Marcia Masulla rocks her striped boots on a rainy day. She’s got mad style. And she’s making you smile! She walks into a room and owns it. She’s speaking her truth.
Marcia is a founder and managing partner of Nashville Fashion Week, which kicks off tomorrow. She’ll be busy and using her superpowers all week, but she’s taken a moment to stop in at Bacon and answer some questions about herself including what she likes to read!
First – let us tell you a bit about Fashion Week…
Nashville Fashion Week was conceived in 2010 to foster Nashville’s heralded community spirit and concentration of creative, fashion-forward and entrepreneurial talent, to create a one-of-a-kind five day event that is uniquely Nashville.
Nashville Fashion Week launched in April 2011 with a city-wide celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community, and it continues to gain momentum year after year. Featuring local, regional and national designers and industry professionals in an array of creative events throughout the city encourages both Nashvillians and visitors to explore the city’s diverse fashion and retail spaces with promotions, partnerships and educational workshops.
This year’s highlights include headline visits by Anna Sui and Fern Mallis; Learning Labs featuring jewelry making, a photography workshop, makeup for the runway, social media, and social influence; collaborations with local businesses; and multiple runway shows at Oz Arts Nashville… more on this at the end of Marcia’s fun interview!
Interview with Marcia Masulla…
What’s your guilty pleasure?
SHOES. I want all the shoes.
Would you rather stay up late or get up early?
I do both which explains why I’m tired all the time.
Is there a chore you secretly enjoy –
Making my bed
Or openly despise?
What are you good at?
What do you want to be good at?
I wish that I could sing and play the bass.
What challenges you (or- what are you bad at?)
Not wearing my emotion on my face
What do you practice at?
What’s your favorite food?
I’ve been vegan for nearly a decade now and am still a sucker for pizza but now with a plant-derived “cheeze” instead.
It’s a tie between an Old Fashioned and champagne!
Do you like to cook?
I do now. I even had a fresh new oil burn on my wrist that was totally worth it because I nailed a tostada recipe!
If so, what is your greatest accomplishment in the kitchen?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves… I will likely have a scar from the aforementioned tostada recipe.
What is your greatest failure in the kitchen?
There was a rather unfortunate incident with tofu that I shall never talk about. One word. YUCK.
What would you eat for breakfast every day in a perfect world?
What do you like to do on a rainy Saturday?
Snuggle up with my pups, burn some incense and catch up on the stack of magazines that have accumulated over the months
A sunny Saturday?
Take Bellini + Clementine for a long walk and then head out for a solo hike after that!
Tell me about Bellini and Clementine!
Bellini is my beautiful Blue Heeler mix, nearly 10 years old, who I rescued while I was traveling through Corpus Christi, Texas. Clementine is my scrappy nearly 5 year old chihuahua who filled a big whole in my heart when Chico passed away. We started the Tiny But Mighty Fund to honor him and the special bonds that many of us have with our beloved four-legged friends.
What’s your favorite season & why?
Summer! I love the heat and sun and come alive during that time of the year.
What brings you contentment?
My one and only nephew, Mikey, who just turned one recently
What annoys you?
When individuals don’t consider how their actions or inaction affect others
Do you have any annoying habits?
I use the F bomb on the regular.
Do you like to exercise?
I’m going to lie and say yes.
Do you hate to exercise?
I’m going to lie and say no.
Is yoga exercise?
Yoga is a necessary way to charge your mind, body and soul. Namaste.
Do you play games?
I don’t play games. I win games. (WARNING: I’m competitive)
Do you hate games?
Only mind games
Did you play on a team as a kid?
I played soccer for a decade. And was known to slide tackle my way to a yellow or red card all day, every day.
Are you an avid sports fan now?
Cardinals fan ‘til the day I die! I have been a Duke and Coach K fan since I was a kid. And, have become a Titans and Preds fan!
Is childhood or adulthood more fun, and why?
Adulthood. I had a traumatic childhood that included losing my mother to cancer when I was just 11 years old and living in a household with an abusive father. I’m at a point in my life where as tough as things were, I am thankful for it all because it has made me into who I am now.
What did you learn in college, if anything?
You’re a shitty fashion designer, Marcia.
What were your formative educational years?
What kind of music do you listen to most often?
Indie rock. Hip Hop. Rock + Roll. Opera. I listen to it all… My Spotify playlist ranges from Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin to Childish Gambino and Margo Price.
What volunteer commitments are you most passionate about?
Puppies + Fashion!
Tiny But Mighty Fund
Nashville Fashion Week
Favorite TV show?
Currently on a major West Wing binge… It’s becoming a problem.
Who inspires you?
Kamala Harris and our fellow Leadership Nashville classmates
Who enrages you?
Last name rhymes with “Grump”
Are you a person who makes New Year’s resolutions?
How does that work out for you?
Not too shabby minus that juice cleanse that I never started…
Do you have any goals for the next month –
Find some more balance after Nashville Fashion Week. I miss having a social life!
Or year –
Find some headspace and time to get back into the dating scene (YIKES)
Or the rest of your life?
Be kinder to myself
What is the meaning of life?
For me, it is to find my own version of happiness and to contribute more to the world than I get out of it
Do you have any regrets about your twenties?
Why did I date all those boys… in bands?
What do you like about your neighborhood?
