Runway MMC
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Runway MMC

Band Pop Latin


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Runway MMC @ Stonewood Shopping Center

Downey, California, USA

Downey, California, USA

Runway MMC @ Cerritos Shopping Center

Cerritos, California, USA

Cerritos, California, USA

Runway MMC @ Lakewood Shopping Center

Lakewood, California, USA

Lakewood, California, USA

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High school girls design their own fashion lines and write songs. On top of that, they also make time for their homework.

By Jacquelyn Rumfola

Three very different girls with three unique fashion styles have created one catchy sound, and along with it an eye-grabbing clothing line.

Runway MMC, a pop group with a rock and urban edge, is preparing for its upcoming album release, which will hit stores at the same time as its new clothing line.

And while the girls are busy juggling their time between the studio and the warehouse, they still manage to excel in school. High school, that is.

“It’s all about time management,” said 16-year-old Melody Hernandez. “I was in the studio the other day, and I had ‘Huckleberry Finn’ in my purse so I could work on my summer reading.”

Meghan Mahowald, 17, and Chelsea Tavares, 16, complete the trio. Each girl has her own look and a name to go with it.

“My line is called ‘Flirty Debutante’ because it is real feminine and includes a lot of dresses,” Melody said.

Like her voice, Meghan’s line, Brazen Rocker, has a rock edge.

“It is rock influenced and chic,” she said. “I follow Gwen Stefani and Metropark, looking over there for ideas.”

With a more casual look, Chelsea plans to model some of her line, “Glamorous Tomboy,” after the style of the late Aaliyah.

“It’s really laid back, but glamorous at the same time,” she said. “Smooth, but sexy.”

The three lines combine under a self-titled label, which will be carried in Wet Seal stores at Fashion Island and in the Irvine Spectrum as soon as Saturday, but will officially be released Aug. 30 in more than 200 Wet Seal stores around the country.

“Each girl has her own look, which covers a different segment of the girl population,” said Lisa Mahowald, Meghan’s mother and creator of the Runway MMC idea. “You can pick and choose between the three to decide which style fits best.”

To promote their look and sound, Runway MMC will perform Saturday in Los Cerritos Center and Sunday in Downey’s Stonewood Center, singing several songs from their upcoming album.

“‘Shop Till You Drop’ is the new ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ ” Melody said. “It has an ’80s-type feel to it.”

Another popular song on the album is “Runway,” and the girls did a remake of “Kids in America” that is getting several hits on MySpace.

“We want to take over fashion, music and MTV at the same time,” Meghan said.

The girls, all from Southern California, have backgrounds in music. Melody’s father was a mariachi, and she has been singing since she was 5.

She became a part of the group when a friend she met at UCLA musical theater camp introduced her to Meghan.

Meghan, a lyric and melody writer, took her first singing lesson about the age of 6 and has wanted to pursue a musical career since.

“I’ve always wanted to be a recording artist,” she said. “I enjoy musical theater and I love being on stage.”

Chelsea, who joined the group after Meghan and Melody held auditions, started in the showbiz industry when she was only 13 months old. Over the years, she has guest-starred in TV shows such as “The Practice” and “The District.” Tavares is also a series regular on “Just Jordan,” a Nickelodeon TV show where she plays Autumn, and “Unfabulous,” where she plays Cranberry.

“I like performing and I want to see what I can do,” she said.

All the girls have one goal in mind: to have fun doing what they love while still keeping their values intact.

“Ultimately, we want to pack out a huge arena with a bunch of screaming fans who are having fun, wearing our clothes,” Melody said.

“The most important thing is that we do what we want, but while having good morals,” Meghan said.

Don’t expect to see a breakup on the near horizon, either.

“We get along ridiculously well,” Meghan said. “It’s such a godsend that we get along as well as we do.”

The girls share the bond of faith and often pray through difficult times.

“Always look to God,” Chelsea said. “Put it in his hands. Be confident and don’t let it go to your head.”

As normal teenage girls, the members are excited to give teenagers and young adults a voice in pop culture.

“The girls really can sing,” Lisa Mahowald said. “They all have phenomenal voices and harmonize beautifully. They all have outstanding fashion taste and they are fabulous students as well.”

“Look out for us, because we are coming,” Chelsea said.

