Interview with James Mendolia, TÉLIO Competition Jury Member 2014

For our fourth jury interview post, we present James Mendolia, Director of Fashion Marketing at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. James will bring great industry knowledge to the panel, and Canada’s Breakthrough Designers is very excited to greet him at TÉLIO’s Headquarters this Thursday October 24th, for our first jury deliberations!


We asked, they answered: Quick questions to learn a little bit more about James!

1. First thing you do in the morning? I have an illustration in my bedroom that my friend Renee O’Brien created. It is one of my favorite things in my apartment. It is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to bed. 

2. Favorite artist at the moment? Besides my friend Renee, there are two other artists I admire; the first is painter Daniel Ochoa (American) who is incredibly talented and has a unique perspective on life which is evident in his art. I absolutely love his work, his paintings and illustrations are creative and very clever. I have one of his paintings in my living room, which I enjoy. The other is Vince Beauchemin (Canadian) whose paintings are fun, and provide us with his perspective of the random people he sees on the streets. I am surrounded by three of his paintings in my office.

3. What brought you to fashion? That’s easy; it was my passion for travel. I knew the fashion industry would allow me to travel around the world, and it has. I love visiting countries and meeting people in different parts of the globe, international business is very interesting (and fun). I like adventure, and travel is definitely a great way to explore and discover new people, places and things.

4. Favorite destination – country or city? I have lots of favorite places, but overall, I would have to say I love Italy the most. One of my favorite cities is Rome, it is my good luck charm, and I consider it to be my home away from home when I travel. Though it is a big city, I like finding quiet places within it to enjoy. It reminds me of NYC with the chaotic symphony of the traffic and the friendly and passionate people. I also appreciate how easy it is to travel to Italy’s beaches and other parts of Europe from Rome.

5. A dream you would like to achieve? Again, easy, have more time to travel.

6. Inspiration of the moment? My Great-nieces, they get so excited about new discoveries every day that it reminds me to enjoy life’s little moments.

7. Favorite place to work?  I was born in NYC and one of my favorite places has always been rooftops. I find the roof very peaceful; it is an amazing place to daydream. My friends and family find it amusing that when I travel I always search for hotels that have rooftop pools with great views of the city. 

8. Designers you admire? Tom Ford, he continues to redefine the world of luxury. And Alexander McQueen, he was a major creative force and his talent seemed endless. Unfortunately his life ended too soon.

9. What are you listening to at the moment? Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, a New York radio show. I listen to it every morning. It is so F%#@ing funny and it’s a great way to start the day – totally amusing. If you are in Montreal you can listen here

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s interview with Truc Nguyen!