We had the good fortune of connecting with René Mejia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi René, why did you pursue a creative career?
The reason why I decided to pursue a creative career was because that’s all I know. From a very young age I was fed trough my mothers work an environment of creativity. Watching her create garments in an old pedal singer sewing machine are the earlies memories that I have as a kid, that’s how she paid for the bills and this early experiences didn’t only teach me creativity but it taught me something even more important. Hard Work and Dedication.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe that I am at an early stage of my career, what i am the most proud about my career so far is that i have pushed myself to overcome obstacles that life doesn’t present to most people, from fleeing the country that you were born into due to de corruption at the age of ten and being forced to leave what you called home for 10 years of your life to find a better life and stay alive, To come to a country where you know nothing, not even the language is a big challenge and I think that so far I am doing well and I am proud of that even thought I am still at the beginning of a marathon.
When I was 21 I had the chance to present my collection at NYFW and that moment really made me feel and help me understand that hard work pays off because going to school full time and having to work as a graphic designer full time and a waiter part-time to be able to pay for fabrics and everything that you needed for school wasn’t easy, but I remember getting to my hotel room at The New Yorker hotel and I cried because I felt accomplished because I would have never taught that a kid that came to this country with NOTHING would be able to do that.
What i would like the world to know about my brand and story is that ive worked hard and agaist ods to be where i am today and even though i have a long way to go I belive that my work shows that i have the potential required to create something bigger than life, to create a brand build on values and beauty that includes everyone that wants to be part of it. I want people to know that when they see my label on a garment and they put it on to feel confident to do whatever they want to to, To feel like they belong. I also what them to appreciate the amount of work and craftmanship that the most simple garment requires.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well back in November I was able to take a 4 day trip to Houston. To visit my friend Eric whom I haven’t seen in 9 Years, since high school back in 2012. Which was a very cool experience to re-connect with someone that I used to see on the daily basis in school and he moved to Houston and we kind of despaired from each other radar.
Going to Houston I didn’t know what to expect because I have never been and I have to say that I was impressed. The city is beautiful in art and architecture, I really enjoyed the James Turrell sculpture at Rice University. The Museum of Fine Art has a very diverse collection, including a section dedicated to immigrants which I’ve never seen in any museum, The McGovern Centennial Gardens are beautiful and if you visit you have to climb The Mount and overlook the gardens from the top. The Gerald D. Hines Water Park was Amazing to experience I’ve never seen a sculpture so massive and with so much water. The Galleria mall is a great place to go see and show for the latest trends.
Now i am a big fan of anything space and it was incredible to visit the NASA Space Center Houston. I highly recommend to take one of the tours that the center offers and see their facilities with all the later projects and their older projects like the Saturn 5 rocket, trust me you will be speechless at how massive it is.
Being a Chicken Wing Connoisseur the moment my friend Eric mentioned this place that has really good wings Called Pluckers i knew i had to try it. First of all when a place has an hour and a half waiting time to get in, you know its good. I was 100% satisfied and 10/1o recommend that place for any person who likes chicken wings. If you are in Houston you have to try Pluckers specially the one at the corner of Shepherd Dr and Eli St.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this to everyone who has said “no” to me. To the people who had stood Infront of me or hid behind a screen and had told me that I will never accomplish anything or that I am a “waste of time”. It is because of those words that hurt at the moment but later on you realize that it only helps you become resilient.
Photographer: Benjamin Sar
Styling and Hair: Shervan McLain
Model: Mariya Miller
Make up: Kamuche Artistry