?
EM: Yes, I am still working at Supreme. I do that during the day and all other waking hours, I am on the MadeMe clock. I don’t have time for much these days. I work a lot and when I am not working, I am trying to do things that inspire me to make a better collection.
EM: It’s a funny story. I have this crazy obsession with her, so it’s weird how it all worked out. I just knew some people on set and knew the stylist. They were very last minute with her wardrobe, so they gave me a call on a Friday night at 5 p.m. (the shoot started at 6 a.m. on Saturday). They wanted one of my jackets and I didn’t have any left. They all sold out! So I scrambled and got some sent down from Atmos in Harlem. We got them to Alicia in time for the shoot. She loved it and bought one from me.
EM: Yes, I am doing a T-Shirt collabo with Natalie [Albino] from Nina Sky. She writes graffiti (I don’t think anyone knows that really), but she does and she does it well. So we are dropping a T for the MadeMe holiday collection. Look out for it – it’s dope.
What sort of pieces can we look forward to seeing in fall 2008? Any chance we’ll see a men’s line?
EM: I have some really ill leather jackets coming out this fall. Don’t sleep on these. They are amazing. No men’s line in the future. I started MadeMe to make something for the ladies. I am going to stick with that for now.
What three pieces are staples in your wardrobe?
EM: T-shirts, leggings and jeans. (How boring of me, but true.)
What shoe can you not live without?
EM: I just got those silver, mesh, open-toed, three-quarter lace-up Chanel boots. (That’s a mouthful!) But they are dope!
Describe your personal style and favorite label(s) right now?
EM: Personal style: Handsome. Favorite labels: Chanel and Opening Ceremony.