Designer Meghan Hughes It’s a breath of fresh air when young talent shows so much dedication and breadth. We met Meghan Hughes back in 2013 as a recent Lasell college grad. The could-be model was one of our original twelve designers with a country-inspired collection that spoke to the wanna-be cowgirls in all of us. For her latest collection, Meghan channels her inner Barbarella for a fierce ‘60s-reinvented bombshell look. The line reinforces her key goals as a designer – to inject whimsy and fun into strong wearable and well-made designs. We catch up with Meghan to get the scoop on her design process and American Dreams.

How and why did you start designing?

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my great-aunt, who lived downstairs. I would help her do her makeup and dress up in all her vintage clothes and jewelry. This engrained in me a love for fashion and I learned to appreciate and recognize well-made clothing. I explored many other hobbies – music, dance, art, sports – but I quickly realized fashion was the thing I was most passionate about. I ended up switching colleges to go to design school and it was the best decision I could have made!

What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?

Definitely finding ways to get my name out there. It’s hard to invest so much of yourself into creating pieces and completing collections, and then trying to find ways to get people to see the product.

What do you think about fashion today?

I definitely see a lot more creativity and innovation in the fashion industry, especially with technology. I can only imagine all the unique ways technology will impact the industry in the near future. However, I do think fashion is missing some excitement. Whenever I watch a red carpet or flip through a magazine, celebrities seem to be playing it safe with their style. I’m waiting for the next Punky Brewster to show up!

What is your fashion philosophy?

Fashion should be bold, unique, well-made with integrity, and make the wearer feel confident.

What inspired this line?

This line was definitely a struggle at the beginning – I had been brainstorming and searching for inspiration for a while and I couldn’t seem to make any progress. I had been watching DVDs of the TV show American Dreams, and I became influenced by its 1960s setting. The ‘60s have always been one of my favorite decades, especially for fashion, so I ended up combining some of the fun ‘60s trends with modern details and a little of my country-western aesthetic.

Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?

I’m usually more inspired by people than I am by places or things. When I make a garment I always have a picture in my mind of the woman who is wearing it, from what she looks like to her hobbies and interests. Sometimes I’m inspired by a real person and sometimes I make them up. For this collection, I was going for a Priscilla Presley or Nancy Sinatra vibe – fun, bold, colorful, and a little over-the-top.

Any tips and tricks of the trade?

Invest as much as you can afford. Select good fabrics (and hold out until you find the right one), find a photographer that takes great photos and also understands your vision, hire a model that not only looks the part, but also captures the spirit of your customer and inspiration. Always put your best foot forward and never settle!

Be the Barbarella you’ve always wanted and follow Meghan Hughes for the launch of her first collection.