The 17-year-old star, best known for her leading role on The Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” is getting into some new territory with the fall 2010 launch of her first fashion brand, called Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez.
“Growing up in Texas, I was sort of close-minded and kind of a tomboy, but as I’ve traveled, I found such a love of clothes,” Gomez said while primping for a day of filming on the set of “Wizards of Waverly Place.” “It’s really always been a dream of mine to have a line.”
So with the help of a group of industry experts, Gomez teamed up to create her brand which focuses on “pretty, feminine and bohemian” clothing — a line, she said, that mirrors her own style. To get her started, her agent at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles set Gomez up with Tony Melillo, former Generra designer and designer of his own namesake men’s wear brand, and Sandra Campos, who has spent about 20 years on the business end of the industry at brands such as Nautica and Polo Ralph Lauren. Melillo and Campos had just started their own licensing and brand building firm to develop and market global lifestyle labels specifically for celebrities. That company, called Cynosure Holdings, was already speaking with CAA clients when they came across Gomez.
“She has such a good sense of what she likes and what she doesn’t like,” said Melillo, who is the creative director for the Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez line. “It was surprising as I’ve never worked with someone so young, and never really expected her to be that smart. She has a desire to be involved, and nothing is sent out there without her approval. It’s nice to see her have this genuine interest.”
And, Gomez said, she has been quite picky about every detail.
“When I met Tony and Sandra, I was instantly comfortable with them and now they are like family to me,” she said. “They are so creative and I love how I can just call them up whenever and talk to them about everything, even if it’s just about changing a button. They’ve been so cool about everything.”
To manufacture the line, Melillo and Campos teamed with New York-based Adjmi Apparel and formed Adjmi CH Brands LLC, the holding company for the Dream Out Loud brand. Together, the partners hold the master license for the label and are in the beginning stages of meeting with licensees for products such as handbags, footwear and jewelry. To start, the company plans to launch a full sportswear collection for fall 2010 selling — Boho dresses, floral printed tops, jeans, skirts, jackets and some accessories such as scarves and hats. Most of the collection is made in an organic soft cotton and all fabrics are recycled or eco-friendly in some way, which was important to Gomez. All items within the collection are made to be mixed and matched, even with the ability to mix prints.
As the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever, Gomez said she wants to be someone her fans can look up to in everything she does. So it was especially important for her to incorporate this message into her line.
“With my line, I really want to give the customer options on how they can put their own looks together,” she said. “I want the pieces that can be easy to dress up or down, and the fabrics being eco-friendly and organic are superimportant. Also, the tags will all have some of my inspirational quotes on them. I’m just looking to send a good message.”