Photos by Bliss Braoudakis
Chelsea Mak is the founder and designer of her eponymous line; an LA-based label that describes itself as “Lady clothes for cool girls.” Her feminine, irreverent take on staples and party pieces — as well as her example as an entrepreneur and friend — are among the reasons that we named the Chelsea style after her. We asked her about what’s inspiring her lately, and where she's traveling next.
How would you describe your style?
Laid-back, deliberate, traditional and new — all at once.
Tell us about your womenswear line, Chelsea Mak and how it came to be?
Growing up, my mom and I would visit Shanghai often and spend time at the local fabric markets, making custom pieces with local tailors. From there, I developed a discerning eye for fabric, construction and way of dress. I eventually went to Parsons School of Design to study fashion design. I designed for a few LA brands, like Band of Outsiders and Raquel Allegra, before jumping off the deep end and starting my own line.
Who are some of your current muses and why?
All of the women in Eric Rohmer’s film Love in the Afternoon. Living in LA, where it’s a lot of casual style, I’m always intrigued by how women dress in big cities.
What is your current favorite shoe from Emme Parsons, and how would you style it?
The Chelsea [available in Black and Gold], obviously! I love a good T-strap. I'll be wearing these for an everyday look with the striped Sloan Shirt and Lexy Pant from our new Fall/Winter collection. And then with black leather pants and the Vienna Blouse for nights out!
What is currently inspiring you, sartorially, culturally or otherwise?
The Claude Monet exhibition, Monet at Étretat, which I recently saw at Seattle Art Museum. The show focused on paintings he created while living in a seaside town on the Normandy coast. I’m inspired by the color palettes and gestures, and thinking that next spring I want to dress like a French man from the 1800s.
Are you planning any trips this fall, and if so, where?
I will be traveling to Lisbon, Paris and Crete with my boyfriend. I’ll definitely be packing my Chelseas for cocktail hours and dinners.
What’s in your carry on bag?
A sketchbook! I always do my best sketching on long flights.
You are a pro entertainer. Do you have any tips for creating the perfect playlist, or any go-to artists or songs?
Spotify radio is a savior — my go-to artists are Jorge Ben Jor for a more “adult” vibe, and Jonathan Richman for a good time!
Can you create a playlist for us?
Of course! Listen here.
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