Meet Mandi Line - she is the powerhouse Head Costume Designer on the hit TV show “Pretty Little Liars” which has grown into her designing and styling a successful line for the retail brand Aeropostale. We got a chance to sit down with Mandi and chat about her career and what it takes to be one of the most sought-after costume designers today. Check it out…
How did you end up in the career that you have now? I went to FIDM but after all was said and one knew I didn’t want to be a buyer or merchandiser. I knew after Modeling for years I still wanted to be IN THE MIX. Even though it maybe the other side of the Camera. There was job placement program, and there was an opening for “intern in the Costume dept. on a movie set” “wait people don’t dress themselves??” this is 17 years ago. No one knew what a Costume designer or stylist really was. I got the job, made 75$ a week and knew THIS IS WHERE I BELONG. Since then I have eaten, slept breathed suffered loved this side of the business. If there was a minute I didn’t wok my ass off since the day I started I would not have the career I have. Weak or unmotivated DO NOT APPLY. And these days its used to be a good group of like 20 of us….NOW ITS LIKE 100x THAT. U slow down, you get knocked down And the sad thing some don’t make it back up. I work EVERY DAY TO STAY RELEVANT!!!!
Where do you look for inspiration to continue to keep things fresh and new with your clients? Blogs? Social sites? Fashion shows? As a Costume Designer truthfully the answer is almost 80% is in our creative big insane brain. This is where the Magic is. I look at runway because its breathtaking, I look at magazines because its another world, I have a social media presence cause I work hard and stay on top of it everyday so, yes I’m always on instagram and snapchat…mostly to see events and remain timely and keep my brand growing and changing. But as far as my TRENDSETTING AND MY TASTE… maybe what hot sinks in by osmosis, but truthfully that’s what COSTUME DESIGNERS ARE…Creative Wizards we pull from our brain, look at a garment Maybe at say Zara and do what we do best, make it something else!!! (If we aren’t allowed to design it first )
What is your spirit animal? Why? I have no idea what a spirit animal is and I have avoided purposely haha!! in finding out what that means. So I’m going to remain clueless on that…because I don’t even need to know what that is because the closest thing to me and is my best friend and is the most important thing in my life and I’m OBSESSED OBSESSED WITH HIM IS HARRY WINSTON!!! (SEE PHOTOS ATTACHED) he has more of a fan base than me!!!! I have him tattooed 2x on me, and not small or hidden!!
What’s the most POPULAR moment in your career so far? UGH!!! I have been so blessed and worked so hard and have achieved so much that I don’t know how to answer that??!!!!! I guess I have to say is VERY VERY RARELY in a Costume Designers whole career no matter HOW HUGE they are, to get a clothing line is something I dreamed of. And between myself and my manager Matchbook co, Aeropostale and WARNER BROS……they believed in me to PUT MY NAME ON A TAG!!! I’ve had my own clothing line??!! I still have to pinch myself and let me tell you THAT WAS MY MOST POPULAR MOMENT.
What advice would you give to anyone pursuing the same career path as yours? Advice, work for free, work hard. DO NOT TELL YOUR STORY Unfortunalty we want to mold you we want to mentor you we do not care where u came from and what movie you designed in college….alll we want is you now. We want to see that you want to be present and learn, BE THREE STEPS AHEAD AND ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT IF U DONT KNOW THE ANSWER….Look at us and say “right on top of that rose”
What POPULAR client have you worked with that made you feel you finally made it? I’m not sure if a celeb defines you “making it” I think its your peers. When I have a designer with three Oscars, or 3 Emmys come up to me and say “what you have done with the way teens dress ALL OVER THE WORLD, I have never seen anything like it, Mandi You have arrived”….THAT MADE ME FEEL POPULAR!!!!