"I started out making clothes for myself with a friend. It soon became clear that I had a very focused collection on my hands rather than the odd piece here and there. It moved from a whisper to a full-fledged collection in a short time."
Born and raised in Lake Forest, Illinois, Melissa Coker has lived on the both the East and West coasts and now calls California her home. Although in the late nineties, Melissa’s initial interest was in the movie business, her college roommate informed the talented Melissa of an internship opening with the renowned Helmut Lang. (Lang had just relocated to New York City.) Coker was offered the position and she began working under the designer himself. After some time Coker moved into the editorial world and was employed by fashion magazines W, Details, and Vogue. Thanks to her successes, she was recruited by apparel company, Abercrombie & Fitch to provide conceptual direction as a trend forecaster. While there she realized her dreams of designing her own line. By 2007 Coker launched LA Based ‘Wren’, a line of womenswear influenced by the character Jenny Wren from Dickens ‘Our Mutual Friend’. The line featuring free-spirited exuberance, restrained elegance, low-key sophistication and as Coker told MyCloset.com, practical for girls on the go, it is no wonder her looks have garnered support from celebrities like Michelle Williams, Keira Knightly, Lake Bell, Katie Holmes, and Rose Byrne. The next year in late 2008 she began collaborating with friend and filmmaker Alia Raza to create video look books of her collections, with the spring/summer 09 video called “Discreet Nightmare”.
Melissa Coker is a fan of the classics like Chanel, Lanvin and Goyard. Her other muses are ’the lost girls’ featured in British photographer David Hamilton’s photographs. Fashion publications like Elle, Nylon, Marie Claire (US & UK), Lucky, and Women’s Wear Daily (US & UK) have prominently featured Melissa Coker and her line ‘Wren’.