Fabulous Designer: Melissa Torres

Mia Torres, the designer of Melissa Torres, is Phoenix Fashion Week’s 2019 Emerging Digital Designer Winner. Melissa Torres is all about standing out, designing statement pieces for the influential woman. Learn more about Mia Torres and her brand Melissa Torres…


Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona 

What is Unique about your brand: The Melissa Torres brand is unique because I provide a one-on-one, personalized experience: creating custom-made sketches and designs. It’s all about the client-experience, from the moment they envision wearing Melissa Torres, to the end of their event experience. Every step of the way, we are there for our clients!

What is your brand’s style: Customized Luxury

What footprint/legacy will your brand leave the world with: Empowering women and positioning Arizona to be noticed in the fashion world.

First fashion job: Max Rave at Desert Sky Mall. Wow! You’re taking me way back! This was my first taste of retail and fashion. I was about 20 years old, and this was actually my part-time, second job. My full-time job was with the State of AZ M-F; I worked at Max Rave during the evenings and weekends. I loved working there! My favorite part: getting to eagerly watch all the latest styles arrive daily and then getting my hands on the fabrics and textures, as I paired a variety of items together to make a full outfit. 

When did you know you had a passion for fashion: Ever since I was a little girl, I loved dressing up, but it wasn’t until after I was on the Max Rave team, that I understood the concept of styling. I started loving going out with friends because it was an opportunity to be creative with my fashion choices, accessories, shoes, everything! This is when I realized just how much I loved being a girl and having the freedom to dress up for any, and all occasions. 

Person who has impacted your FASHION life the most: Two people. My Mom and my Tia Sylvia. From day one, my Mom dressed me up! I look back at all my baby pics where I’m wearing these cute little outfits and my favorite, red shoes. Growing up, I always wanted to dress like my Tia Sylvia. I remember she used to wear her white booties with tights, and I pleaded with my Mom to take me to the store to find a similar pair so I could look like my Tia. 

Your biggest fashion accomplishment (SO FAR) in your eyes: At this moment, finishing Digital Designer Bootcamp, and being named the winner, is my biggest fashion accomplishment! I couldn’t believe it. Usually, I am pretty confident about certain things, but I wasn’t so sure this time. We had so many other talented designers in this bootcamp, and we all worked so hard. I am so proud of my fellow boot campers and I am thankful to have participated in this boot camp alongside them. We’re all winners in my eyes! 

The biggest FASHION obstacle you have overcome: The cost. Everything costs money. As an Emerging Designer, who wants to create luxurious gowns, I have to get creative with how I can make this all happen. This begins with cutting back on all the extras, such as going out, traveling, and even the small things like dinners at nice restaurants. The end goal is always at the forefront of my mind, at all times, and that includes working hard right now, so that I can realize the pay off in the future. I know everything I am doing now will be worth it, and I wouldn’t change anything. I am thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way, and all the love and support from my family. 

A designer who inspires you: Nigel Chia, a Couture Designer from Malaysia. I am obsessed with his designs. When I admire his work, I feel: amazement, wonder, creativity, and luxury. I’m just inspired overall.

Favorite quote: I CAN and I WILL. Whenever I get the slightest sense of self-doubt creep into my mind, I quickly brush it off and repeat, “I can and I will!”

Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Perfect your craft. If you’re in school, learn as much as you can from your professors and take advantage of all the resources your school has to offer. Work on developing your brand every day. Invest in you. Work hard, and then pay-it-forward. Ensure you have friends and family supporting you, in celebration and defeat, you will need them to cheer you on and keep you going.   

How has the Phoenix Fashion Week #DesignerBootcamp impacted your brand? Wow! I am so thankful to have made the decision to enroll in Digital Designer Bootcamp. I went in saying, “I hope the cost is worth it” and by week four, I wasn’t thinking about the cost anymore; I knew I had made the right decision. I invested in me. It couldn’t have come at a better time. My brand was developing right before my eyes. I now have the tools to move forward, and I cannot wait to continue developing my brand in the live bootcamp in June! 

What can fans expect to see from you in 2020: I am hosting a sneak-peek event on January 17th to share my upcoming collection that I will showcase at PHXFW in October 2020. I also have a major announcement that I am excited and proud to share at my event! This announcement is a game-changer for the Melissa Torres brand. Let’s just say, you won’t want to miss it!

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