QU student runs up-and-coming clothing line
Written by Michele Barletta, image designed by Brendan Nelson.
Life in college can be difficult enough for the average student. Trying to balance your studies, a social life, a part-time job and even sports can really take its toll on young adults both mentally and physically. So how does one successfully balance their studies with a sport and running a clothing line?
I sat down with Dane Mechali, MBA student, QU tennis player and creative director and designer of Mechali, to find out exactly how he does it.
“I do all the clothing designs, cookbooks, campaigns and Instagram, pretty much the face of the brand,” Mechali said.
Mechali has worked with his brother, Jason, who is titled the CEO of the business, since the idea of the brand was born in the summer of 2018, with the pair dropping their first collection in May 2019.
Mechali said that his passion and love for fashion is what fuels him and helps him persevere when things get tough.
“It’s like a hobby for me,” Mechali said. “I’m very career driven and look to the future so after my degree and tennis, fashion has always been something I wanted to go into.”
The Mechali brothers work hard to make sure their message and values are portrayed through their products and their digital footprint by following up with customers after previous purchases, sharing their images on social media, and having meaningful messages behind the artwork that is their clothing. The brothers have an emphasis on family and hope to build a family of people who can identify as part of a larger group of people.
“We are a brand that is very family driven,” Mechali said. “We want to push a message of confidence and empowerment into our community, we want to build a family and make people have a sense of belonging while pushing the message of each collection’s idea.”
Mechali strives for perfection in its products. Every last detail is specified to Dane’s requirements, including things like the buttons and zips. He works with something called a techpack.
“This is like a digital drawing of what the product is going to be, including the different measurements, materials and smaller details on the garments,” he said.
The brothers make use of different factories all over the world that help them create their products, and say that it’s not always smooth sailing when trying to communicate.
“One of the hardest things we have to face is the communication with factories across the world,” he said. “We go back and forth correcting and making sure the sample is perfect and once this is done we tell them to go into production.”
Professional athletes, like KhaDarel Hodge of the Cleveland Browns, and Torrey Craig of the Denver Nuggets, are just a few of the celebrities that have been seen wearing Mechali branded clothing.
“It’s a very surreal thing, it’s something you dream of, one day having a brand and seeing famous people wear your clothing and resonate with you,” Mechali said.