God will always place people in front of you that he wants you to know, I’m a firm believer this because it continues to take place in my life. This is exactly what happened when I met Butterfly Melody Asherman of Everrything RRouge. I was leaving the famous Madame Tussauds in DC with my #BlessedFriend Jessica, when we stepped outside and noticed the best image of beauty across the street. Imagine this, 4 beautiful African American women, all dressed in African printed dresses, designed differently but definitely precise to the model’s frame. A busy photographer directed the women as a small team of Butterflies worked on the sidelines to ensure every frame was its best. Something was going on across the street and the pull to walk over and introduce ourselves to the team and the designer Butterfly Melody Asherman was just the beginning.
After meeting the designer of the African printed dresses, an interview was in order. There was so much more to Butterfly Melody, Beauty in Fashion was just a piece of it. I sat down to talk to Butterfly Melody and her Come Thru Sis positivity.
Who is Melody Asherman?
Well, I’m a whole bunch of things. I’m very outgoing, I’m bold in trying new things. I don’t live in the grey area, you either love me or hate me. I love music, hence the name Melody. Simply put, I’m just a dope chic.
How long has fashion and designing been a passion?
It’s been a very long time. I’ve had this in me all throughout high school. I designed my prom dress and my graduation dress. I went to an all girls Catholic school, where we all had to wear white for graduation, but I knew my dress was going to be special because I was making it. I used African lace and it was beautiful. I knew fashion was going to be a part of my life in 2007, but my parents being from Liberia didn’t want me to really pursue any other career outside of being a doctor or a lawyer. I went to school and majored in Psychology but that wasn’t my passion, in 2011 I sat behind a sewing machine and basically figured it all out. For the past two years, I’ve been on it and have taken my brand very seriously.
When did you officially start your fashion career?
I’ll say this, 2012 I got accepted into Parsons, I started in 2013. I recently started taking my fashion designing seriously in 2015. In the past 7 months things have flown off the handle. I’m going part-time at Parsons and working a full-time job to finance this dream of mine with Everrything RRouge, but I’m also learning how to manage a business, how to work with people, so it’s great to get this outside experience now and apply it to my brand. It’s a different world and level with dealing with others.
You do custome pieces, how do you deal with customers wants
I give people my opinion on what I think will look nice, but I like people that know what they want and if they don’t they allow me to be the designer that I am. I can’t spend a lot of time on a client that doesn’t know what they want because my time is limited and I can’t afford that time with people being indecisive. I always say, help me help you.
African culture is in style now and has become very trendy. How do you feel about that?
I remember a time when I used to be teased on my style and being from Africa. Now I do see the consiousness of Africa being more accepted or people wanting to wear head wraps and the fashion of Africa. Sometimes I like it that people are embracing my culture but other times I don’t want it to just be a fad for fashion. When you go to Africa what you think of the people and how you think they will be is totally different. You can’t just wear Africa.
With all of the African inspired designers rising, how do you feel you set yourself apart?
To be honest, I just focus on Melody. One thing I respect about myself is that I wear my brand. The woman I dress is me. I can wear my garments and advertise them, I dress the role and talk to the woman who isn’t afraid to speak out. I dig deep and ask what can I do to make my brand look it’s best. I posted something weeks ago on [email protected] Instagram page and everyone wanted it. I focus on classic, timeless, pieces and I want my clients to feel empowered. So that’s what I focus on and I think it sets me apart because I’m only focused on me and my target market.
Do you deal with clients who don’t feel they can pull of your pieces due to a lack of confidence?
Yes, many times I do and I never know it until they say “I can’t wear that”, or “I could never pull that off”. My first question is always, why can’t you? When someone asks you that you always have to take inventory on yourself and your confidence. Society will tell you a size is normal and anyone outside of that size is abnormal. I just ask people why they feel like they can’t do things and then be an example of advocating differently. I do believe you have to know your body type and celebrate it, you just have to know how to work it at your level. There are always different ways to wear you.
Do you have difficulty with clients wanting to make you design trendy pieces from other designers?
It’s so funny, I have people who will tag me in photos of other African designers, and I always decline on replicating the piece because I believe in what you are doing is what you are doing. I always tell people to go to the designer as opposed to tagging me and trying to have me jock someone’s style. I never want to disrespect another designer so I decline making things that are not of my own design.
Let’s talk about this AFRICAN SCARF. What was the inspiration for the scarfs?
I’m going to tell you right now, after my fashion show in January, it had been a while of me just working and wanting to go to the next level. I’d just wrapped up a fashion show and was looking for something to do, so I decided to do a pop up shop and at that same moment, I decided to do an African infinity scarf. It really took off and people liked it. This winter I’ll be back on producing more pieces for the winter.
How far do you want to take Everrything RRouge?
I want to do everything. I’ve had men ask about doing a men’s line. For right now, I know the woman’s body and I want to really continue with that until I become more comfortable. I want to do bags, extend to fragrance and do little by little. In the next 5 years Beyonce is going to be wearing my garments and that’s all I have to say about that. #GrownWoman.
Check out some of my favorite pieces from Everrything RRouge. I can see me in basically everything and plan on getting something made soon.
Butterfly Melody can lay fabric about the bodice. She has a great skill in cut-outs and really takes a great approach on creating the designs on the fabric she uses herself. Looking through her portfolio will keep you surprised at her level. She is well on her way and carving a name out for herself. I find her pieces to be for EVERRY Butterfly. Don’t wait to support the Everrything RRouge brand, get into her story and find a way to support her and wear one of these amazing pieces. This winter you are not going to be able to stand me when I come thru sis with this African Print….
Quote I live by: Short time sacrifices, long time goals.
For more info on Everrything RRouge, be sure to check out the website and follow @rrfashionista on Instagram. Thanks so much Butterfly for sitting down with me, now make me my dress and set. Thanks..:).