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Meet Madelyn Hadel of Rebellelion in Denver

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madelyn Hadel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Madelyn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It’s hard to determine where my story started because I’ve always been drawn to fashion design. As a little girl I would make clothes for my Barbies out of paper that I would color and tape together. I started cutting and painting t-shirts in middle school and even made a catalog of my designs that I passed out around school. In high school, I started selling vintage clothing on Etsy. Fashion was always the driving force in my life but at that point, I didn’t know how to sew so it didn’t seem like a viable career, I didn’t pursue it in school or professionally. However, my allure to fashion was insatiable and I decided to buy a sewing machine off Craigslist and started sewing with only the knowledge of how to thread the machine.

My process was purely experimental so I made a lot of mistakes and broke a lot of sewing machines along the way, but each failure informed the process for my next attempt. I started selling my designs in 2012 and started hosting events in 2016. I feel like I’m still just getting started with Rebellelion and it’s exciting to have built a foundation over the years that allows me to create freely and connect with the community around me.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think anyone has found success on a smooth road. One moment that really sticks out to me was both my first great success and my first epic failure. When I first started selling my designs, I would create one style and would have an open inventory so I could recreate designs again even though each piece was upcycled so I would have to go out and source denim from thrift stores. This process worked in the beginning because I only received a few orders at a time so it wasn’t hard to find one or two denim jackets secondhand. I designed one jacket where I bleached the sleeves and drew little doodles by hand with fabric markers. I sent the jacket to my favorite fashion blogger, Bebe Zeva, and she wore the jacket to an interview she had with Teen Vogue. I remember waking up the next day with 80+ orders for that same jacket and my mind was blown. It was so exciting seeing my jacket in a magazine and so exciting having an inbox full of orders, but then reality set in that I had to source 80 jackets secondhand then doodle on each one by hand. It was so stressful and I only ended up completing 12 jackets and I was forced to refund the rest of the orders. Customers were furious that I couldn’t deliver what they wanted and I ended up getting a lot of nasty reviews. It was definitely a learning moment for me to only sell one of a kind pieces or inventory that I already have on hand, ultimately making my business model stronger.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Rebellelion – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Rebellelion is a fashion-focused brand known for upcycled denim and eclectic handmade pieces. I’m dedicated to sustainable fashion that is always eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced. I create clothing with the unwavering belief that fashion should do no harm to the world in which it was created. I love creating custom pieces that can be worn for a lifetime. Rebellelion also hosts events like clothing swaps, concerts, and fashion shows. I love interviewing people who inspire me and collaborating with other creatives.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’ve always created custom one-of-a-kind pieces, mainly denim jackets. Most of my pieces are upcycled as that has been the easiest way to maintain my dedication to sustainability, but lately, I’ve been working on sourcing fabric that is both eco-friendly and ethically produced so that I can create lines of clothing in full size runs. I’ve been drafting patterns to efficiently use textile scraps in styles that I can easily reproduce so that my clothing is more accessible. I’ve also been working with artists on collaborations that I’m excited to release in the fall.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal Photo & Working Photo with mirror/pink suitcase – Jake Holschuh, Outdoor Photo with Eyeball Jacket – Kenny Kerns, Girl with colorful striped pants in field – Rebecca Grant, Colorful photo with blue background – Cam Parsons

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