Emerging Designer To Watch Out For In 2021: Meet The Talented Menna Angharad Evans

Menna Angharad Evans is a 21-year-old designer who’s located in South Wales. She’s currently in her third and final year of studying Fashion Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Her brand “naturesthreadss” follows on from her graduate collection Gypsy Soul. As a designer, she’s heavily inspired by nature. Growing up, her childhood was spent with her horses, surrounded by the most beautiful things found in nature. She spent many days creating and exploring, making dens in the ferns, running barefoot with handmade flower crowns in her hair, and simply feeling free and happy. She has fond memories of hours spent exploring the countryside, the feeling of freedom and connection to nature flows naturally within her. This way of living taught her to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, teaching her to make use of what she has around her and to source naturally and sustainably. Connecting her childhood to that of the Romany Gypsy’s, her collection Gypsy Soul is based around the life of the Romany Gypsy’s, taking inspiration from their free-spirited souls and love for nature. Their freedom to travel, explore new places, and live a slower pace of life truly resonated within her. Inspired by the Gypsy way of ‘making something from nothing’, She has sourced materials she free-spirited to create unique designs. She simply sees the beauty in sustainability, therefore her designs within her collection are focused upon giving discarded items a new purpose. Re-using found objects repeatedly through numerous textile techniques. Her designs are very textile-based, using traditional techniques such as macrame, crochet, natural dyeing, and felting to create beautifully handcrafted designs. The main focus of her collection is to create little to no waste through her design processes, textile-based garments are made with great care and precision. Her fabrics are primarily up-cycled, sourced from pre-owned cotton linen, giving her garment a free-flowing, relaxed silhouette. Natural dyes add another element to her cloth using the technique of rusting to add another layer of texture and achieving a unique print.

Sassy & Co recently caught up with Menna and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

Growing up I was always encouraged to be creative, my mum is very creative herself so inspired me to have a go at lots of different arts and crafts. My attic has always been “mum’s sewing room” and it is full to the brim with fabrics, trims, and everything I ever wanted, giving me the freedom to make anything. I have fond memories of using scraps of fabric, cutting them up & tying them around myself, making different dresses for myself to walk up and down the room as if it was my catwalk. I will always remember my mum telling me that art could never be wrong, nobody could ever say what I made was wrong and that I could truly make whatever I wanted. I loved that. Once I was in comprehensive, I then began to have textiles lessons, which I absolutely loved as it was a lesson that I felt really confident in because my mum had taught me to sew years prior. After school, I knew that I wanted to proceed on to something textiles-based, fashion just seemed perfect for me as I just loved working with different fabrics and textile techniques to create something beautiful.

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I like most about being a designer is the freedom I have to create whatever I want. Like my mum said, nothing I make can ever be wrong and that’s truly just beautiful.

What do you like most about being a designer?

For me, the downside to being a fashion designer would be people taking my work for granted and not noticing the time and care that goes into making my garments. My designs are very textiles-based, meaning they take an incredible amount of time to create. Often people don’t realise the time that one simple t-shirt could take to make let alone a handcrafted dress.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

Being a beginner within the fashion industry I have not yet had many major experiences. But something that stands out for me as an achievement within my fashion design journey so far would be my mini collection I created in my second year. This was the collection for me that really made me fall in love with what I do. Before then I had found it extremely difficult to find my true aesthetic, I honestly felt lost and out of place on my fashion course. But within my mini collection, I really focused on my textiles & I discovered what I loved most! This collection then went on to inspire my Graduate Collection.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The most interesting people I have met through the fashion industry would be my fellow fashion designers. I would say fashion has quite the stigma of being a clicky industry but from my experience, I have met the most genuine people within this industry through social media (Instagram). I’ve had nothing but positive support and the kindest messages about my work and I feel that it is such an inspiring industry to be a part of.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned would be to keep going. I find the process of making & designing garments can be daunting at times. I’m a perfectionist, I love adding finishing touches and finalising designs but the period of time when my work is half-finished can be very difficult. It’s sometimes hard to see past the half-finished garments in front of me and vision how it will look once finished and sometimes this can cause a lack of motivation. So, the most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far is just to keep going, even if you feel anxious about how your work looks just know that it will all work out in the end!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes!! As previously mentioned my mum is extremely creative herself, she loves seeing my work and often helps me with my fashion work, she always says she wishes she could be doing my course too!!

