Local designer Michael “Mykal Chu” McClendon is establishing himself as a viable fashion force to be reckoned with. The Louisiana Tech fashion-merchandising senior is connected to his family, identity and craft.
“I want people to know I dress the way I dress because this is my passion and my love, not because of my sexuality,” says Chu.
His lanky physique, inimitable sway, stunning bone structure and occasional Rihanna style pixie constantly capture attention.
Named Michael by his mother, Chu altered the spelling of his father’s last name, Chew to create his alter ego and embrace both parents.
His affinity for thrift stores and modeling past helped equip him for what lies beyond the comfort of home.
The DeRidder native claims that his hometown’s fashion scene is “blah” because there’s a lack of “forward thinking fashion people there.”
Chu derives inspiration from androgynous icon Grace Jones, the Harlem Renaissance, Vera Wang and modern architecture, among other designers and themes.
He is moved to create because of “all those who came before” him. But that doesn’t mean he has a consistent muse.
“I need someone with a dry palate, someone I can take and mold, erase and start again,” says Chu.
“I want someone that’s open to anything, very abstract with a wild twist .”
“You must feel their presence without them even saying a word,” he adds.
Chu featured his designs in an International Model Society fashion extravaganza on Grambling’s campus.
He cites Decuir magazine, freelance photography, runway walk revamping, hairstyling and makeup artistry as some experiences that prepared him to actualize his haute couture dreams.
“Most of my life revolves around art,” says Chu.
“Even the way I view life is just like abstract (art). random strokes and lines, with bursts of color…”
Chu continues by saying that the combination of color creates his life’s masterpiece.
“All the joy and pain, along with random situations come together to form a life worth living.”
If the proof is in his prints, Chu has nothing to worry about.
“Fashion is an art that is forever changing,” says Chu, who aspires to be an international fashion staple.
“I will not stop!”
Contact Mykal Chu on Facebook for more information.