For many, personal expression is the best way to treat fashion as self-care. Mark E. Menzie, a New York-based fashion designer, not only believes in this himself but he also offers that expression to young girls of color. Mark is the creative director and designer for Menzie by Design, a brand of Black-oriented and age-appropriate clothing for young girls. Mark has accomplished so many things during his time in the fashion industry and is humbled by his work. He said, “What makes me passionate about it is getting up every morning to do what I love.” Mark has dedicated his life to sharing his love for self-expression with Generation Z and hopes to continue to do it until his brand is known by everyone. Read below to hear Mark’s story and his idea of fashion as self-care and don’t forget to check him out on Instagram: @markemenzie.
CC: Tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do?
MM: I am a New York-based, tech-savvy, girls fashion designer skilled in branding, digital marketing, and styling. I’ve directed and assisted on various photoshoots for brands and companies such as Armani, LVMH, and Vogue. I also serve as creative director and designer for a girls fashion line I started called Menzie by Design. This month mark’s our two-year anniversary! You can view the collection on www.markemenzie.com/shop All U.S. orders get free shipping!
CC: What are some of your greatest accomplishments in your work?
MM: Some of my greatest accomplishments in my work are booking my first celebrity job in 2017; Franky Valley and The Four Seasons - as a wardrobe stylist. I’ve always loved the music that he created for the iconic film, Grease. Working with Vogue [China] magazine on an editorial shoot in 2016 for the second time was also a great accomplishment and very rewarding. The first time was the September issue in 2015. Lastly, doing a custom order for a girl’s birthday party was really fun. It was a high, low, ombre tulle skirt with a train. Really elaborate and very cute.
CC: What do you love most about your work and the fashion industry? What makes you passionate about it?
MM: What I love most about my work and the fashion industry is that I get to do what I love every day. It can range from sketching the next collection and choosing fabrics to casting models for photoshoots or even managing the website www.markemenzie.com. I’m just thankful that the fashion industry is where I am because that’s exactly where I’ve always wanted to be. What makes me passionate about it is getting up every morning to do what I love.
CC: Tell me a bit about Menzie by Design. How did you get started with the brand and what are your goals for the future of the brand?
MM: After noticing a void in the market for age-appropriate clothing and Black-oriented fashion news that really spoke to Millennials as well as the Generation Z audience, Menzie by Design was created. We provide dresses for her first date as well as jeans to wear on the last day of school. Turn to us to keep your closet stocked with cool clothes and awesome accessories that express your individual style. That is what makes Menzie by Design #MadeByMeJustForYou. My goals for the future of the brand are to have it be so culturally relevant that I can overhear girls talking about it on the street or better yet, wearing it everywhere!
CC: What does Menzie by Design offer the Gen Z audience?
MM: What Menzie by Design offers the Gen Z audience is a magic portal into a world where clothes are cute and times, but still make you feel like that princess that you are. I design a lot of dresses and offer education in a way that encourages Gen Z to ask questions and shift the cultural narrative in a way that is empowering. If you want to be treated like a princess, then just dress like one. And who can deny the power of a smart girl?
CC: How did you find out about The Creative Cookie? How long have you been partnering/working with Lesley?
MM: I found out about The Creative Cookie through Instagram. I’ve always been a fan of the books they produce on fashion design and recently shared it with my niece who is a creative type herself. It’s a great way to share the arts, design, and fashion with a younger audience. I’ve also talked with Lesley in passing and liked her ideas as well as point of view.
CC: What is your idea of “fashion as self-care” and why?
MM: My idea of “fashion as self-care” is really holistic because for me it begins with getting dressed. By expressing myself through fashion and showing the world that this is who I truly am, my confidence, peace of mind, and overall well-being are brought full circle. All because I chose to wear something that makes me happy or that I think might bring a smile to someone’s face.