Five questions with Julie Mollo, accessories designer and brilliant creative. Based in Brooklyn, she started making creative stage wear for acts like Katy Perry and Andra Day, before pivoting the business to the joyful, glittery clutches and cheeky accessories she's known for today.
1. Where do you typically find design inspiration?
JM: Being an accessories designer, I find that inspiration is found in the practical ways- what else can I add or change about this to make it better for my customer or make my life easier?
On the fun side, I find inspiration from my customers: What are they asking for? What to do they do? Now that so many of my customers are moms, adding practical sizes and baby shapes to my line has opened up an entirely new market. I'm not a mom, so there are many things that come with carrying and using bags that I don't think about. A pacifier clutch for all of the pacifiers you need to keep on hand? Great! I wouldn't have thought of that on my own.
2. How would you describe your personal style?
JM: These days, my personal style is retro-practical. I dress within a very specific color palette that consists of black, white, red, denim, gold, and leopard. I own a full drawer full of Gap stretch black t-shirts in a variety of necklines and sleeve lengths, and rotate a few items daily. It feels like I put on a uniform, and I like that it's one less thing I have to think about.
3. Who would you say has been your biggest influence- style wise, personally, or professionally?
JM: Gwen Stefani & Sara Blakely
4. What is some professional advice you received that helped you navigate your current projects + career path?
I can't say I received professional advice about this! This is what I've learned along the way: listen to your customer and be patient with yourself while growing your business. Be open to the different directions that your work can take you. I never had any intention of going into accessories- the clutches started as a total "add-on" and "one more thing" to sell at pop ups.
I wanted something that nobody had to try on, and they took off in a way I didn't see coming. I had to run with it, scale it, and figure it out along the way. The first 10 years of my career were so scattered with different projects! At the time, I thought I had an idea of where I wanted everything to go; looking back, with the now very defined career I have, I needed all of those years of projects to get where I am now.
JM: Everything happens for a reason.