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I’d do anything differently. Of course, there are certain garments I look back on and think “oh my gosh what was I thinking” but once I take a step back I realise despite disliking the garment my aesthetic has most definitely developed from it initially. Everybody starts somewhere and I am very happy with where I am now so no I wouldn’t change anything.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is to be true to yourself as a designer. Make sure that your project is something that you’re truly interested in, something that really inspires you. A collection doesn’t happen overnight it’s something that you will be spending months on, so it has to be something you have a genuine interest in! Make the collection true to yourself and the experience will be much more enjoyable than doing choosing something just because you’ve seen somebody else do it.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I plan to develop my brand from my Graduate Collection and create my own sustainable business. I would like to create one-off garments as well as homeware and accessory pieces. With my brand, I’d like to collaborate with other creatives and offer classes and talks about my textile and sustainability process behind my brand. I am so excited for the future and am ready to take any opportunity!

In Photos: Here’s Looking Back At The 2021 Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival

The (AMFF) Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival brought together the modelling and fashion industry last March 2021 at the luxurious PIA Grand Auditorium. The magnitude of originality and fashion design excellence at this event definitely stayed with us.

Everyone walked away from the show with a new respect for the diverse cultures and their innovative designers. Each of the remaining highlights were riveting to partake in and further enhanced the AMFF experience. This event was brought to you by AMBN (The Australian Millionaires Business Network), The Millionaire Alliance, The Multicultural Business Centre, StarCentral Media Group powered by the Poperty Investors Alliance, Aland, Deicorp, Villoni Boutique, Lepou, Lux Modelling & Fashion Academy, International Fashion & Beauty, Model & Mode magazine, Sassy & Co magazine and The Australian Millionaire Magazine.

These were the highlights of the night: Fashion Show featuring PIR CEO Fai Peni’s collection – Lepou, Villoni Boutique, Leatheron, Visage Boutique, Belle Epoque, and The Silky Lane.

Beauty Industry’s New Frontier: How Technology Is Transforming The Beauty Industry Into A Virtual World

Digitally generated grey cubes floating against female designer with tape measure using virtual reality headset

The tech industry shows never-ending growth. Although it’s not a new concept, virtual or augmented reality has truly reached a peak in the last couple of years. It’s changing the way people interact with not only one another but the world. Previously having its main legs in the gaming world, it’s interesting to see that VR – technology is making its way into our everyday life and surprisingly, the beauty industry has hopped on this trend as well. With a focus on the beauty industry, we’ve looked at 5 reasons why the future of it is in a virtual world and discuss them below.

  1. One Location, Many Advisors

Millennials and Gen-Z are here to stay. They make up the population of the coming years and as the target audience, it has been established that they prefer taking beauty advice from their favourite socialites rather than in-store personnel. This not only gives them access to the advice they like even though they’re thousands of miles away from the advisor, but it also allows them to get advice on one product from multiple sources while never leaving the comfort of their home.

  1. Unrealistic Standards

With the standards already set, there’s no surprise that people who aren’t able to meet them will look for the easiest solution. Unless you’re a professional make-up artist, the chances of you achieving the picture-perfect look you’re going for are minimal. With so many app-based filters already available, most people simply turn to them to achieve whichever outcome it is they desire. The beauty industry isn’t a late sleeper and immediately jumped on this train to accommodate those who don’t know how to apply make-up. The ability to enhance your appearance on social media without needing any skills is very appealing, and the beauty industry keeps developing to keep up with this exciting trend.

  1. Experimentation is Fun

Another reason why the future of the beauty industry is leaning towards more advanced virtual reality experiences is because people like to experiment. Being able to try on different products without the hassle of actually applying them on and taking them off, keeps the process fun and people engaging.

  1. The “Try Before you Buy” Culture is Growing Rapidly

This mantra has become very popular amongst Millennials and Gen Z. Not being able to try something before purchasing it, makes many leave the store empty-handed.  Some beauty products can’t be made available as testers, not to even mention that tester products aren’t always in stock. A virtual beauty experience helps customers try out all available products, recreate complete looks, and order whatever product it is they like from an alternative store if one close to them doesn’t have stock. Keeping up with this demand is only possible in a virtual world.

  1. Virtual Reality is the Future

Virtual Reality is undoubtingly the future. The best reason to believe that the beauty industry will establish a future in a virtual world is simply because they’re adapting to changing times.

Although going to the store and interacting with another human being is an experience that is hard to beat, more people are leaning towards a world where they can be whoever they want to be without even getting out of bed. A virtual world offers them this opportunity and it’s only wise for the beauty industry to tag along.

Designer Spotlight: Make Way For The Talented Rozalia

Ever since she was a child, Rozalia continuously developed her passion for fashion. In her creations, you’ll be able to celebrate the beauty of nature and the wonderful architecture of your body. She feels inspired and attracted by the “modern,” but always with faith in love for traditional reasons, and the handmade embroidery, which makes your special outfit unique. She believes that women are designed to shine and be admired. But women’s sensual way of being is indeed empowered by what they wear and how they wear it. This is why she allows herself the challenge of complimenting your truly complex architecture. Some of her greatest accomplishments are NYFW, Abu Dhabi, Bratislava, Beijing(with the price for The Most Creative Designer), Paris, and she also has plans this month to open her own showroom in Timișoara, Romania, Iulius Mall Locațion.

