“This is the first in a series where I had the pleasure of sitting with the lovely Megan Leone on her cozy back patio and grilling her about her business and philosophies on life, while we enjoyed the soft scent of orange blossoms and a cool breeze.”
Bobbie: So Megan, what was the inspiration for your love of design and all things vintage?
Megan: It definitely started when I was young. When I was eight, my mom gave me some scraps of fabric and a needle with thread. I began to experiment and create these cool little outfits for my Barbie dolls. This was at the height of MTV, when they played great over-the-top music videos non-stop. In the 80s, there were all these badass, strong, feminine women like Madonna, Joan Jett and Debbie Gibson, who wore this crazy, in-your-face fashion without apology. I became obsessed with clothes, studying their shapes and construction. One of my most prized possessions as a kid was my Tomy Fashion Plates [Deluxe Design Kit], which I actually still have in my closet. I would endlessly switch the separate pieces around to invent new combinations of ensembles. I was very quiet back then, so fashion really became an extension of my personality and a way to express myself without words. In essence, it gave me the power to create my own identity.
As far as the vintage side goes, I learned what to look for by going with my mom to rummage and church sales in Minnesota every other weekend. She taught me how to gauge quality. I also gained an appreciation for vintage items from my grandfather. He would always give me these little trinkets, so I quickly recognized the value in gently used but greatly loved possessions. My personality is very observational and empathetic, so I would always attach a story to an object and daydream about the people who owned it before. It’s like a treasure hunt that serves to fulfill my desire to understand my fellow human beings with different perspectives. To this day, it gives me a swelling sense of pride and accomplishment to discover an amazing piece, and then let it continue its journey by sharing it with someone who will cherish it as much as the others before her.