The proximity to everything and that I can crawl home from Bastion. Wedgewood Houston, represent!
What do you love most about Nashville?
The community spirit
What do you not love about Nashville?
The rising cost of living
What’s your favorite restaurant ?
There’s no way that I can answer this. I eat out way too much and have too many friends in the industry.
What is your greatest virtue?
I’m much kinder than I look. Generosity and kindness are two things that are vital to my personal mission.
What is your worst vice?
I’m really tough on myself and subsequently can be tough on others too. It’s just not fair to both myself and others to have such high expectations.
If you could choose one word that you hope other people would use to describe you, what would it be? (okay, that’s too hard – 3 words)
Scrappy. Smart. Kind.
If you could sit down to dinner with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Tom Petty. Gloria Steinem. My mother.
If you had to choose to have been born in another time and place, when and where?
My time is now.
What do you worry about?
Both Human + Animal Rights
What do you fear?
What makes you happy?
Productivity. I know… I’m such a nerd.
What did you like to read growing up?
EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that I could get my hands on. I was a voracious reader from the time I started reading. I would write hundreds of book reports each year and also penned my first book (with illustrations) when I was in 4th grade. If I recall correctly, it was nearly 35 pages and my supportive and thoughtful teacher even displayed it on our classroom bulletin board for a month. Thanks, Mrs. Tryon!
Who are your favorite authors now?
Roxane Gay, Jon Meacham, Joan Didion, Simone de Beauvoir, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Samantha Irby, David Sedaris
Do you always finish a book once you’ve started it?
99% of the time. I’m pretty selective about what I commit to read so if I crack it open, it’s pretty much as good as done.
What are you reading now?
The sheer amount of glorious and glossy coffee-table books that I have distributed throughout my home is staggering. And, YES… I question if the phrase “coffee-table book” even applies when I have them nesting on shelves, stools, ledges, and more. The topics range from 50 years of New York Magazine and Runnin Down A Dream: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers to Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty and The Selby Is in Your Place. I want and read it all.
With that being said, my collection of gorgeous tomes dedicated to the topic of fashion anchors my collection. I’ve been collecting and craving these sartorial pages for quite some time and I don’t think that I’ll ever stop. I gain so much inspiration by just quickly flipping through one of these books. The energetic charge that I receive from doing so can fuel creativity into my psyche for days and even weeks. With Nashville Fashion Week heading into our eighth year, I am giddy with excitement that two of the women who have been my personal heroes (since I was a wobbly 18 year old fashion intern, mind, you!) will be descending upon Nashville to celebrate our fashion community with both of their impressive books in tow. Pinch me now!
The legendary Fern Mallis is making her third trip back to Nashville as an unwavering mentor of our mission and will also host a Fashion Talks event where she will lead a conversation with none other than the iconic Anna Sui. Besides being the creator of New York Fashion Week, former Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, former Senior VP of IMG Fashion, the accolades and impressive list of titles for Fern Mallis just don’t stop. Seriously, Google her. In April 2015, Fern Mallis released her book Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis featuring nineteen of her 92Y interviews and includes an array of intimate never-before-seen images detailing family histories and behind the scenes lives of the interviewees. This book has been one that I have regularly pulled off the shelf and is getting quite worn from all the thumbing through.
I scooped up my copy of The World of Anna Sui by Tim Blanks at Parnassus as soon as I laid my eyes on it. Anna Sui’s aesthetic, business acumen and eclectic story has always just resonated with me from her humble brand beginnings in her apartment to the star-studded runway show that are always a highlight on the New York Fashion Week schedule. Did I fail to mention that Sui will also be closing out our NFW runway this year with a presentation of her Spring 2018 collection? I still worry that I’m going to wake up from this hazy yet delicious dream. Did THE Fern Mallis really help shepherd THE Anna Sui for Nashville Fashion Week? This can’t be real. Oh, but yes, it is. We are thrilled to have both Fern and Anna host a VIP Reception and book signing before our NFW Fashion Talks programming kicks off. This is most certainly a page in my life that I will never forget. Now if only I could just figure out what to wear because in fashion, books are most certainly judged by their cover …
I loved every moment of this interview, Marcia! Thanks for taking the time.I know you’ve got a great week ahead and will undoubtedly look fabulous!! Xoxo
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A bit more on Marcia Masulla (by Jerry Williams):
Marcia, who attended Parsons School of Design and graduated from St. Louis University, moved to Nashville in 2008. She has worked in both the fashion industry and as a grassroots organizer for People for the Ethical Treatment of animals (PETA) and later served as the Nashville senior community marketing manager for Yelp. In 2014 Marcia joined The Tennessean as creative editor and host of its multi-media startup, 12th &Broad. She is a founder and managing partner of Nashville Fashion Week and CEO of Roar Nashville, a communications, creative and strategy agency. Marcia is an advisory board member of O’More College fo Design and Belcourt Theater board member as well. In 2013, she founded the Tiny But Mighty Fund to protect and assist animals in need and has chaired the Nashville Humane Association’s fundraiser, Unleashed, since its inception in 2010. Marcia was listed as a member of Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2015. She was named arts & entertainment winner at the 2015 Nashville Emerging Leaders awards (NELAs). One of Nashville Lifestyles’ 25 Most Beautiful People of 2013, she has been inducted into the Tennessee State Museum’s Costume & Textile Institute.