On why Sara Gates—another Of a Kind alum!—is an ideal collaborator.READ MORE
For Mary Meyer, it was always about the art. “Since I was in elementary school, I wanted to be an artist,” she says. “So getting into art school, I really got obsessed with just learning as much as I could. The print shop was really appealing to me. I loved all of the machines and their historical presence.”
After graduating from California College of the Arts, Mary painted 30-some hours a week, taught, waitressed, and started making her own clothes. “I was always broke, and I was always very into looking cool. I was never into fashion and wasn’t aware of designers—I didn’t know anything about anything—but I had a specific aesthetic sensibility,” she explains. When she sold her first piece—a single-seam tube top that a girl she worked with bought off her for $20—she had a sort of epiphany: “I was used to art. Art you have to sell for a certain amount of money, and only certain people buy it. People who are 22 don’t buy art. They buy clothes.”
As she grew into her design career—she did her first trade show in 2004—she got better at fusing the painting and printmaking she loved with the lines she was creating. She also began to discover important differences between being a career artist and a career designer. “As soon as you’ve done something successfully in fine art, you’re taught or driven to change. It’s like with exercise—you have to keep switching it up, or you plateau. But with fashion, you really have to have a thread that you’re pulling people along with,” Mary reflects. Just as she was once fully committed to her artwork, she’s now dedicated solely to her design. “People used to say to me, ‘Are you still painting on the side?’” she says. “I’m designing clothing and running a business. I don’t do anything on the side.” —erica
BEHIND THE SCENES
Fabrics from India plus designs from Brooklyn.
Get the scoop from the designer/shop owner herself.
The Brooklyn designer does not like to talk about the printing process—if only because she has to use the word discharge.READ MORE
Mary Meyer’s after-school theater program, Step Right Up, has her spending a lot of time thinking about zombie love stories.READ MORE
The Brooklyn designer’s vibe is rooted in her childhood—which included Hollywood wrap parties at Penny Marshall’s place and visits to the Chelsea Hotel.READ MORE