Black Expo Designer Spotlight: Lavon McDonald

Photography by Jacqueline J

The Indiana Black Expo Inc. Summer Celebration Fashion Show is an annual event that will showcase 14 designers and boutiques from around the United States. For the Expos’ 48th year, attendees can expect to see lots of edgy looks. Nicole Freeman, Executive Producer of the Fashion Show, said everything from street couture to elegant couture will be shown, along with handmade leather pieces and fun accessories. “I just think this is probably going to be one of the best shows that we’ve done,” Freeman said. The show will take place at the Indiana Convention Center’s Entertainment Stage at 4:30pm on July 21, 2018. This series of stories highlights designers, boutiques and creatives that will be participating in this year’s Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration Fashion Show.

Project Runway inspires many designers across the world including Ohio native Lavon McDonald. After watching the show, McDonald realized what she loved doing in her spare time– sewing and creating– could actually be a full time job. As a self-taught seamstress, McDonald is constantly working on her brand while juggling motherhood and other interests. Known as a jack of all trades, McDonald not only designs, but is in the process of obtaining her nursing degree.

“I have multiple things that I do and I think it’s great,” McDonald said. “You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

In 2008, McDonald started her brand, Marchell Lavon. Named after herself, McDonald switched her first and middle name to create the name of brand.

“People really love it!” McDonald said. “They think I’m from Paris and I don’t speak a lick of French! It’s almost like a Lady Gaga thing. Some people call her Lady Gaga and others call her Gaga. It’s cool!”

Inspired by both color and nature, McDonald’s brand is described as eclectic because it stands out from the crowd. Since starting her brand, she has shown collections all over the country.

McDonald is in the process of narrowing her collection down and is thinking of whether to show an all black-and-white collection or one with lots of color. This will be McDonald’s first time showing her brand in Indiana and with that comes great opportunities.

“I think it’s an amazing thing to be featured at the Black Expo Fashion Show,” McDonald said. “It’s another way of growing my brand even more and branching out to people who haven’t seen or heard about me yet. I’m excited! I don’t think fashion should just be an L.A. or New York thing, it can be anywhere.”

It really is who I am. It’s my soul. I will do it until my hands fall off and I can’t sew anymore.

As for the future, McDonald just applied to the show that she credits in helping start her brand in the first place: Project Runway.

“I actually tried out for them the other day,” McDonald said. “I submitted a video and I’m waiting to hear back from them. You just have to throw yourself out there and if it’s a blessing to you, then it’s yours.”

McDonald is grateful for what she has been able to do and believes everyone should have that opportunity. According to her, everyone wants to be seen or heard, regardless of their career path. She is very appreciative for the chance to physically show the ideas and thoughts that are in her head.

“I can’t stop doing it. I’ve tried, but I’m really passionate and bitten by it,” McDonald said. “It really is who I am. It’s my soul. I will do it until my hands fall off and I can’t sew anymore.”

Check out McDonald’s website and follow her on social media below!

Instagram: @marchelllavon

Facebook: @marchelllavon