Designer Spotlight: Make Way For The Talented Pavlina Jauss

Pavlina Jauss started designing her first collection in 2014. Her avantgardistic collections have been shown during Paris Fashion Week, since 2016. Sustainability had always a key role in their business. For this reason, they produce their collection mostly in their own studio in Hamburg, Germany. They also guarantee that all used materials are from European or Japanese suppliers. The knitwear (the only exception production-wise) is produced in Bulgaria, the country where Pavlina was born.

Pavlina has shown her collections on runways in London and Paris. They have a growing network of stockists around the world including Egypt, Italy, Russia, Georgia, and the United Kingdom.

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The March 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Steven Ozbun

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A veteran entrepreneur, music producer, and home builder, Steven Ozbun is currently the CEO of the sunglasses and apparel brand TradingLooks.com. He managed to grow his company from a team of 3 to well over 150 team members as well as expanded their product line from zero revenue to a whopping $20 million annually.

Ozbun calls his first true love to be music. As an 80’s baby, he was influenced by some of the most iconic artists of all time such as Elvis, Cher, and Prince. Because of this passion for the music industry, he established Spinindustry Entertainment which was a production company that produces his music, as well as undiscovered talents, no one has heard of yet. What’s truly unique is the vision Ozbun had for this type of music – it was a blend of house music and hip hop which is somewhere around 120 to 128 bpm repeating hip hop phrases on a house beat. Ozbun goes by the artist name of “OZ music nation.” Under this name, he has produced 20 original tracks and has released five mixes. From a passion project – Ozbun has grown his passion project into something much more.

Just recently, Ozbun founded “Continuum Residential” which is a design and build firm specializing in finding first turn historical candidate homes and re-imagining them leaving character and modern, amenities. This is all done while doing their best to use the properties’ original footprint.

Originally going to school to be an architect, the vision comes naturally for him. In the Continuum Residential portfolio are five homes in different phases of construction in Point Loma spread out across Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Plumosa Park, and Loma Portal. The properties span across architectural types mid-century modern, Tudor, Spanish, and beach bungalow – all homes are being re-imagined with hotel-like amenities and true to era modernized flair.

In addition to these brands, Ozbun also continues to provide marketing and strategic consulting services to select clients in consumer-driven industries. You can learn more information about these services via his website www.stevenozbun.com.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Steven to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about your journey to entrepreneurship?

2008 was a great year to launch a company, right? For most, absolutely not. We didn’t let this get in our way. We hit the ground running and never looked back so we were so excited about our marketing and website products and the problems they solved. I loved the industry and the people. I had a blast, I loved what I did. In about a decade we grew from a team of 3 to well over 150 team members, expanded our product line from zero revenue to $20 million recurring, annually and most of all, we were filthy rich in company culture. Our team loved their jobs and our clients loved our team, products, and successes.

Why did you start Trading Looks?

I love sunglasses, I remember once, I spent half of my paycheck on sunglasses yet they were constantly lost, broken, or borrowed indefinitely. So I decided to create a way to solve the issue of expensive sunglasses that do not last by providing fresh new pairs regularly at a low monthly fee.

Why do you think so many startups fail before reaching their full potential?

Creating something from nothing comes with a set of extremely challenging pieces and situations. I see many startups fail due to being too concerned about the immediate impact a decision has on the company rather than the long-term effects, losses, and gain that decision may be catalyzing.

What would you say is the secret to your success?

As a business owner, our number one customer is our team. Always put your team first, make sure they are valued, love what they do, and are in the right role for their success. Watching a team grow into leaders is probably the most enriching piece of entrepreneurship.

What is your definition of success?

Rich is happiness, rich is friendships, rich is love, health, and success. Success is not the title on your business card or the zeros in your bank account. Success is failing miserably, success is being broke but happy, smiling; no matter how your day is going. Success is an accomplishment, reputation and giving it your all, and being proud of who you are. Are you set up for success?

What are your future plans for your business?

More marketing. It’s exciting to grow brands in extremely different markets and industries. I have always been into real estate design and development as well as entertainment and fashion.

Designer Spotlight: : Make Way For The Talented Amiko Simonetti

Amiko Simonetti is a fashion designer with a mix of skills, including garment construction, trend research, branding, and concept strategy. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she received a BFA in Fine Arts with a Women’s Sportswear specialization. Over the past decade, she has designed a broad range of garment categories, including tops, dresses, graphic t-shirts, outerwear, and denim jackets. She’s passionate about connecting with others through her designs and feels blessed to have designed for the masses through various corporate design roles. She’s most passionate about designing clothing that’s accessible, comfortable, and fun. Her passion for design led her to create free design courses and tutorials on her website amikosimonetti.com. Her mission is to continue designing life-enhancing clothes and to make fashion design education accessible and fun.