And while the three have a lot to look forward to, they vow to be themselves and not get caught up in the “mumbo jumbo.”

“We are stepping out, showing people who we are,” Chelsea said. “We are real. Nothing is fake. Our moms still ground us.”

Read article: - The Daily Pilot- Newport Beach/Costa Mesa

It's not enough these days to be just another cute girl band. You have to have a little extra something to stand out from the rest.

Meet 16-year-old Melody Hernandez of Newport Beach, Calif., one-third of a new pop singing group called Runway MMC that includes Meghan Elisse and Chelsea Tavares, both of Los Angeles. In addition to a debut CD release in September, the trio has a clothing line in Wet Seal stores.

So you can buy the girls' music, and if you like their clothes, you can buy what they're wearing, too. Too bad J.Lo didn't think of this years ago.

Each band member represents a different persona and style. Melody is the girly, flirty debutante - think clothing with lots of feminine detail like ruffles and dresses. Meghan is the edgy rocker - hence, you'll find pleather jackets and shrunken vests in her part of the clothing line. And Chelsea is the sporty tomboy, with electric-blue skinny jeans and slinky metallic hoodie tops.

Runway MMC's fall collection will be carried at some 200 Wet Seal locations across the country.

The idea to create a girl group with a clothing line came from Elisse's mom, Lisa Mahowald, who owns an apparel manufacturing company.

On the music end, the girls are working with producers of artists like Kelly Clarkson, JoJo and Maya and choreographers for groups like Danity Kane. The girls describe their music as pop with an urban edge, with tracks like "Runway," "Shop 'Til You Drop" and a cover of "Kids in America."

So far, the girls have performed at the Orange County (Calif.) Fair and Stonewood Mall in Downey, Calif., with plans for other mall gigs in the future. They recently attended the Teen Choice Awards and the ALMA Awards.

"I'm so excited about all of this," said Melody, who is a junior at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. "I just can't believe it's all happening."

It might come as no surprise that Melody is pursuing a path in entertainment. Her father is legendary mariachi singer Jose Hernandez of the Sol de Mexico ensemble. "I grew up looking up to my dad, and watching him perform has really inspired me," said Melody.

Her first recordings involved providing background vocals for her father's Grammy-nominated album in 2000, "Tequila Con Limon," and a full track on "Merry-achi Christmas."

Growing up, Melody said her father introduced her to music from artists like Barbra Streisand, Ann Margret and Doris Day. Today, Melody said some of her favorite singers include Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake.

"She definitely has it in her blood," said her father, Jose Hernandez. "Our family has been playing Mexican mariachi music for 125 years. She grew up singing Mexican songs, but there's another side to her.

"Melody is a reflection of how she's grown up here in the States and she's now going from singing mariachi to pop, which is pretty cool."

Asked whether he had any concerns or advice for his daughter getting into the business, Jose Hernandez said he's confident she will stay focused on the morals she was raised with, and will work hard and have passion for the music.

"She knows how hard it can be and all the pressures and influences and just how sexual this generation is," he said. "But there aren't any suggestive lyrics, they're just fun, clean songs. I'm very proud of Melody."

Melody also has aspirations to get into acting. She has already landed guest roles on "Hannah Montana."

While Melody says she can't wait to see what happens with her entertainment career, her family and friends are quick to say she has a solid head on her shoulders. Melody said she has a 3.8 GPA and her dream is to attend USC to study music.

"She's wholesome and gets excellent grades," said her trainer Cassie Piasecki. "This kid is so driven and smart. She's as excited about doing well on an AP test as she is about being in a girl group."

Still, even Melody has admitted to already feeling the pressure of maintaining a certain image in the entertainment industry. "Especially because we're supposed to be modeling the clothes from our line, too," said Melody. "I grew up as the sort of ugly duckling kid, the chubby girl."

So she went to a nutritionist and "measured everything I ate," using a kitchen scale to weigh out portions of chicken.

"I wanted to transform my body but do it the healthy way, through good eating habits and exercise," said Melody.

Since the group officially came together last December - Chelsea Tavares became the third member after a round of auditions - the girls learned how to strut across the stage in high heels, met with producers and then met with designers to go over details of how each of their clothing lines would look.

