Refined Style with Beckley

As the excitement of our Los Angeles trade show builds, we're thrilled to take our collaborative story series with The Style Line to the west coast!

The first LA designer in our ongoing series pays homage to the coveted staple brand Beckley. Rich with history, the label is known for its cool borrowed-from-the-boys approach to design - which is why we were so excited to visit designer Melissa Akkaway at her studio. In this interview discover her thoughts on contemporary fashion, the evolution of the Beckley brand and what she's assembling daily. Also enjoy a few outtakes from our shoot and an additional part of the interview on The Style Line.

Please introduce yourself! 

For me, I value authenticity in my life and in my relationships. I strive to build meaningful, genuine relationships with people. I am a mother of two. I have two little boys who are 1 year old and 6 years old. I am a wife who enjoys spending time with my family. Other passions of mine include traveling, working out – I love the Tracey Anderson Method – and, of course, eating. I love trying new restaurants, new wines, and new beers! 

Who do you feel best embodies the Beckley woman and how would you describe her day-in-the-life?

Frontiers. She is excited for the possibilities of the future thanks to a strong connection to her past. She prefers the ease and function of menswear styling as a foundation for creative expression. She is timeless yet quirky and traditional yet spontaneous.

How has being part of the Brand Assembly community influenced the evolution of your brand?

Since we are an emerging designer brand being part of Brand Assembly has introduced us to buyers, additional resources and information. They have been welcoming and supportive of the brand from day one. Being part of a community in my personal and professional life gives you a complete sense of belonging and comfort. 

How would you characterize contemporary fashion and what do you hope Beckley contributes to this market?

Contemporary fashion is very competitive right now and a bit volatile. Stores are closing and buyers are becoming less and less interested in picking up new designers. These are the challenges we are up against each season. Beckley offers quality, bespoke menswear inspired silhouettes. Our brand history and refined ease separates us from other players in the market. 

In your opinion what has been the most exciting design milestone Beckley has achieved since its initial inception?

For me, seeing women wearing pieces from the collection is the ultimate milestone. Everyone from Eva Chen, Courtney Trop of Always Judging, Charlize Theron and Gabrielle Union wears our pieces. Seeing these style icons wearing Beckley has been huge for the brand. When people wear your clothes it’s the ultimate feeling that you’ve made it! 

What do you assemble daily?

The collection is designed in a way which focuses on our core items that are offered season after season. We then create our seasonal collection, which offers on trend silhouettes and fabrics. Both collections work together or separately. I love a well-made jumpsuit and blazer. No matter what we are designing these two items will be a constant for our Beckley girl.