Designer Spotlight: : Make Way For The Talented Heather Krogemann

Heather is a Colorado-based designer and owner of Alien Earth Designs. She is a fashion designer, animator, artist, and is currently finishing her master’s degree in costume design. Sewing and creating have been a part of her life since she was very young. However, she didn’t start fashion and costume design until 2010. In 2013 she created her first wearable art piece which was displayed in Hawaii Fashion Week that year. It was made entirely of recycled material. As her designs have grown through the years she has found a niche in avant-garde fashion with her line of parachute dresses. Most of her designs are one-of-a-kind or custom pieces. She always tries to make things unique and fun. Some of her proudest accomplishments have been having three parachute dresses featured in Basic Magazine as well as having designs at a style house in Los Angeles. This year she will be entering a new wearable art piece in the World of Wearable Art competition in New Zealand. Heather has many goals and accomplishments for the next five years, like working as a costume designer in Theater, TV, and Film. She also hopes to collaborate with magazines on future editorial pieces. Her love for wearable art and avant-garde will always play a part in whatever the future may hold.

Model @ms.vega4
Photographer @ericalindseyphotography
Dress @alienearthdesign

Model @rbarrieking
Photographer @mk_studios_photo
Dress  @alienearthdesign

Model @maddi.silva
Photographer @jonnycreative
Dress @alienearthdesign
Shawl @nataliafedner
Hair @cassandra_lynn_vosshair
Makeup @makeupsammy

Model @miaasanomusic
Photographer @mk_studios_photo
Dress @alienearthdesign
Violin @woodviolins

Human | @fatmatakargbo_
Hair – Creative Lead | @cassandra_lynn_vosshair
Hair – Assistant | @rebekah_loves_hair
Makeup | @makeupsammy
Designer – Dress | @alienearthdesign
Backdrop | @handpaintedbackdropsuk

Photographer @ericalindseyphotography
Models @iloveushani91 @sakinah.bby @_meggganjayyyy_
Dresses @alienearthdesign

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Madison Croft

Madison Croft is currently 19 years old and she has been modelling and acting internationally since the young age of 14. She’s a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness – a thriving small business. She loves her job as every day she gets the blessing of helping people on their journey to improving physical and mental health. Maddie has always loved the saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” and she feels she has definitely achieved this! Her ultimate goal is to have a successful career in the modelling and acting industry and she always says that she will never give up on that goal.

Towards the end of last year, Madison was crowned the first runner-up at the first-ever Australian Multicultural Fashion Awards for the year 2020. It has been a long time coming since she has been participating in pageants and modelling since the age of 14. She is currently a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness, and she is very passionate about educating people on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. She also works as a gymnastics coach, a model, and an actress.

Most people won’t know this, but at the age of 14, she was suffering from depression because of constant bullying at her school and even on social media. It was at this point that she was advised that by joining pageants, she would be able to make friends with similar interests and likes, and she would become much more confident and self-reliant – that’s the main reason why she started competing in pageants. After three years in the field, she says that she has made more friends and now possesses much more confidence in her communicative abilities.

Being a beauty queen and a model has its own perks of course. Madison enjoys having the opportunity to meet new people, encourage, empower and educate other teens on several issues, do charity work, and be an ambassador. The kicker for her is that she’s able to do all of these amazing things at the age of 16!

Of course, every upside will also have a downside as well. She does not look at them as downsides though – she prefers to look at them as lessons from which she can learn from. During her stint at pageantry, she has learned to stay true to herself, be who she wants to be, and not conform herself to the opinions of others.

Being successful in the fashion industry is tough. She has learned to be confident in her own skin and form, and not to be concerned with changing anything about herself for other people. She doesn’t focus on her looks too much these days, instead, she is more focused on her charity work and public speaking instead. She has always had her family’s support and encouragement in her foray into pageantry and she believes that her family’s support is the key reason for her tremendous success at such a young age.

Moving forward, Madison dreams of having a successful career in acting, modeling, and the fitness industry.

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Latest Photoshoot For Sassy & Co

Sassy & Co’s mission is to provide you with affordable, ethical, and sustainable clothing and accessories you can feel good about.

Fast fashion is still the worlds largest polluter shortly after the oil industry, causing mass devastation to our planet and people involved, with many local communities affected, the pain is endless.

The history and hands that are behind every item of clothing are to be respected, taken care of, and cherished. To mend rather than discard and to protect rather than trash.

When clothing is made properly, it lasts longer and is a little more expensive.

Learning to treat our clothing as an investment rather than disposable will be a major key in turning this issue around.