By Design
Upscale Magazine|April 2020
By Design
When fast fashion took the industry in one direction, this designer stitched out a path of her own.
By Tiffany Black

Catching up with Larissa Muehleder is nearly impossible if you’re not already in her circle. She runs her own fashion label, Muehleder NYC.

Muehleder NYC is a clothing brand with unique designs by Larissa herself. (Note: This is not the same as the curated Instagram boutiques that import fast fashion from China and charge shoppers triple for convenience.) The fashion designer also sews all of her samples and answers the customer service line, so she can speak directly to the women supporting the brand.

With African American women clocking in as the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America, many have learned that a founder’s work is never done. But with work that’s never done, when does one start? For Muehleder, it was early.

Q: We learned you got your start at 16, which is a very young age to understand your calling. How were you able to distinguish the difference between wanting to dress well (which is common in teen girls) and having an interest in designing clothing?

LM: I like this question. My interest in fashion definitely began with how I dressed in junior high. Finding your personal style and really pushing the boundaries of what a shirt or skirt did for you. I think I just had a knack for wanting to create. I’d rip shirts up to create something new. I’d wear two of the same style Timbs but in different colors on each foot. I was always looking for ways to be creative as a kid, so when the idea of designing clothing was brought to me by way of the High School of Fashion Industries, I thought hmmm...that would be cool.

Q: We learned that your parents moved around a lot. What city has inspired your work the most?

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April 2020