Meet Pamela Munson, CEO and Creative Director of Pamela Munson
Hi! Thank you very much for having me. I’m Pamela Munson – a mother of three, wife, New Yorker, and CEO and Creative Director of Pamela Munson, a straw accessories brand. I spent many years in the fashion industry working for brands like CHANEL, Oscar de la Renta and Bergdorf Goodman in a sales and merchandising capacity. Before launching my business in 2017, I was the head of U.S. RTW at Oscar de la Renta which was truly my “dream job” if there ever was one. It wasn’t until my daughter turned one that I started to question what I was doing, how I was spending my time and looking for greater meaning in my professional life. It was at the moment I decided to break from a conventional corporate path to launch my namesake brand.
I spent a lot of my childhood in Florida and the Bahamas with my grandparents, and this really informed a lot of the collection and its spirit. I saw an opportunity for classic, timeless straw handbags that had elevated finishing but at an accessible price point. The collection is expressly classic but with a dash of nostalgia – which pays homage to the glamour of my grandparents and the 50s and 60s. There is a vintage feel and nod to the past in everything we do – from the silhouettes to the colors, and imagery.
I love the dance between the creative and analytical. My corporate roles were very analytical so I’m happy to finally use more of the right side of my brain. Managing our global supply chain in a pandemic has been the most challenging environment to navigate. It requires you to be very nimble. The creative to commercial process is incredibly rewarding – to have an idea, execute it well and then to make customers happy is still very cool to me.
Yes, my grandmother was one of my earliest style icons – she always wore a flowery dress, orchid in her hair and carried a straw bag – however she wasn’t a typical hands-on grandma. I always admired her style and thought there wasn’t anything out there in this space that captured a type of ‘elegant resort’ look.
I’m happy there is room for more voices. Largely, fashion and beauty have been defined by ‘big business’ and the elite and I think it’s an exciting time for small brands and women entrepreneurs. Social media has democratized the playing field a bit which is refreshing. Good design and beautiful product can be seen by more eyes now; it’s just not at the discretion of a few fashion gatekeepers.
You are the most important person to invest in and you will never regret the investment…or indulgence! From a healthy diet and lifestyle to self-care to making time for your passions -whether its work or play – is important. I am someone who values ‘alone time’ – time to myself to think, reflect, plan and recharge. It’s not easy with three children and a business but I always try to take a few minutes for myself each day doing something that brings me joy.
As far as collection inspiration and my process, it often begins with a singular idea and grows from there. Our new Resort 2022 collection was designed at the end of 2020 at a time of reflection and staying close to home. I kept thinking about gingham and the comfort and warmth that the print exudes so that was our starting point. I love the way the collection came together – it’s perfect for your next getaway or pairs well back to fall fashion.
I love the Mestiza aesthetic – the brand is bold and feminine. My beautiful Mestiza gown makes me feel confident and comfortable. I adore it especially for the holidays but the lightweight fabric wears well year round.