Wearwell's co-founder Emily Kenney chats with Marion Maynor, Designer + Founder at BLACK BORDERS in Atlanta, to talk about her start in fashion, her brand’s impact, and how to be better at shopping.
Emily Kenney: What motivated you to start BLACK BORDERS?
Marion Maynor: I worked for a small sustainable brand as a production seamstress for a couple of years in the Bay Area. During this time I noticed a crazy lack of diversity - in the styles, the models, the employees. The prices were also certainly out of my reach, and I realized I just didn't fit into this world. I loved to design and I'd gotten really good at sewing, so I decided to share what I'd learned by starting BLACK BORDERS. My brand is about empowering BIPOC and queer communities. I wanted stylish, handmade clothing to be available to everyone. And to address the issue of cost, I implemented a sliding-scale policy. I started with an idea, a single roll of deadstock, and moved on from there!
Emily: I love that story and fully agree that BLACK BORDERS is needed in the fashion world! How did your interest in fashion begin?
Marion: I’ve always loved getting dressed and it's important to me how I represented myself through clothing. I first learned to sew at Apparel Arts, a school for pattern making and design based in Oakland, CA. Initially, I was working there as an administrator, but I ended up taking all the classes and really fell in love with designing and sewing. The rest is history.
Emily: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who is just beginning shop more consciously?
Marion: Know your measurements! Fast fashion has taught us one thing about our bodies and how we fit into an ever-changing standard of sizing. Throw it all away. When you know your measurements, you can navigate any kind of shopping with more ease and confidence. The more you know about your own body, the more likely you are going to love the clothes you buy. Don't make assumptions, bust out that measuring tape and ask questions!
Emily: Amazing advice! In 3 words, how do you describe your brand’s aesthetic?
Marion: Refined street style.
Emily: What’s next for BLACK BORDERS?
Marion: Right now I am putting my creative energies towards my fall collection! I am so grateful to have met a young designer in Atlanta who has a passion for crochet. She and I collaborated on some looks for my spring showcase Garden of Eden, and it was a wonderful meeting of the minds. We are doing a joint collection for Fall/Winter '23 and I couldn't be more excited to share my ideas with another creative! We're hoping to share our work at New York Fashion Week in September.
Emily: That is so exciting and I can’t wait to see you at NYFW this fall!Shop Black Borders at wearwell today.