It’s Here! Melody Miller’s newest collection for Cotton + Steel, Playful, has arrived and we are beyond excited! I love Melody Miller’s vintage style and brilliant use of bright colors and unique prints. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pick at Melody’s creative mind and learn about her journey as designer. Take a look at our interview to find out Melody’s background story and inspiration behind her stunning creations.
Q: What got you interested in becoming a designer?
A: I used to have an Etsy shop where I sold small sewn goods, like tooth cushions. They got some nice media attention, and sold pretty well. So well, if fact, that I actually got a herniated disc from all the sewing! Quick change of plans: I began brainstorming, and though I might like to design a line of baby bedding (that was manufactured elsewhere) and though the most authentic way to do it was to use fabric that I designed. After looking into fabric printing options and realizing the expense involved, I decided to shop my portfolio around Quilt Market to see if I could find someone else to print my fabric. None of the American companies went for my designs, but I got a call back from Kokka two weeks later.
Q: How many collections have you designed?
A: Six for Kokka, two for Cotton + Steel that have been introduced, and several more that are upcoming 🙂
Q: What would you consider your style to be with the fabrics you have created?
A: In a nutshell: vintage modern. I also have lots of influences from artists on the edge of the pop art movement like Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Jasper Johns.
Q: Is there an overarching theme with your different collections?
A: There’s not a specific theme, but i do lean heavily on fashion and design influences from the 1960’s and 70’s. I love vintage objects, and color, and pushing the boundaries of our printing techniques.
Q: How do you find inspiration for your next collection?
A: Often by shopping in flea markets, antique stores, and estate sales.
Q: What was your inspiration for your current collection and or your previous collection?
A: My inspiration for my first Cotton+Steel collection, Mustang, was the fact that I had tried something very scary in my career, and succeeded. I was trying to bridge the gap between my former life with Kokka, and my future with Cotton+Steel. I included references to my old fabrics, but tried lots of new things because I was able to print on quilting cotton for the first time. My inspiration for my second collection, Playful, is vintage games and toys.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a designer?
A: For me, helping to run Cotton+Steel. I have a strong creative vision that I get to exercise both in my own artwork, and as I do my work as a creative director of Cotton+Steel. I love working and collaborating with the other designers. I’m also business-minded, and get to flex my strategic thinking and problem solving muscles on a daily basis. I feel very lucky that I get to use both sides of my brain in my job 🙂