FASHION - INTERVIEW
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Serina Agosta Modica
FASHION - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
In the fashion world, having a unique style requires that each piece has its own personality, from selected shoes to hats, from stocking to gloves. It is very difficult to create an original style. Being aware of this, MeMoi offers a wide range of legwear, shapewear, and bodywear to consumers who want to reflect their style. I talked with Serina Agosta Modica, Vice President and Creative Director of MeMoi, about their collections, MeMoi's design and production philosophy, and future plans of their brand.
Serina, could you tell us about your background and fashion industry experiences?
I graduated college with a BFA, majoring in Painting, in 1994. It was before computers were a household item or even a classroom item. After scouring the city for a job, any job, I landed at a sock company as Assistant to the VP of Design. During my lunch breaks, I taught myself how to use the CAD system and was quickly promoted to designer, all the while continuing to work closely with the VP. Through her mentorship, I quickly learned how a design department was run, how to handle problems, how to deal with factories and clients, and how to manage a team. We also used to frequent the knitting mills in North Carolina, where I had hands-on experience with knitting machines and learned the technical aspect of knitting socks and hosiery. This experience has been instrumental in my career and integral to my success. By my 8th year, I had worked my way up to Design Director, and two years later VP of Design. After 17 years at the same company, having helped build several successful brands and private label accounts, I had decided to make a change. At my next venture, I focused solely on building private label business for the mass market. And then after that, I went to a company that had the licenses for major athletic brands as VP of Design & Merchandising. Finally, leading me to my current position at MeMoi, where I have been for 4 years.
Could you briefly tell us about MeMoi team that you are working with?
Over the past 4 years, we have built an amazing design team, many who have come from the industry, or have worked in apparel design. We definitely have an eclectic mix of people and talent, which shows in our product. Our most recent addition is the lingerie/sleepwear division, where again we have an amazing team that comes with years of industry experience. With such an incredible team, the company has grown so fast. A little over a year ago, we expanded our office space and moved the design, product development, and packaging departments into a state of the art facility.
MeMoi has over quarter-century history. Could you tell us about MeMoi?
The company was originally a hosiery manufacturing facility located upstate NY, production was solely in the USA. In the early 90’s, about the time Joe became a part of the company, the industry was changing and garment manufacturing was shifting offshore. Joe was one of the original pioneers exploring the manufacturing capabilities that other countries had to offer, and with that used his extensive technical knowledge in training factories to produce the same quality garments that the company was able to offer with domestic production. After years of producing product both in the US and overseas, the technical workers that were so integral to the success of the US manufacturing facility were becoming scarce and eventually all production was shifted offshore. In 2005, Joe wanted to expand the reach of the company and founded the brand MeMoi, an all-encompassing legwear brand, which not only included the amazing basics that the company was known for but also fashion socks, tights, leggings, liners, etc. Today MeMoi is considered a leader in the industry, our quality is unsurpassed, and our designs are sought after.
Please tell us about MeMoi socks. How many different types of socks and designs do you offer?
Hmmm, I don’t know if I could quantify, there are so many! We do Ladies, Mens, Boys, Girls, & Infants. We have extensive fashion, basics, novelty, athletic, & compression sock offerings. We produce socks, leggings, tights, pantyhose, shapewear, slippers, pajamas & robes, lingerie, underwear, active & athleisure wear.
How often do you change up your collections? What are you paying attention to while designing new legwear and intimates?
We come out with seasonal collections two times a year, Spring and Fall. We always start with trend forecasting, and then we take life into consideration. How do trends apply to the real world, what are people looking for, how do they want to feel? We are inspired by art, home décor, social media, nature…just life and our surroundings! The artist in me is receptive to all inspiration.
What are the common features of MeMoi Socks?
The common denominator of all our styles is comfort and quality. We put as much attention into toe seams and hand feel as we do into fashion details.
What makes MeMoi unique and different from competitors?
I have been in this industry for many years, have worked at several companies, and visited the showrooms of many others. When I walked into the MeMoi showroom I was blown away, the depth and range of product were like nothing I have seen from one company. Usually, you have companies that focus on one area, fashion, athletic, compression, novelty, and here was everything in one place! This is our strength and what sets us apart from our competitors and it is recognized in the market. Also, Joe’s experience running a hosiery manufacturing facility has made him a master technician. If you have an idea he can figure out a way to make it happen. This always keeps us ahead of our competitors.
What type of advantages do you get with keeping all your operations in the same location?
We consider it a great advantage to have all our operations, including our warehouse, in the same location. We at all times know what is going on in every area of the business. We can react quickly and service customers in a way that not many, if any, can. We carry stock in many styles, so if a customer has an immediate need or an emergency situation with another vendor we are often their go to.
How do you describe MeMoi in one sentence?
Life changing legwear that celebrates fashion and individuality, yet treasures practicality and everyday wearability.
Social media has become part of our life and very important for fashion brands. How do you use social media for MeMoi? How can our readers follow you?
We recently hired a social media team and it has been a corporate focus. We are using social media to reach out to our current customers and build a stronger customer/admirer base. We just ran an amazing contest where we chose 5 #MeMoiLover winners to participate in a social media photoshoot. We had a blast! It was great to see how such different girls with different styles and personalities wore the product, by the end of the day we felt like family. We are planning on doing a similar contest every couple of months, and would love for your readers to enter. They can follow our Instagram page @MeMoi or find us on Facebook: MeMoi
What do you feel when you see any social media shares that include your products?
It is an amazing feeling! We love making our product and we love seeing our #MeMoiLover’s rockin’ it! We have found our product tagged by customers, stores, fashion photographers, models, and bloggers. It is definitely high, and the feeling never gets old!
Where can our readers buy MeMoi Socks?
We are in many specialty stores, department stores, and online boutiques. But the absolute best place to see our full offering is on our website www.memoi.com, we are always running great promotions. We also like to give our readers trend tips and keep them entertained with our blog, so its a bonus to sign up on our mailing list to have access to all these perks.
What are your plans for the future?
We are taking the brand international! We just presented the lines in a few international shows and the interest was overwhelming. MeMoi continues to launch new categories each season, we are truly creating a lifestyle brand based on comfort, quality, and wearable trend.
Thank you Serina for this enjoyable interview.