Interview: Monica&Nellie – Monica Yates

I was recently lucky enough to chat with Monica Yates, the head designer and owner of Monica & Nellie. Monica & Nellie produce hand made, high quality garments that are all one of a kind. They are simple, natural designs with a hint of indie and these are all made with top quality materials. Monica’s designs have been featured as a part of the Expression Fashion Gala, Apex Awards, Melbourne Show and other private events. I read a small article about Monica in DOLLY magazine, contacted her straight away, and she kindly replied very quickly. Here is what Monica Yates had to say:

1. What made you want to start Monica and Nellie and how has it grown since day one?
 I firstly wanted to start Monica and Nellie basically because of my love of fashion and design. Also I realised that there was a bit of a gap in the market for dresses for formals (school, other events) and no reasonably priced made-to-measure options out there besides the average dress maker however she/he is not a designer as well. Due to there not being many options for formal wear for young girls I thought it was appropriate and necessary for Monica and Nellie to have this vision. I am very much a person who prefers to make one off garments rather than 50 of the same thing and therefore that’s why Monica and Nellie is based around the idea of every dress being different and there only being one of each kind

2. Is fashion something you’ve always been interested in? When did it begin and why?
YES! I have loved fashion from a VERY young age and I’ve been influenced from my Mum mostly, because she loves fashion! It probably started when I was living in New York and would have to wear a different outfit each day for school and therefore I became aware of clothes and my appearance. I would change my outfit at least twice, if not three times in the morning before leaving the house! I think fashion is just a way of life, I can’t walk out of the house without being happy with my outfit and how I look. Even though I have my trackie days and stay-in-pjs-all-day days, I am still aware of my appearance. Although every designer says this, fashion IS really about expressing who you are.
3. All of your garments are one of a kind and made from high-quality materials. Why is it important to you that your clothes are made of a high standard?
Yes that’s correct, and I make them all myself. To some people this isn’t really of an importance but due to my clothes being worn for more formal and special events I think that its very important that each garment is made with love and attention. It also makes it more special for the client as the garment fits them perfectly and thus they feel more confident and special. It also means that there is zero chance of anyone wearing the same dress to the same event! High quality clothes also will last much longer and therefore my garments can be worn more than once. Cheap clothes will tend to show their age very rapidly whereas my dresses don’t. 
4. How would you describe your designs and why is it that you love this style of clothing?
My designs are a modern, sophisticated and clean look with hints of bohemian and indie to give it a little character and edge. All the designs and ideas and fresh and up to date with trend that are loved by young women. 
5. Who is your fashion icon?
Ooooo this is a hard one! Well I love Olivia Palermo, her sense of style is just incredible and her outfits ALWAYS amaze me. I also love Mira Duma, her clothes and fashion sense is always so fresh and original. I just adore Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, their style is super cool and easy going which I love. I honestly don’t have a specific ‘icon’ as such. I dress for myself and use inspiration from so many sources, not just one ‘icon.’ If someone is walking down the street in an incredible outfit, then they too are my icon.
6. What would your advice be to people out there wanting to follow their dreams and be successful?
Don’t ever stop trying and never ever doubt yourself. Also try and get as much support as possible because this is the best help to pushing yourself. Just believe in yourself and do whatever it takes.
Thanks for your time Monica!
All readers can also look forward to an interview coming up soon with DJ/producer Martin Garrix!

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