We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Marie Magnan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna Marie, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Many outsiders are unaware of the harmful impact fashion can have on the environment, especially fast fashion. Fashion is the 2nd largest polluter in the world, right after the oil industry. Fast fashion retailers with excess inventory and fabrics and are just dumping them with no thought to the negative impact it has on our world. Clothing has become inexpensive, ever-changing and thus disposable to the consumer. Landfills worldwide are overflowing with these synthetic, non-biodegradable fabrics. Disposal is only one aspect of the global impact that the fashion industry has on the world – there is water pollution, gas emission, unethical labor, etc. but I wont get into all of that! At Ola Moon, we believe in quality over quantity. We make made-to-order fashions to avoid costly and wasteful inventory. When we do need more inventory for a pop up shop or event, we just do very small batches. We believe that this slower, more considered approach to luxury apparel is a stepping stone towards stopping this abuse to our environment. We use dead stock fabrics to avoid them being dumped, and specialize in natural, biodegradable, environment friendly fabrics. What you can do as a consumer is shop with sustainable, environmentally aware small businesses, and recycle always! Shop smarter, and pay attention to the impact you have on the beautiful planet we live on.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been sewing and designing since I was ten years old, always mesmerized by the whir of my mom’s sewing machine and the scraps of fabric she left behind. I started off by designing my own homecoming and prom dresses and by putting my friends in my newest dresses, but I was always thinking ahead, dying to bring my pieces to a wider audience. My father is a professor at FSU, and when I was 12, I had a booth at the university artisan market where I sold purses I sewed out of denim and hand-embellished beaded designs. This was my first experience with entrepreneurship, and I was quickly addicted! I think what sets me apart as a creator is the life and confidence that my designs bring to the wearer. The woman who wears Ola Moon is transported to a lavish vacation where she stars as the goddess – stunning, confident, strong, and sexy. I have been drawn to bright colors, bold prints, and tropical fashions for as long as I can remember. I have a love affair with the sun and ocean, so I am definitely moved by easy and flowy silhouettes, a peek (or maybe more) of skin, but always keeping it feminine. Ola Moon strives to incorporate all of these energies and aesthetics, blending womanliness and earthiness and ease. Starting my own line, Ola Moon, has always been the end goal, but I struggled with how to even initiate this dream. I think beginning is the first obstacle an artist has to overcome. To start and commit to that first stroke of the pencil, that first stitch, that first path of the scissors. But also, to be gentle on yourself and allow inspiration to pause and start back again. I began this several times over the last few years, but never allotted the time it really needed to develop. Currently, Ola Moon is my second job. I am the Sr. Manager of R+Co’s Retail Channel at Luxury Brand Partners and have been here for almost six years! There are times when it is very difficult to come home after work and sit in front of the sewing machine. But, I realized that I will never be content without giving this a true shot! I’ve stayed up night after night designing, sewing, learning Instagram and Facebook Ads, and how to use Shopify and set-up pixels, and, steadily and surely, I have seen great results for the energy I am putting in. Despite this wild and unexpected 2020, quarantine has actually given me the time to define and focus on my true passion and get my business moving. Mistakes, feeling of defeat, and lack of inspo have certainly occurred, but I encourage all artistic entrepreneurs to forge ahead bravely, assign daily, small tasks to yourself that can help you feel consistently productive, and believe in the beauty that you must bring to your clients!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my goodness, where to start! Well, first off. Beach is ALWAYS first priority. I live in North Beach and love it up here! I try to go take a quick dip once a day. Here are some of my fave things to do and places below! Daytime Activities: – Kayak to Haulover Sandbar – Oleta State Park – Beach it on 71st street – Day trip to Islamorada – Rollerblade/bike the boardwalk Waterfront Bars/Restaurants: – Ocean Grill at the Setai – they have the best! gin/cucumber/lemonade frozen drink – Shuckers – The Standard For Cocktails/Drinks: – Broken Shaker – Anderson – Lagniappe – Gramps Food: – Cafe Prima Pasta – It’s crazy how much I go here! I can walk here from my apartment – Lung Yai Tapas – La Sandwicherie – Mandolin Shop – Yellow Green Farmers Market – Flamingo Plaza Thrift Stores Music: – North Beach Bandshell -SoFar Sounds
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Guillermo Ley. He is one of my best friends, and my photographer, but he is one of the most creative individuals I’ve met! He just started his own line, UBEZ with apparel, prints, etc. Not only does he do his own thing, but he has been my loyal photographer for years and I couldn’t do it without him! Check out www.youbeeasy.com for some sick finds!