Meet Marcella Jones Penn, a fashion show producer and designer from New York City who is now living in Dallas. In this week’s careers profile we will learn about Marcella’s background in fashion design, and how she made her dreams of creating her own collection into reality.
Name: Marcella Jones Penn
Professional Title: Owner of Marcella Co., Dallas, Texas
Degrees: Bachelor's in Fashion Merchandising and Buying, Bachelor's in Criminal Justice
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
About Marcella Jones & Co.
When and how did you become a designer and fashion show producer?
I actually started producing fashion shows in 2013, [but Runway Dallas] was my first “big” show. I’ve always [been a designer]. [I find it fascinating how you can use] prints, patterns, colors and textures to express yourself. I started designing when I was 12 years old. I did some architecture in between the years but I’ve been dedicated to designing and producing shows lately.
What is the inspiration behind the style of your clothing?
When people ask me that question, I have to be completely honest. It’s God. It’s all God inspired. I love business, and I love business women who are dedicated and don’t take anything from anybody. The structure of business buildings and the women inside them [are where my direction comes from].
Photos from Marcella Co.'s lookbook
Originally from the big apple, Marcella is a self-made businesswoman who is now living in the heart of Texas. What had first started as a dream, quickly became a company. Marcella Company is a contemporary women’s clothing line for women who are sharp, confident in making a statement, and don’t take no for an answer. Designing a range of dresses, jumpers, separates, blazers and suits, Marcella believes in only creating statement pieces. Her second and newest line is called, Marcella Sport. Although she described Marcella Sport as an “awesome accident”, her sportswear line has evolved into an athletically influenced line with a casual yet edgy feel.
About Runway Dallas
Photos of Runway Dallas by Lachelle Scott
As the creative director and primary producer for Runway Dallas, Marcella and 14 other talented designer premiered their latest collections on a chic and glam runway in downtown Dallas. Before coming to Dallas, Marcella was doing well at making a name for herself in the fashion design and show production industries. She wanted to be challenged by a change of setting, so she figured Dallas would be the perfect city to establish herself in next. Marcella is a dedicated, kind, and professional women with tons of ambition.
Marcella moved to Dallas a little over a year ago, and began the production of Runway Dallas in October. In order for the first event to be successful, she knew she needed to find people who were willing to volunteer and work for little to no pay since all of the event's proceeds were to benefit St. Jude’s hospital. Fortunately she was able to find volunteers and emerging designers who were eager to gain experience and exposure. She was also able to find a couple more experienced designers who were willing to help her out. “We aimed for the show to be beneficial to all people in the fashion industry, not just for entertainment purposes. Whether it be the models, designers, makeup artists, or hair stylists, we wanted to provide them with a platform to express themselves and showcase their work. We invited all types of people to attend the event, including fashion buyers, bloggers, and others in the industry so that everyone could network and help advance each others careers.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a fashion producer or a designer?
Follow God and let him guide you. Don’t be afraid to take risk. Network with as many people as possible and trust in God. Be prepared for anything to happen, because we all know that the industry is unpredictable. You have to want it, [and make sure not to] lose yourself in [it]. Get inspired by other designers and create your own [style] and stick with it.
With the support and love from her husband, family, and fellow designers and friends, Marcella was able to make her dreams into reality. Currently, Marcella has a great outlook on the future, is ready to take on her next challenge of producing Runway New York.
View Marcella’s current collection on her website.
View the Runway Dallas Recap video, below!
Copy: Amani Wells, Careers Writer
Fernando Zamarripa, Careers Editor
Graphic 1: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief
Photos c/o Marcella Penn