A camera crew has been following the girls as they launch their pop music and fashion careers in the hopes that their story will get picked up by a major network like MTV for reality TV.

For now, Melody said she and the girls would love to one day get - Orange County Register





Meghan Elisse, Melody Hernandez and Chelsea Tavares make up the group RUNWAY MMC. These three young California ladies, all unique with their own distinctive style and fashion and from different backgrounds were brought together by Lisa Mahowald (Meghan Elisse’s Mother), who came up with an idea to start a girl group with a clothing line behind them. “As soon as we met, we clicked...although we are all different in our own way we come together and become one, a unit,” states Meghan.

Meghan Elisse, the oldest in the group at 17 years of age and of German/Italian descent grew up in the South Bay and has been singing, dancing, and acting since the age of 8 years old. Not only does Meghan have extensive vocal training but she plays the piano and is versatile with any type of dance. Meghan is currently enrolled at the LA County High School for the Arts (Grammy winner) where she competes for roles in musical theatre as well as opera. She has secured the lead role in a number of musicals including Sharpay, High School Musical, Mary Jane, Big River and Kim, Bye Bye Birdie to name a few. She is also blessed with the ability to write lyrics and melodies and besides being an artist at heart she is also committed to giving back, thus she sits as vice president of the b.i.y.a.y.c.d.a. Foundation (believe in yourself and you can do anything) . A foundation committed to helping underprivileged youth. Being raised as 1 of 9 children, Meghan is the outgoing one of the bunch taking on a more rocker/pop style vocally and fashionably. “My passion is music and I don’t want to do anything else in life. I have also been through a lot in my 17 all my songs have deep lyrics and mean a lot to me,” says Meghan.

Melody Hernandez, who is of Mexican/American descent, carries her own style in the group with a pin-up classy look and 50’s type vocals. She grew up in the O.C. in a home filled with Mariachi music. Melody Hernandez is 16 years old and has been singing since the age of 5. Her father’s musical passion has inspired her from a young age. “I have always been inspired by my father’s passion for music in general…seeing how happy his music has made him, and the people it has affected, inspired me to do the same.” She knew that the stage, whether singing, dancing or performing was her life’s calling. She began in musical theater, where she has performed in over 20 musicals and became a dedicated participant in California Conservatory of the Arts. Accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Performing Arts Camp, she became involved there for 2 years. Her first recording was doing background vocals on her father’s Grammy nominated album Tequila Con Limon and eventually a full track on Merry-achi Christmas. She has also tested the waters in acting and landed a guest role on “Hannah Montana”. Despite her passion for music she is still a fulltime student at a college prep school maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

With a Broadway background, Chelsea Tavares, who is also 16 years old of Cape Verdean descent, takes on the Urban/Sassy /Sporty Chic role of the three girls. Chelsea comes from a musical family background and began doing print work for catalogs such as Disney, May Co and others. She made history by becoming the first child of color to model as a Disney Princess “Jasmine.” She is also related to the group Tavares, of which their many hits include the famous single “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel”. Her history background stems from national commercials to guest starring appearances on various TV shows, such as The Practice and The District. At age 10, she also ran a year long performance at The Hollywood’s Famous Pantages Theatre playing young Nala on The Lion King. Currently she is also a series regular on the two hit Nickelodeon TV shows Just Jordan, in which she plays “Autumn” and Unfabulous playing “Cranberry”. A strong vocalist and songwriter, this young lady can also dance hip-hop, jazz, ballet, tap and modern. “I just love making music and putting a performance on for people… I am so glad God blessed me with this talent!”

Not only are these girls talented and unique in their own way, but they also portray a fresh new concept with their performance style. Everything having to do with this group is associated with fashion including their performance which consists of a fashion show and concert in one. They have also created their own line of clothing that expresses each girl individually. Their clothing line is now available at all participating Wet Seal’s nationwide. They can also be seen gracing the red carpet at special events such as The Teen Choice Awards, The ALMA Awards, and The City of Hope Gala Awards. Current performances include The Orange County Fair, The Los Angeles County Fair and The Sacramento State Fair. They are also performed at a series of malls and made a cameo performance at a Make A Wish Foundation Gala in San Diego, California.

Representing a wide range of young girls today, RU