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Get to Know... Valerie Mayen

04 . 23 . 2018

My work is modern, clean, and classic with an edge. I pride myself in the highest level of quality construction in my garments. My mission is to help women simplify their wardrobe and the stress of getting dressed by providing timeless key staples that will last them for years to come.

Valerie Mayen

One of a Kind: When and why did you decide to become an artist?

Valerie: I began drawing at the age of 5. It was one of few things I excelled at and took great joy in. I spent hours with my nose buried in my drawings, my fingers ruddied with ink. As I grew older, my drawings turned to fabric and the fabric transformed into functional garments. Some people say a certain life or career chose them. I truly believe this can happen. I tried my hand at sewing and fashion design and it agreed with me. The satisfaction of creating wearable art from bolts and remnants of fabric felt like no other medium I’d ever worked with. I decided to become an artist as a child, but I grew into the designer I am today through hard work and practice.

One of a Kind: What is your favorite part of doing what you do?

Valerie: The start and the finish. I love the beginning stages of the design process and the fulfillment and reward I feel when a garment is finally complete is so satisfying. It’s like, “Did I just make that?”

One of a Kind: What are you bringing to the Spring One of a Kind Show?

Valerie: I am bringing my domestically handmade contemporary women’s clothing line, Yellowcake. I design and produce a curated offering of versatile outerwear, tunics, scarves and coordinating leather accessories for the everyday woman.

One of a Kind: Have you ever made anything that you couldn't part with? 

Valerie: The first dress I ever made. It wasn’t that complex or pushing any major design boundaries -it’s actually pretty tacky. But it was THE very first dress I ever made. And I was so proud.

One of a Kind: What are some of your favorite things to do in Chicago?

Valerie: I love to salsa dance, thrift shop and eat my way through Chicago!


Come meet Valerie Mayen and more than 300 designers and makers this week's show!