October 28, 2020 |
Star of VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives LA and social media sensation Draya Michele hasn’t forgotten her Berks County roots. We caught up with Michele to talk fashion, the future and all things Philly.
What is your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
I really love the historic aspect of Philly. I love that there are so many museums downtown—I was always a big fan of the Please Touch Museum. I also love going shopping on South Street.
Walk me through your journey.
I got an opportunity to move to L.A. I took it, and took a chance on myself. I took the savings that I had, which wasn't that much, and I started a swimsuit company. From there, I had opportunities presented to me through TV and film. I also grew on social media.
Talk to me about your brand Mint Swim.
We are upon our 10-year anniversary in 2020, so we've been celebrating all year. I launched Mint Swim in 2011 after moving to Los Angeles. At the time, there weren't a lot of swimwear options, especially online, and I wanted to design a high-quality product at an affordable price point, with styles that could accommodate women with all body types. Mint-swim.com
Where do you get design inspiration from?
I am always inspired by the places that I visit, and vacations that I have gone on. I'm inspired now by different girls that I see—bloggers, influencers...and even regular girls that I see on Instagram. If I see pictures that I like, I try to find what makes me like the picture and how I can develop this feeling into an actual physical design.
Tell me about your new docuseries Doses of Draya.
I decided after almost a decade of not being on TV it was time I ventured back in. Doses of Draya is a 10-episode docuseries, in partnership with ZEUS, a black-owned network, that will give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at my world. I wanted to use this opportunity to share my story, and to let people into my daily life in a way I never really have before. thezeusnetwork.com/doses-of-draya
Talk to me about your new jewelry collection.
My collection with 8 Other Reasons is designed and curated by me, in collaboration with the brand. I wanted the collection to reflect my personal style, and as a designer, I’m very hands-on in the conception and production of the line. This is my first stab at designing fashion accessories and I am excited and grateful to be working with a team of true originators and trailblazers in this space. 8otherreasons.com
What has 2020 taught you?
This year has taught me that it is okay to not be on the scene. It is okay to spend time indoors. It's okay to take time to be concerned about my health and well-being, and my family's health and well-being. It's taught me that these moments with my family—inside, away and distanced from everyone else—is quality time spent, not time wasted.
Photography by: Hassan Richardson