( ENSPIRE Fashion ) Embracing Caribbean Heritage: Melda Moda Unveils “The Sorrel Print” Collection
ENSPIRE Contributor: Xiangxi Kong
Melda Moda, a Black women-owned fashion brand, based in New York City, founded by Melissa Lockhart, proudly presents its latest collection, “The Sorrel Print.” Melda-Moda inspired by Lockhart’s Caribbean heritage and millennial experiences, offering sleepwear that blends culture, comfort, and style. Melda Moda aims to inspire relaxation, self-care, and cultural connection through its designs.
”The Sorrel Print” collection used a vivid color palette with thoughtful design, getting inspiration from the Caribbean’s lively colors and rich culture. This collection is based on the founder Melissa Lockhart’s early experiences and showcases a unique blend of style and nostalgia. This collection is provided in sizes ranging from S to 2X, for different body types and preferences. This collection invites customers to escape to paradise, no matter their location.
We spoke with Melissa Lockhart and asked her about her experience and inspiration for this collection.
“The Sorrel Print” is a collection inspired by Caribbean culture. Could you tell us more about your Caribbean roots and experience?
My parents are from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They brought a lot of their Vincentian customs with them to the States. The drink that my mother made every holiday season inspired the sorrel print. It was passed down to her by her mother and I have lots of happy memories of watching my mom make it and having friends and family come over to pick their bottles up around Christmas every year.
“The Sorrel Print” is designed for both comfort and style. Did you consider any elements when you designed it? What makes this collection unique?
The sorrel print was hand-painted for us. The pieces are made from EcoVero by Lenzing, a sustainably sourced viscose and this was our first time working with that fabric. The sorrel print slumber suit is also our only pajama that doesn’t have the contrasting cuffs and we went with a flat panel waistband on the pants instead of all-around elastic this time around. So the look and feel of the sorrel print slumber suit differs from the others. We just want to try something new and see what would come of it.
All of your collections are related to Caribbean heritage. Do you want to change something by design?
The Hibiscus Collection, which featured the sorrel and bissap prints, we inspired by Caribbean heritage. I saw a gap in the market reflecting something that was a major part of my culture so I thought it would be a good place to make my mark.
What do you want to tell girls who want to be designers?
One regret I have is not learning to sew as a child. The brand’s namesake, Melda, sewed, and I spent a lot of time at fabric shops with her, or watching her cut and sew clothes. For young girls, if this is something you want to do, learn to sew. Learn to make a pattern or how to drape. Being able to sketch would also be useful. Learn the fundamentals so you can make your samples or draw your tech packs. It will only help your design process. Study the moves of the brands you admire.
Do you have an idea for your next collection? Can you give us some info?
We have several prints in the vault already. It will be a matter of what is the story we want to tell. For now, we are focused on the Hibiscus collection which is out now. We just realized the second part of that collection, the Bissap print. That print was our first move away from pink, which was so prevalent in our earlier pieces, and we’ve been getting a good reaction. So we’re reveling in that for now.
Melda Moda tried to inspire a sense of relaxation, self-care, and cultural connection through its design. Her roots and her babysitters inspired the designer, Melissa Lockhart. This brand shows the power of women’s design and Caribbean culture. For more information, please visit MeldaModa.com.