La Vern by MR

About La Vern

Melanie Renee, born in Barbados in 1995, created La Vern in 2017.

Motivated by personal growth, Melanie’s creative process intentionally focuses on authenticity, freedom, and feminine empowerment with a Caribbean flair. Drawing inspiration from her natural environment, accentuating a woman’s curves and comfortable clothing, Melanie is enamored by unusual prints. Thanks to her culture and connection to nature, her artistic eye always leads her to incorporate natural elements, colors, and tones in her photoshoots. Music, heritage, and ancestry guide her in developing new concepts, designs, garment names, and business aspects. Over the years, Melanie navigated the fashion industry with a head-on approach to all her challenges. With little experience in lingerie production, she developed unique sewing, material, and pattern techniques. Still young, it was through trial and error that Melanie learned how to establish her brand. Due to this, she has gained a world of experience and knowledge from these difficult experiences. Feeling inspired to teach others her effective methods while simultaneously walking hand in hand with future designers, she began developing a way to teach sewing classes. In 2016, she graduated from the Barbados Community College, earning herself a Fashion Degree. Deciding to travel to New York, she found various opportunities, which led her to work on sets as a fashion stylist. In late 2016, she returned home to pursue a career in fashion illustration after feeling uninspired to sew. Hopelessly seeking an opportunity, she secured a lingerie collaboration and fatefully became the sole creator. By 2017, Melanie had fallen so deeply in love with lingerie she entered her first fashion show, showcasing a playfully sensual collection of lingerie and robes. After attending various fashion shows and analyzing fellow designer labels, she noticed the prejudice against the black model community in Barbados. She featured all dark skin BAJAN models in her first group photoshoot.

In 2018, she began exploring the possibilities of La Vern films and created her first fashion film project called GEMINI.

EMINI paved the way for her newest collection ALTER EGO inspiring her to return to the runway, featuring in two local fashion shows BIMHAUS & KONCEPT. Through securing her first magazine publication in ELLEMENTS MAGAZINE featuring SHAHAIDA LYNE & photography by SHAE LASHLEY and video feature in TWO MILE HILL’S single, CONVERSATION, Melanie was able to gain more recognition in the Barbadian fashion community. She proceeded to collaborate with talented photographers, ROSALIE RICHARDS, SHAE LASHLEY, JARYD NILES, SEAMONE BREWSTER, ALEX JACKSON, KAREN MERLOT, AMERY BUTCHER, SHANE LEACOCK, EZRA SEALY, SHAQUAN & JUNIOR SEALY and cinematographers, NATHAN MACK, QWASE ANDERSON, and FEWTURE. In 2019, Melanie entered a fashion designer boot camp with THE CARIBBEAN FASHION & CONTEMPORARY ACCELERATOR PROGRAM hosted in Trinidad. Focusing on rebranding upon return, she created a new collection that gained her local and regional recognition and global sales. Her most heavily supported collection landed her in another magazine, ZING!, and music video RICH BITCH JUICE by AMANDA REIFER.

In 2020, her brand took a 360, as the entire world faced the Covid 19 pandemic. It was from there she began to understand the importance of showing the face behind the brand. Left with no choice but to let her clients in on who she was, she sought community by photographing herself in her pieces and creating her home video projects. Inspired, NO UNDERWEAR was born, a two-piece set that seemed to tie her entire brand, from the beginning until now, together. Born through freedom, authenticity, solitude, and creativity, she created her most sought-after piece, No Underwear, and launched her sewing classes SEW EASY and MERCH line.

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