Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BLOG #001: Check out my Fashion Flash article featured in the PlainDealer, 8/25/2010!

I was fortunate enough to be featured in the Plain Dealer's Fashion Flash section!  Finally, my bucket list dream of having an article written about me in a major newspaper has come true.

Check out my Fashion Flash article featured in the Plain Dealer (8/25/2010)!  It is a excellent interview article written by Plain Dealer's own Cleveland's fashion and pop culture queen, Andrea Simakis.  The print version has more pictures which I scanned and added for your viewing pleasure below.  More below the cut.  The full article can be read below or on here.
I even ended up making Andrea Simakis a customized version of the asymmetrical slash skirt I wore to the shoot, making her my first official customer to own a Lisa Malanij original. :]

Fashion designer and Kent State University grad Lisa Malanij talks to Fashion Flash

By Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer
The Plain DealerPublished: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 1:00 AM     Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 9:28 AM

Lisa Malanij, 24, Detroit Shoreway
Fashion designer

What have you been up to since graduating from Kent State University in 2009?

I'm a freelance fashion designer, and I'm also doing my own collection, which I showed for Cincinnati Fashion Week and Cleveland Fashion Week. The collection is called Circle.Square . . . I'm looking for investors!

I heard you have a new project in the works as well.

It's a personal label called 3xHearts. I use only garments found secondhand and alter them in a new way . . . The name and concept were inspired by video games where players have three lives represented by three hearts. The three hearts represent stages in a garment's life: (1) the life it had with its previous owner; (2) the life it takes on when I rework the garment; and (3), the new life and fashion adventures it has with its new owner!

Your entrepreneurial spirit reminds me of Cleveland's Valerie Mayen. Any plans to follow in her footsteps and try out for "Project Runway?"

I think it's great -- you get a lot of publicity, everyone's career just takes off, you're a celebrity. However for me, the timelines and the stress -- it just gives me flashbacks to fashion school! We'd have a project due in like a week, and that would be hardly any time with classes. I can't imagine doing something in one day and if you mess it up, then [she runs her finger across her throat in a cutting gesture]. I sympathize with them. Maybe later on, as I mature and get more experience and can handle it, but right now, no, no, no.

I love the peekaboo quality of that skirt -- it's sexy as a mini without being too revealing.

This is part of my Circle.Square line. I haven't seen a skirt like this, and I guess that's why I'm making clothes -- I want to make stuff I haven't seen. I like pieces that a lot of sizes and types can wear. Like this skirt -- it can be club wear or you can wear it out to dinner. It depends on how much you dress it up or dress it down.

It's fantastic. I want that skirt

We can arrange that.

Where can people snap up a Lisa Malanij original?

If someone is interested in purchasing a Lisa Malanij garment featured on my website (, I encourage them to contact me through e-mail at and we can discuss measurements and price.

Let's talk shoes.

I got them from Journeys. They're Dollhouse, but YSL [Yves Saint Laurent], I think it was spring '07, did the latticework shoes. So I saw these, and I said I have to get these.

At a drastically reduced price, of course.

Right. Hopefully, I'll be a successful designer and I can afford to buy the YSL. I think I'm on the cusp of transitioning from teenage to young adult because my tastes are different. I'll go into Banana Republic and sometimes they'll have cute business wear and I'm like, 'Oh, I like that.' But I was definitely the industrial, alternative kid in high school.

I couldn't tell. But you're getting more sophisticated.

Yeah. Your style grows. I wear fun things and funky things to try them out. Everyone's like, 'Oh, where'd you get that?' I'm like, 'I put it together.' I don't think you need to go and get an expensive label just to have a certain style. People need to buy their Abercrombie or their American Eagle -- [they don't want it if it] doesn't have a logo or a label on it. That's tacky. You can pick something from a vintage store, pick something from a boutique, put it together and that's your style -- or, you can make it!

Well, some of us can make it. I can't sew a button. Where did you get that bracelet?

Cheap Monday from

I especially love the armband under it.

I made it. This one's matte, stretch vinyl. I bought it from Spandex World in New York.

I must visit. And the Astro Boy tee?

The Astro Boy tee is from Uniqlo. They did an anime T-shirt line. Chloe Sevigny was wearing this one in an ad, and I said, I need this T-shirt. I will hunt [to] the end of the earth to find this T-shirt.

Chloe wears clothes really well and very interesting, daring stuff.

And different designers, too.

Speaking of designers, who is your favorite?

Alexander McQueen. To find out he was dead -- that he had all the money and support and it still wasn't enough -- was very saddening to me. Also, M.J. died, too, so I was very sad about that -- two heroes in one year!

M.J. as in Michael Jackson?

Yeah, Michael. All I've got left is Bowie.

Bowie is doing well! What's the story behind that necklace?

I made this for my senior collection. It was called Future Perfect, but it was [based on] Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey."

What inspires you?

Pop culture. But mostly musicians. Musicians inspire fashion. I find a lot of my style icons are boys, and I take that look and translate it into a woman's outfit or a girl's outfit.

And those icons are?

David Bowie. And then the Sneaker Pimps singer Chris Corner, he was like five years ahead of the trend . . . I guess you could say late '90s London bands.

If you could dress anybody in the world, who would it be?

Obviously, I would have loved to have dressed Bowie, but I think Gaga is the David Bowie now.

-- Andrea Simakis, Plain Dealer Reporter

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