Mamadoux Is Freeing The Fashion World One Unique Garment At A Time
Mamadoux by Elliott Beach is more than a cult-culture phenomena. The vision behind this brand was something along the lines of freeing the fashion world. Every item of clothing is unique unto the moment. Beach’s inspirations come to him daily, needing to be created by his own hands: every clothing item is 100% hand made. Elliott Beach figured out how to decimate all conventions in order to hand-make a vision of personal liberation. His line is for anyone, not solely one type of person, but for a true world that infuses individualism and style.
Mamadoux’s clothing is crafted precise to your measurements. Making each item is irreplaceable, none are made the exact same way. Mamadoux feels like your own personal brand, almost intrinsically chiseled for your persona.
Was Mamadoux something you always kind of knew you would end up doing, did you kind of have a feeling you would go on this artistic route?
EB: It was more of a fantasy than a dream back then. I had this sketch book, this big orange sketch book; anyone who knew me when I was young knew that I would bring it around everywhere I went. I was always drawing in it; I’ve been drawing clothes since 6th grade just for fun, even if it was drawing my friends, telling them “I think you should where this.” It was always a dream, I never thought I’d become a designer…I mean how do you become a designer? I don’t know. When you’re growing up in the suburbs, it’s not like “Oh, I’m just gonna be the next Marc Jacobs or something.” How does one do that? There is no “How To” book, so I never thought that was something I would actually be able to do. But I knew it was what I wanted to do, and I found a way to do it, no matter what.
Talk about dedication, did you ever doubt you would not make it at all? Any moment you felt like giving up?
EB: I mean, I don’t think there were any doubts because I’ve always been really dedicated and knew what I wanted to do, and I knew that I could do it.
When you’re first putting your stuff out there, there’s a big fear that people will copy it. But it happens all the time… bigger brands literally have people who work for them to find designs to copy. I know people who used to do that job. It’s scary, it’s really scary. You have to be able to let go of those initial designs–everything you put out there you’re not going to necessarily get credit for, and you have to know that going in. That is a big fear.
EB: Funny, because I’ve actually been offended before when someone said Mamadoux is really only for one type of person. And I got offended by that only because it’s actually not for one type of person. I know so many different types of people, they people couldn’t be more different. I guess what I took from that is that it’s for a specific “type” of person; it’s someone who’s just sick of the fact that they can’t get anything unique, real, authentic, one of a kind anywhere.
I know that there’s a lot of people out there that do care about that and it’s important to them. Why? There’s a lot of different reasons. I just want to contribute to this world something that’s authentic and one of a kind. It’s really simple, I make them by hand and that’s our target audience, the people who understand and want that.
What about Mamadoux the name, where does it come from?
EB: I adopted that name when I was really young, I started signing all my drawings and sketches with that name. It’s actually a North African name, it’s the French Moroccan form of Mohammed. It’s funny, because I didn’t know that when I first adopted the name. To me it’s a really powerful name in itself, a very spiritual name. I like the sound of it, the fact that it’s different.
Do you see this brand specifically going in any direction in the future? Goals for the brand?
EB: I have plans on how I want to structure it, and how to keep it growing. The ultimate goal is to be able to do this at the highest level possible, using the highest level of materials, where I would have everything at my disposal, basically to create anything I want. Eventually I’d like to have a high end line that is in-house produced (everything produced by us). I want to have a cross-over or bridge line that is manufactured in America, not over-seas (not in China). What I would bring new to the commercial market is doing a limited run, so the designs aren’t duplicated constantly. I want to always have access to the everyday people and make clothes for them. I don’t want to only be making high-end couture, I also want to be able to dress people in their everyday life, and to be accessible at all levels.
Even your commercial wear will still be limited and unique.
EB: We’ll still be doing one of a kind–just at a bigger scale, all in-house produced.
Is that your main inspiration? The vision?
EB: Yea I pretty much decide every day, “what do I want to make today”, what am I interested in today?
I think the main influence is people. I like to make clothes for both men and women; but when it comes to making clothes for men and women, it’s always for a very different reason. So, specifically with women: I’m influenced by the woman herself and my romanticized vision of her. As a designer you’re a problem solver, you’re looking at the world around you and thinking “how can I make it better”. You have to have a love for the world around you but at the same time have to be unhappy with it. My main influence I guess is “how can I make the world more beautiful and make people feel more beautiful”. That’s the biggest influence for me.
So, that’s kind of like a very present influence. Non-stop really. What do you do on your downtime?
EB: I’m really weird about my dogs, I have two little Chihuahuas. I spend a lot of time talking to them and making up weird names for them. I also love to watch “South Park” and “Law and Order SVU”.
How did you find out it was specifically Mamadoux, how did you find out that it was this specific brand and this specific vision? What was stopping you before from actualizing it?
EB: I guess I really did it as soon as I was able to, but I think before there were a lot of mental blocks. It took a long time for me to really just get to it. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had no support-system and I had to go off and do it on my own. When I first moved to LA, I was working for this artist for two years (I don’t even want to call him a fashion designer), I was making entire collections for him without getting paid or even getting any credit. He treated me very badly and held me back for years until I met Palma Wright. It wasn’t really until after that that I was able to start Mamadoux.
The way I see it, is that this brand is so f***ing powerful with such potential, I can’t see it not growing at all; so why wasn’t it put out earlier in this world?
EB: It was kind of simple, it was a way for me to express myself and have a place to do what I’m supposed to do, what I love to do and feel good about doing… A place where I can get credit for my work and have my name attached to it, and get compensated for my ideas. I had to learn that what I did actually had value. It was a way for me to have all of that. After being told “no” so many times, I said “fine I’ll just start my own thing”.
So, who is Mamadoux?
EB: Mamadoux is what I call the things that I make, but eventually I want to be my own “thing” too. I want to be able to be Elliott Beach on my own, that’s really what I’m doing, you know? This “genre” is called Mamadoux, this period in time is called Mamadoux.
Interview by Gabby Ramirez & Photographs by Palma Wright