Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
At nine years old, most of us were complaining of being bored. But, Melissa Jade “Missy X” Aiello was too busy establishing her T-shirt label, Tees By Missy X to have that problem. Fast forward two years and 11-year-old Missy has a bonafide business illustrating tees for a clientele that includes Wiz Khalifa. Not a bad side project for a middle schooler. The tops feature Missy's hand-drawn portraits of fashion royalty including Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Vivienne Westwood, and Yohji Yamamoto. Missy works on a commission-only basis, but according to British Vogue, “there are talks with a major stockist to bring the label to a bigger audience.”
In an interview with the magazine, the precocious talent talks about her inspiration: "Fashion is really important to me because it defines who I am." She adds, "If I go to school in sweatpants, people would be surprised. I did actually do that once and everyone said, 'Why are you so regular today?' Fashion is interesting to me, and drawing fashion people is even more interesting."
Notice the emphasis on fashion there: Missy isn’t game for illustrating any old face on her tees. "I said no to Justin Bieber because they're cheesy," she tells Vogue. "There are too many boys like Bieber — there's also The Wanted and One Direction. I draw people I like and think are interesting…I really liked drawing Donatella, she has a really interesting face."
Never mind Donatella, watch this face because we get the feeling Missy X is just getting started. (Vogue UK)