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Meet Mary Demirtchian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Demirtchian.

Hi Mary, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a menswear designer. I was born and raised in LA, a first-generation American. Both my parents are artists so I grew up around a lot of art and creativity. Ever since I was about 4 or 5, I would draw out clothes, basically CADs but I didn’t know what they were at the time. After I would finish my “designs,” I would put these ridiculous prices next to them! My parents thought it was hilarious but they never thought it would be my future career. As I got older, I started cutting up my Barbies and Bratz clothes.

Then, I slowly starting cutting my own as well. Pants became sleeves and sleeves became tops! My mom was horrified when she saw this happening so she decided to teach me how to knit. I got into that for a while but it definitely wasn’t for me. She thought this was the end of my fashion obsession but as I got older, my love for fashion kept growing. When I was in high school, different colleges would come in and pitch their programs to us. This is when I realized I could make fashion my career so I started applying for schools. I wanted to learn the proper way to cut up my clothes and make something new from it. When I got into fashion school, I realized I was more drawn to menswear. I think it was because I would always help my brother style himself and it was fun. Also, menswear was at such an interesting time, for years they had been placed in this box of how they were supposed to dress and suddenly designers were branching out and doing such interesting things. It was that moment that I realized I wanted to be part of this and started focusing on it.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It definitely has not really been a smooth road. School was tough for me, I actually almost dropped out junior year and if my dad didn’t continue waking me up and forcing me to go, I wouldn’t be where I am today. One of my biggest flaws is that I constantly compare myself to others. When I was in school, I didn’t think I was half as good as the people around me. I was really tough on myself and nothing I ever did was good enough. I remember once my department chair looked at my portfolio and just asked me “who would hire you based on this book” and obviously I held it together but it killed me inside. It took me a while to realize you need to have thick skin if you want to be in the fashion industry and slowly started to build that. I had to teach myself that it is ok for not everyone to like my work. Someone might hate it but someone else may love it so that shouldn’t stop me from creating and telling my story through my visions.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I currently work at an up and coming menswear company called Nahmias. I work alongside the owner/ creative director to help design multiple seasons of luxury menswear. I think what really sets me apart from others is that I don’t CAD on illustrator. I use Procreate on the iPad Pro to create designs and CADs. It’s just so much easier for me and it looks identical to illustrator CADs. My proudest moment was this last January, our company had our first runway show in Paris for mens fashion week. When I started with the company, it was so small and we had just a couple of pieces. Fast forward two years and I was sitting in Paris and watching my sketches walk down the runway. It was a very surreal moment for me, especially when right before graduation, my department chair told me no one would ever hire me.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was very shy and I think I still am. Even though I was shy, I loved going places. When I was younger, I hated staying home. I always wanted to be outside. I would ask my mom to take me to the mall and I would just walk around and explore. I was always drawn to color and interesting things. My parents loved going to museums so it’s something we did often. As I got older, I loved going to the museum and sketching things I would see. It’s funny because I even do that now. If I’m stuck and need inspiration, I always go out and look around and see what catches my eye and sketch it out. Music was and still is a big part of my life. Most of my teenage years, I spent going to every and any concert in LA. My mom would check me out of school at noon so my friends and I could go wait in line so we would always be in the front row. Concert days were always fun. I got to meet so many people through it and some of those people are still around today so it was nice.

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