Meet the Mechanic's Daughter...

Charleston native and budding designer Monique Araujo is Paris-bound—about her, the dress that won her third nationally in the Humane Society competition, and the sewing machine awaiting her in France

«Guest StylePublic post by Ally Francine 



A brilliantly poised young woman, Monique Araujo is brimming with ambition, armed with a fresh eye for style and form, and fueled by a salubrious sense of adventure.



I first met Monique, a Charleston native, in 2010 when she was only 19 years old. I was instantly blown away by the young fashion maven’s drive and talent. Then a student at the Art Institute of Charleston, Monique was operating her blog The Mechanic’s Daughter, was a co-founder of the uber-trendy (albeit short lived) VENT magazine, and had won locally and placed third nationally in the Humane Society’s Cool vs. Cruel Competition with her fanciful burlap and tulle cape dress.



Since then, Monique hasn’t slowed down one iota. Throughout her college career, she maintained several fashion projects on her own as well as in collaboration with local designers such as Rogue Waves Surf Shop and Jamie Lin Snyder. She has done everything from hammering out fabulous metal rings at her dad’s auto shop to beautiful fabric dying, to co-styling and co-directing a fashion video, and it hardly stops there…



After receiving her bachelor's degree in fashion management, Monique has spent her days perusing Europe and the America’s eastern coast with her gang of cameras, spending time with her handsome French beau, Pierre, and working like a mad woman to obtain her dual citizenship. She also managed to squeeze in a position as a boutique consultant for Escapada here in Charleston before zipping off to fulfill her dreams of becoming a full time resident of one of the most impassioned and fashion-forward cities in all the world, yes, you guessed it– Paris!




I caught up with Monique just before leaving the states to talk about exploring Paris, going for her masters degree, and the possibility of whatever imaginative and inspired undertakings are next for her:


« What’s next for you in the fashion world?

Right now I’m hopefully trying to switch gears in it; I want to get more into the production side of it and less in the retail… I’ve always wanted to be in the more creative department of fashion. I took a few classes to get a lot of the basics and to learn pattern drafting. I have a seamstress interview lined up and hopefully it works out, but if not, I think there has to be someone looking for an apprentice.



« Have you been working on any new projects lately?

I haven’t had time recently to sit down and do much, but I have my sewing machine with me wherever I am and when I’m in Paris I’ll actually be using Pierre’s grandmother’s sewing machine.



« What are you most looking forward to during your first year as a full time Parisian?

I’m excited that this year I get to spend Christmas there, but I think I’m more excited because that last time I was living there full-time and studying I explored so many things that I would have never thought… Going to the Grande Palais for the first time, where they have the Chanel shows– walking in there and feeling the height of that ceiling over you is just crazy. There is so much more cool shit there.



«  Is there a particular post-grad school you are considering?

I haven’t really been looking into the schools just yet, first I have to work on my French, big time!


For more on Monique Araujo: