V O N A L E X A N D R I A
Artistic inspiration is at the very core of the company’s foundation. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably, the New York 2003 Indie Award for Best Designer of the Year. A ready-to-wear designer praised from WWD for her Gun Metal Jewelry, honored First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden in which both were given awards by the designer from her SUPERWOMAN collection in 2009, and had a surprise visit by First Lady of Philadelphia, Lisa Nutter.
Born Melanie Brandon, Designer, Von Alexandria made her New York City debut during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with praise from WWD and Ruth Finley from the Fashion Calendar in 2007. Her collections such as SUPERWOMAN gave honor to Superwomen, First Lady Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and Lisa Nutter, First Lady of Philadelphia.
After doing New York’s Fashion Week, interviewed by Women’s Wear Daily and numerous others, and showing on 5th Avenue, Melani is one to be talked about as written by Philadelphia’s editor for the Inquirer Elizabeth Wellington who writes, “she’s so close to fashion notoriety, she can just pull it over her head... today not just what she offers for us to wear but how much she loves her City of Philadelphia.” Melanie was also invited on the ‘Living it Up with Patti LaBelle’ show chosen as her best designer in Philadelphia in 2003.
Melanie studied fashion merchandizing, business and fashion design with an emphasis on the 19th century. Von was raised in Philadelphia. Following her graduation launched their brand from Melanie Brandon to Von Alexandria. The name "Von" is a nickname the designers’ mother called her growing up and “Alexandria” is from a friend who felt her designs were much too elegant for “Brandon.”
In a nod to ‘SUPERHEROES’ (Fashion and Fantasy—Metropolitan Costume Institute Exhibit), Von Alexandria named her Spring 2009 Collection ‘SUPERWOMAN’. This latest body of work continued the creative and original tapestry of her hybrid vision, Gunn Metal Beauty Collection. Continuing this story, the Von Alexandria Fall 2010 collection, 'the asian ballerina' was a symbolic creative vision of eclectic power, movement, and romance. The collection transitioned from a rehearsal hall to wearable pieces with strong references on geishas and Von’s former life as a ballet dancer. Inspired by her former years dancing with Koresh Dance School in Philadelphia, this collection is consistent with her couture imagination, a trademark perfectly aligned as a staple for feminine empowerment and eclectic romance. It is an ethereal statement that encourages the interplay between the duality of nature and arrhythmia of the city. Yet the life of a dancer is short and Von’s first job as a Design Assistant working for Alfred Angelo Bridals worked on Christine Dior wedding gowns now showed the promise of another form of movement in her future.
The designer has been exploring the significance of innovative beauty in her ready-to-wear clothing lines for years and now jewelry. In an age where designers borrow from each other, Von Alexandria cultivates a revolutionary idea—an ability that extends to her work. Von’s ongoing collaboration with the City of Philadelphia has revived fashion history. The designer’s ingenuity has garnered unwavering support and excitement in her quest to address the daily struggles of a city gripped with violence in cinematic style. The importance of Von’s visions allows her as the first designer to melt and sculpt guns confiscated by Philadelphia Sheriff’s deputies into cuffed bracelets, pendants and other accessories. Remarkably, The City of Philadelphia is now Alexandria’s official source of confiscated weapons for her jewelry line which named the project, ‘Operation: MWVA—Melting Weapons of Violence into Accessories’ in her honor. The symbiotic relationship in leading Philadelphia business owners to address this issue adds depth to an edgy sophistication.
The designer has now designed for celebrities Alicia Raines, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child/The Color Purple, Olivia Jones and now Stephanie Pratt from the Hills.
Nolé Marin of America’s Next Top Model has reigned Von as his new rising designer. You will see her during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, as she has been invited back consistently. Keep your eyes on this designer. Von Alexandria has taken the backdrop of a clothing line and jewelry line and created a platform for fostering change and paramount beauty.