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Though his name might be unfamiliar to some, designer Tony Melillo is no stranger to the fashion industry. He earned a CFDA nomination in 1999 for best new menswear designer for the launch of NOVA U.S.A, resurrected Generra in 2003 and collaborated with Selena Gomez on her collection for K-Mart in 2011. (FYI—he's also working with Vanessa Hudgens on a top-secret project.) Today marks the debut of his new line, ATM by Anthony Thomas Melillo. Comprised of super-luxe tees for men and women, it's available exclusively at Barneys and is priced from $58 to $82. We spoke with ATM to find out what's on his mind less than 24 hours after his designs hit shelves.
Today marks the launch of your line, ATM. What makes the product unique?
The fabrics took almost a year to develop and they are exclusive to ATM so you won't get the quality and feel of these fabrics anywhere else. The details are also unique with the ATM logo under the arm of all of the shirts, the pleating on the women's shoulder and the shirt-tail hem—which is specific to the core women's styles—it gives the shirt a feminine and perfect drape.
What influenced this collection?
My friends and I live and breathe the T-shirt lifestyle. We are always looking for the next best tee so I thought it made sense for me to just go out and make them. After a year of development, ATM launched.
What is the long-term goal of your new line?
I want ATM to be everyone's favorite T-shirt. When anyone mentions T-shirts, they'll think of ATM first and as the best.
What makes the fabrics so special?
The three fabrics are from Peru and are all exclusive to ATM: vintage jersey (100% cotton), slub jersey (100% cotton) and modal jersey (100% modal).
You've said that the ATM by Anthony Thomas Melillo T-shirt is a "fully-branded" experience. How so?
The ATM T-shirt has a full lifestyle behind it. It's not just any T-shirt, it has the perfect relaxed-elegant fit. It's the key item in your wardrobe and foundation for any outfit. There's also the signature design details and brand labeling. There are three labels: the woven label, the stamp/print label and the ATM logo under the arm, plus a personal note from me on the hangtags.
You've included an ode to your tattoo in the creation of the tees. Tell us more about this.
I got a tattoo of my initials when I was 17. I chose the newspaper black font and wanted it to be kind of hidden and discreet. I thought under my arm was cool...you notice it but it's not in your face.
· ATM: Anthony Thomas Melillo Tees [Official Site]