Goa's Melvyn Noronha breaks the mould to designing stardom

Meet the rebel in a family of sports-lovers, who struck back to become a leading fashion designer and pageant mentor
FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic  Noronha shares his inspiring journey.
FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic Noronha shares his inspiring journey. Photo: Rohan Fernandes

Dressed in a cotton poncho hoodie, black suede formal shoes with his hair neatly tucked in a bun that made all heads turn, Melvyn Dominic Noronha, walked into a café in Panjim.

After winning accolades and awards globally, the international pageant mentor and fashion designer is currently in Goa, on a break, before he starts afresh on a new project.

FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic  Noronha shares his inspiring journey.
The Shop: Making a sustainable fashion statement in Goa

While on his visit to Goa, Melvyn took time out to have a candid chat with Gomantak Times Digital on his passion for fashion, career struggles and, of course, life in the fashion industry.

'I WAS THE BLACK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY'

As a child in an extended family of sports and dance lovers, Melvyn knew that he was interested in art. And, in order to even the score with family members who loved watching sports, he decided to rebel and watch a pageant, instead.

“I always was considered the black sheep of the family, but I had unwavering faith from my parents. In a family, where everyone is a footballer or a dancer, I was a singer. In my family, cricket is considered as national pride and I was forced to watch it with my uncles,” says Melvyn, who hails from the village of Siolim, in North Goa.

FOR THE LOVE OF ART: Melvyn Noronha has always been an artist deep within.
FOR THE LOVE OF ART: Melvyn Noronha has always been an artist deep within.

In 1996, he got the opportunity to turn the tables around, when India hosted the Miss World pageant, and it was telecast on Doordarshan.

“I told my uncles it was now their time to watch a pageant, as there were many countries participating. And, they did,” quips Melvyn.

He adds, “It was the most fascinating thing I ever watched, and I was spellbound. You could get to see so many countries with all the models who represented their countries, through their costumes."

ART GOES GLAM: Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss Grand Slam 2018 wore an ensemble with the theme, 'Prayer of Peace, through the Spirit of the Indian Elephant' was  designed by Melvyn Noronha.
ART GOES GLAM: Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss Grand Slam 2018 wore an ensemble with the theme, 'Prayer of Peace, through the Spirit of the Indian Elephant' was designed by Melvyn Noronha.

"This was at a time when travel videos or social media was unheard of. Greece took the crown and Brazil won the best National Costume that year, and India was among the top 5. I cried, and my uncles teased me. In 1997, India won and Diana Hayden was crowned Miss World. I would keep paper cut-outs of them,” he shares.

NOT AN EASY JOURNEY

“I have always been an artist deep within. Surviving various forms of bullying, by diverting my attention to the fields of art, literature, singing and dancing,” says Melvyn.

WOMAN ON TOP: Gail D'Silva, Femina Miss India 2014's  National Costume had the theme 'The Strength of Indian Women - Nirbhaya', which was designed by Melvyn Noronha.
WOMAN ON TOP: Gail D'Silva, Femina Miss India 2014's National Costume had the theme 'The Strength of Indian Women - Nirbhaya', which was designed by Melvyn Noronha.

He laments his first job, which was that of a compere at a school annual day, which led him to win the Kingfisher Voice of Goa 2010, and later led to 150 singing gigs from November 2010 to November 2011 .

Did you know Melvyn also holds a Bachelors degree in IT engineering? Well, that helped him design a costume for his first-ever student at Femina Miss India, Gail D’Silva, from Orlim, who won the Femina Miss India United Continents 2014.

FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic  Noronha shares his inspiring journey.
A crowning glory for Goa’s showman extraordinaire

“Life would never be the same again. The faith Gail had in me was the extra pressure to push me to be the best version of myself and become the International Pageant Mentor and fashion designer that I am today," he remembers.

"It is because of her that the world started to see the fruits of 18 years of passionate work I had put in to be ready for that moment, never realising that I would ever have the opportunity," he continues.

"But, when the opportunity came, I was ready, because with child-like faith, I worked on these aspects at the back of my notebooks and in scribble pads,” says Siolkar, Melvyn.

FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic  Noronha shares his inspiring journey.
Liston, the striker Goa is waiting for India to acknowledge

GO BIG OR GO HOME! – MANTRA FOR LIFE 

Talking about his first national costume, Melvyn says, “It was largely hand-stitched, with video tutorials from the net. My principle is clear when I design. I design with no limits to my fantasy, and once the design is done, no matter how impossible it looks, I somehow bring it to reality.”

He pauses to sip the lime water he has ordered, and then continues, “Most of the time, I had people around think I was crazy, that I was working on half knowledge, or that I was aiming too high; but I’m the kind of person who believes in going big or going home!"

IN STYLE: Melvyn has carved a niche for himself in the fashion industry.
IN STYLE: Melvyn has carved a niche for himself in the fashion industry. Photo: Rohan Fernandes

"Over a period of time, this helped me to consistently be among the top three best performing national costume designers in the world.”

PRAYER & SUCCESS GO HAND IN HAND

Melvyn credits his success to his hard work and God. “My process always involves a good study of the individual and a day for prayer."

FASHION FIRST: From rebel to a renowned international pageant mentor and fashion designer, Melvyn Dominic  Noronha shares his inspiring journey.
This Goan fashion designer was groomed by designer Wendell Rodricks

"I don’t trust myself to be the best, but I trust myself to be the channel through which God will put out His divine work in the world. I am only a loyal and willing instrument in God’s hands," he believes.

"Sometimes, I get surprised to tears at what comes out of our labours, and it is clear to me that it wouldn’t happen without divine intervention,” says the devout Catholic.

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Goa News in English on Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com