Galerie.LA The Socially Conscious Destination for Fashion
The Path to Fashion with Integrity
Dechel McKillian a celebrated stylist to celebrities is from Los Angeles but now resides in Venice. Her story is a unique one but like most entrepreneurs not a straight line. She was on track to become a pediatrician. Graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology. In taking a break before applying to medical school. Passion was discovered.
Working in a clothing boutique and then moving up to the assistant buyer. Dechel took a Fashion Merchandising course at community college. Looking to broaden her knowledge base on the fashion industry. Presented with an opportunity to travel abroad on a European Fashion tour with other Fashion design and merchandising students.
Gaining traction in the industry connected with Marco Morante. Collaborating on costumes and outfits for chart-topping artists. As a wardrobe stylist, she traveled the world for four years refining her craft and style. Her client list consisted of celebrities like Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Nicki Minaj, Drake, & Lionel Richie. She continued on styling in genres/industries such as commercial editorial, music, and television.
Dechel founded Galerie.LA in 2015 as a fashion blog with bringing social consciousness and sustainability fashion to the industry in mind. After seeing firsthand, the negative impact fashion was having on our people and planet. She decided to do something about it. As a stylist, you put someone on a celebrity and it carries over to consumers who follow them. Looking at who was making the clothes and the negative impact they had was a contributing factor in creating the shop.
Challenges of being a woman entrepreneur
As expected there are those challenges to overcome as a woman business owner but more so as a black woman in a white male-driven financial world. We’ve seen of late worldwide how tightly those in control are gripping to what they have had a monopoly on for decades now. Dechel has faced the challenges head-on to meet her goals as an entrepreneur and driver of sustainable fashion. You can imagine acquiring funding and support in the industry would be a task. Only 0.2% of venture capital funding goes to women of color. When deciding who to fund in the technology investment space. Putting her creativity to the test figuring out business solutions to get the business off the ground and complete in the now trending niche.
Dechel the founder and Creative Director of Gallerie.LA understands as an entrepreneur that your vision does shape who you are. Which is why she set out to fulfill her passion for fashion and purpose. By creating a positive change on the planet. Gallerie.LA an early-stage start-up required commitment to getting the shop off the ground.
She is hands-on in the process. Developed every single step of the platform as the sole founder. Ranging from selecting the designers, model casting, and photoshoot production to the administrative aspects like selecting the graphic/web designer.
Pioneering and Collaborating on reducing the footprint with style
Sustainable fashion is a niche market that is starting to trend and make headway in the traditional fashion industry. The creation of timeless looks and clothing that can still and will be stylish in years to come. One of the great things that Dechel is finding in the niche is people are working with a common goal of making fashion responsibly. Sharing resources and collaborating as opposed to it’s my idea so I will keep it close to the cuff mentality.
Gallerie.LA a one-stop-shop for socially conscious women sets out to change the perception of sustainability concerning fashion. It’s more than yoga and organic t-shirts. They seek to attract the fashionista with an avant-garde, modern collection with a classic product mix. This is accomplished by scouting the most intriguing sustainable designers around the world. Criteria based on the quality of design and production. While following a sustainable strategy. Artisan, eco-friendly, ethical local, recycled, and vegan production methods.
Implementing a badge system to help customers with the choice about what brands to buy and support. One more way they’re making it easier for their customers to see and know where and how they’re making a difference. Ideal for people who are looking at how they were made and where they come from. Dechel looks to ask these questions in her personal life when shopping for clothes, food, beauty, and household products. It’s only natural that she looks to help answer those questions through her shop for like-minded fashionistas. The badge system has been adopted by many other retailers over the years. Dechel likes to think that it helped to contribute to the new language of using badges to explain production methods.
Gallerie.LA a tightly curated selection of brands with a shared philosophy. Bring a socially conscious fashion to the masses. They put focus on having a positive environmental and social impact that is not at the expense of style and design. A tall order but we think they make it work.
Catering to conscious consumers who aren’t chasing the 5 fashion calendar seasons. Focused more on “what do I need? Will, it last?”. This is the difference between pursuing consumers for sales and revenue gains vs. timeless fashion. Fashion is the world’s second most polluting industry. Gallerie.La customers can trust that the products are made right and created ethically. The badge system ensures it.
Living your vision as a black woman entrepreneur isn’t an easy or straightforward path. We salute you and the impact that you’re making. We love to shine a light on entrepreneurs who can be an example to the next generation and beyond.