SPEAK YA CLOUT: MELODY EHSANI

Speak ya clout is a series of heart to heart conversations, exclusively found at BSTN Chronicles. From insiders of the fashion business to blazers of new trails and creative forces from other industries, topics vary for each conversation. This time, we sat down with Meldoy Ehsani, the LA-based director of the eponymous fashion label.


On the role basketball has played in her life:

As a kid, basketball was a point of connection, whether it was between my dad and I or the kids in school. Basketball was also one of the first places I looked at as a kid and felt like there could be change. When I was 10 years old, I wrote Magic Johnson a letter about why girls should be allowed into his basketball camp, which at the time was reserved for boys only.

Today, not much has changed in terms of my intentions and outlook. I think sports have the power to change the world. I think athletes have this huge platform to be influential in a way that not many others can. They defy what can be done with our bodies and make us marvel at our own physical existence. I just want to see myself and people like me represented in that arena (no pun intended, lol) from a more diverse and inclusive point of view.

Photo by Sandy Kim

On the topics and inspirations behind her Fall ’21 collection:

We have been working more on our “core” items over the last couple years.  Really perfecting something like a sweatsuit in terms of material and fit and expanding sizes. Playing with dyes and creating unique colors and stories.

In terms of the cut and sew items, there were a few different themes in here. I was inspired by Persian culture and the history of Persian rugs, as a form of currency and also as a way of story telling. Every single rug tells a story through colors, emblems, and patterns. It tells you where it’s from, who it came from – generations of stories told through handiwork is one of my biggest inspirations in general.

We also incorporated symbols of transformation like the butterfly. We’re in a time where we are waking up to all the junk that we have inherited from history and we have an opportunity to transform it. The butterfly reminds me of this.  

On why the community and actually making a positive contribution to it is so important for her and her label:

It has never been a strategy for us, it’s just one of the pillars on which we stand: Bringing people together. When I opened my store, I wanted it to be a community space. In terms of giving back, anyone can cut a check. However, I think I’m more interested in not just doing that, but also getting involved, forging friendships, and bringing different communities together so they have awareness of one another. 

On walking down the aisle with her spouse wearing a pair of Air Jordan Is that she designed:

Not gonna lie, it was pretty epic!

On how the balance between formal training and first-hand experience has impacted her personal career:

I’ll start with saying, I’m so envious of people who have had formal training. I wish I had the foresight or courage to know that this is what I wanted to do when I was in school. However, I went with the much “safer” route of law school. When I first started designing, the imposter syndrome was coming in hard because I didn’t have the formal training.

In hindsight, after years of being in the business and meeting so many people, I’m actually happy I was never formally trained. When I first started, I was free of the “rules” or the things that you learn in school. I got to just use my life and experience and intuition to simply create with more freedom.

Of course, we couldn’t let Melody go without getting her take on the current season of her beloved Los Angeles Lakers:

It’s hard to tell if they’re going to go all the way. If the team stays healthy, I think we have a really good shot! We haven’t even had a chance to see Talen, Nunn or Ariza come off the bench yet. With each game it feels like they’re figuring out more and building on their chemistry, which I personally think is even more valuable than skill sometimes.

Overall, its surreal to see all these icons in one place. I’m savoring this moment with them and so happy about all the love they’re getting in LA, especially Carmelo! 

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