Sneakers & Ale brings you an exclusive interview all the way from Amsterdam with fashion designer, Chanelva Maclean of ANGEL & MACLEAN. Chanelva MacLean (23) won the 2010 edition of Holland’s Best Fashion Designer. Her dream to integrate her lifestyle into a fashion brand came true in 2012 establishing ANGEL&MACLEAN. With her powerful slogan: “This is who I am!” Chanelva is paving her path in the Dutch fashion industry.
Based on sophistication and forcefulness, Angel represents the female designs of ANGEL&MACLEAN. Confidence, strength and level-headed however are components of MACLEAN, the male designs by ANGEL&MACLEAN. ANGEL&MACLEAN is not just a brand, it is a lifestyle, motivating and building on people’s identity: “This is who I am!”
ANGEL&MACLEAN shows pride in her designs and so do all individuals wearing ANGEL&MACLEAN; it represents youth, confidence, positivity and creative spirit. So, read on as were confident youll enjoy the shimmering outlook of this talented young designer on the rise!
Where do you get your inspiration when piecing together new designs?
My inspiration I get from everyday life. It’s “thrown towards me” from everywhere. That’s how it feels. From people telling me their stories, reading books, living in nature, scrolling through magazines, feeling the music and being on online platforms.
Are your designs more conceptual or literal interpretations?
ANGEL&MACLEAN is a conceptual brand. I get my inspiration mainly from people and life! Each collection within ANGEL&MACLEAN is entirely conceived with the inspiration I have gained along the way I have my own views and outlook on life and this is represented in my entire collection.
Please share some of those views with us
One of my most important views of life is to live positiveness! And be happy in life, if possible every day. Its just true that when you do things with a smile on your face you will feel it on your deepest inside. The other way around, when you feel happiness inside your body will bring a smile on your face. Believe me: people will notice! And just give it a serious try: they will start feeling happy as well. Therefore my collection radiates positivity. Another outlook of mine is Always to move in life – its just good to live through some setbacks. Once you got through a tough period it makes you feel stronger and builds up your confidence just moving into another episode of your life. It will go easier every step on the way! Being straight is another true believe of mine. People know who you are by being basicly transparant and open. Simple wear fits to this believe.
Describe the moment when you realized Fashion Design was your calling…
On the graphic lyceum I became a draftswoman addict. I drew about garments and mannequins all the time. I found this ridiculously fun to do! On the way I found out I was really talented and decided to start studying Fashion & Development. I combined drawing with designing. On my 18th I organized my first fashion show! Another little story of my life was at school when I was only 8 years old, I sold my very first drawing! It was a cat made of ecoline and I showed it on a mini exposition. One woman passed by, stopped, didn’t stop looking at the drawing. Then she said: “I have to have this painting!” She bought it! My very first earned money! So proud I was! Still can feel that energetic moment when I think of it again.
Did you ever doubt yourself along the way?
Certainly. There were only very few people who believed in my talent as a designer, they liked my talent as of being a drafstwoman. But that seemed to be it. I knew there was more! So I had to prove myself all these years and mainly push myself in continuing. In 2010 I participated in Hollands best fashion designers, a Dutch Television contest program for promising designers. This program gave two designers –working as a team- the chance of their life. The winner was allowed to develop a sub collection for the sports brand of Björn Borg. This 2010 TV program was won by…ME. I made a statement and finally had my break through as a successful designer.
How do you motivate yourself to stay inspired?
People and life inspire me every day! I make the most of the day, every day. I’m motivated by lots of things, this can be by reading a book, being aware of the latest news and being surrounded by motivated and nice people. For me this plays a major important role in my process of inspiration.
I’ve noticed a few celebrities wearing your brand both in the US and abroad, please share them with our audience…
Thats right! For example famous soul star Anthony Hamilton has an ANGEL&MACLEAN t-shirt as well as the R&B singer Marques Houston. I felt so gracious being able to meet the two artists in Amsterdam. Before and after their concerts we met and I was able to hand over a piece of my t-shirt collection. Anthony Hamilton was so excited he spontaneously started wearing the shirt. Awesome!
What is your proudest accomplishment this far since establishing your brand?
After a difficult startup with a business partner I became the owner of Angel&Maclean in June 2012. My re-launch in July 2012 was done with a big fashion show during Fashion Week downtown in AMSTERDAM at the very popular lounge bar Little Buddha. My fashion show was sold out and for me this was the kickoff of a new beginning. Now 10 months later I made huge steps in branding my companies name; I promiss you Ill come up with great new stuff later this year!
Would you mind elaborating on the meanings behind ANGEL&MACLEAN?
I dreamed for years of my own fashion line. Not just another fashion line but one that is based on the individual. A brand that makes people aware of their identity. The future of mankind is mainly about how you drop yourself into society. And how you as a person can add value to society. ANGEL&MACLEAN likes contributing to the future and will inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals. ANGEL&MACLEAN are two main characters that are central to the brand. Based on sophistication and forcefulness, Angel represents the female designs. Confidence, strength and level-headed however are components of MACLEAN, the male designs. ANGEL&MACLEAN consists largely of a unisex collection. It makes no further explicite distinction between sexes and differences. The proposition “THIS IS WHO I AM” is a significant addition to my brand. ANGEL&MACLEAN considers it important that the customer feels good in its products and that he/she wants to be seen! Therefore it adds value to a lifestyle building on personal identity.
Who is ANGEL&MACLEAN’s target audience?
ANGEL&MACLEAN is for EVERYONE, but focuses primarily on the ages of 20-35. And besides that there is a youngster collection for kids from 1-10. Building identity starts at a young age!
Do you ever plan on opening a store here in the US?
I certainly thought about it. ANGEL&MACLEAN is an online lifestyle platform that focuses on the future! But First things First: world wide online shipping this year! And who knows in the future possibly my own shop, it would be a dream come true for ANGEL&MACLEAN!
Who are some of your favorite designers?
I admire many designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, for its versatility, creativity and how he managed three fashion houses is incredible. When I look at a designer of the 21st century, I think definitely about: Riccardo Tisci (creative designer: Givenchy) He has revived the brand and translated high fashion into wearable, accessible fashion. I think this is incredible good!
What brands/designers would we find in your closet?
In my closet you will encounter a mix of much. Im not really that brand-oriented. You will find a range from H&M to vintage, from fashionable wearing to high fashion brands like Givenchy, Lanvin or Gucci. I love mix & match! Combining my mood with clothes from different brands to give my outfit entirely my own look. That feels good!
What can we expect from ANGEL&MACLEAN, both short-term & long?
In the short term I will pave my path in the Dutch fashion industry with my ANGEL&MACLEAN powerfull slogan “This is who I AM”. I will work together with several distinctive organizations and first stick to the concept in The Netherlands. On the long term ANGEL&MACLEAN will become one of the largest online fashion platforms worldwide and the brand will have a substantial amount of stores in different continents.