is not your typical fashion designer; she curates an all-dresses collection of limited-edition pieces based on her hometown Atlanta, Georgia, for the sake of which she decided to give up a career in the fashionable city of Italy. Read on as Megan discusses her line and inspiration, and her big decision to leave Europe and re-launch her business in the US.
Where do you find inspiration?
Outrageous women, stories, a collection of found objects, memories, polaroids; a rainy day in the South, warmth, slower days; Italian cinema of the 60s; a visit to Arabia Mountain.
How has your degree in Industrial Design contributed to your inspiration?
I think that I approach garments as a problem solving exercise; I look at them as objects with purpose and function, as well as beauty.
Your line seems to focus mainly on dresses. Why is that?
In my world, dresses are the foundation of a woman’s wardrobe.
Silk is your favorite material to work with. Would you ever experiment with other fabrics?
I do! In fact, in my spring collection, I have used linen, cotton poplin, silk and cotton blends side-by-side with the silks I am known for. I love natural fibers that feel great, especially when they are paired with silk, like a fine wool coat with a silk lining; so luxurious! For me, it is all about the sensations.
Tell us a few words on your latest collection.
My Spring/Summer collection for 2015 is full of garments that evoke the feeling of a painter’s studio, maybe from the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 40s. There are many smock-like silhouettes in linen and canvas with a slight tomboy feel, white silk/cotton with rust stained patterns, and finally, a digital print, which was made from a photo of a painting that I commissioned by artist Stephanie Raborn.
After spending almost a decade abroad, you decided to re-launch your business in the US. Could you describe that transition?
Rough! I was in a reverse culture shock for about three years, but now that I am readjusted again to life in Atlanta, I am very happy. It has always been my home.
What is the most valuable lesson the decade you spend in the Mediterranean taught you?
Appreciation for a good quality of life, style, good food, nice wine, lots of little breaks during the day, walking, coffee.
You currently reside in Atlanta. Are there any challenges that make you wish you were based in a fashion capital?
Sure there are challenges in being a fashion designer in Atlanta. There are very few resources for our industry here, and it has required a lot of “carving out” my own niche here in order to survive. But I feel very lucky that I get to do what I want here, and I have created the space and have a support system that make it possible. I am doing my collection and my business on my own terms, which for me, is much more interesting than being part of an infrastructure that already exists somewhere else.
What are your future plans?
Future plans include a new design studio in Atlanta, a trip to New York city, branching out to retailers all over the country, tradeshows, trunk shows, LOTS of parties, and a month in Treviso, Italy, my home away from home. The usual.
Megan Huntz can be found at Henry & June in Atlanta, Nanin in Richmond, VA, and online with Les Nouvelles.
In addition to her own line, Megan designs and produces Huntz&White ties, a men’s neckwear line that she co-created with Trevor White nearly two years ago (available Henry & June, Youngblood Boutique and online at huntzandwhite.com). The production of both brands is proudly done in the Southeastern US.