#WhatDrivesYou: Mel Hwang
March 28, 2016
What drives you out of bed in the morning?
I know it sounds vague, but people are what drive me. Of course, the close people to my life are a huge proponent of this but I'm also super inspired by the dynamics and interactions between people in general. I think it shows us where we are and where we're going as a society. Looking around you and appreciating the beauty in other people can teach you so many lessons and I'm a huge believer in constant learning.
What fashion trends are you looking forward to for SS16?
For me, the major trend for S/S 2016 that I'll be taking full advantage of is effortless minimalism. It's not exactly a new trend, but from what I've seen so far, it's still going strong. The trend is a personal fav, not only because it's incredibly versatile, but because there's this er of chicness to it that's accomplished with a less is more attitude. I love that. I think it teaches us a lot about how we should approach life in general.
What's the worst piece of advice you've ever been given?
I've rattled a few feathers in the past and have been told that life is easier when you learn to be more likable. Although I do somewhat agree with this and concur that you definitely have to be collaborative and compromise, I don't think you should have to change just be liked or accepted. We're all so strong together because we're different. To instill more conformity seems stifling.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
I try and remind myself this everyday. Life is way too short not to take the chances, risks, and opportunities that you want to. No matter what anyone says to you, you know yourself better than anyone else. It sounds cliche, but you've got to follow your instincts. Never let anyone tell you who you are, who you should be, or what you should do.
Tell us about a behind-the-scenes moment?
There are so many crazy stories behind the scenes, but I think the funniest ones are when I'm shooting outdoors. I typically try to shoot as many looks in a day as possible, which means changing in my car, around corners, and underneath jackets. I remember once I was changing in between two cars and realized that there was still someone in the car. Needless, I had to apologize to them for my intrusion and definitely learned to check for empty cars before using the space between them as a change room!
What's your advice for self branding and curating digital content?
I think the best thing is to be true to who you are and make sure your brand reflects that. There's nothing harder than trying to seem genuine when you're just trying to be someone else. Sometimes being yourself can be against the rules. A lot of people told me that "long captions" are annoying to users, but I decided to go forth with it anyways. The other thing is to make sure you have thick skin. Not everyone is going to agree with you and that's okay. Don't let that change you or make you question the way you put yourself out there. It can be nerve racking putting your real self out there for the world to see, but trust me, it's more worth it to be YOU than anyone else.
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