Voyage LA Magazine: Daily Inspiration: Meet Steve Dunlap and Meghan Fabulous

Voyage LA Magazine: Daily Inspiration: Meet Steve Dunlap and Meghan Fabulous

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Dunlap and Meghan Fabulous.


Hi Steve and Meghan, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today. 
Meghan and I have been running the business together since 2018, and we’ve grown significantly in that time. Something that has always brought us together is our shared love for the Grateful Dead. The band. The music. The community. The overall vibe. And the general positivity and happiness associated with all of those things. 

One of our first dates was to the Dead shows at Dodger Stadium in July of 2018, and if you visit our home, chances are pretty good that the music playing will be the Dead. It’s more than music. It’s an attitude about life. 

Both of us were passionate about doing a line of apparel that celebrated our love for the band. Meghan, in particular, was eager to bring her own personal interpretation and design to the Grateful Dead style. She had been playing around with various designs and re-working vintage t-shirts and other artifacts for years and was full of ideas. 

In fact, one of her early one-of-a-kind pieces was borrowed and worn by Paris Hilton on the red carpet back in 2004. She had spent nearly a decade thinking about this collection and what she could do to honor our shared love for the band and the music. 

In 2021, it all became official as we secured a license to produce officially branded fashion apparel with the band’s well-known iconography. We launched our first collection in 2023 and it took the Grateful Dead world by storm. 

Never before had couture-level fashion been fused with Grateful Dead hippie chic. It sounds like oil and water perhaps, but it ended up being chocolate and peanut butter! And it turned out there were thousands of women who loved fashion, loved putting together the perfect outfit, and LOVED the Grateful Dead! 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Overall, the apparel business is an incredibly tough business in which to succeed, unless you’re starting out with a big-time celebrity name. We’ve struggled with every challenge you can imagine – factory production problems, financing, operational challenges, legal challenges from disgruntled employees, shady digital marketing agencies, negotiating with customers that hold too much power – and on and on. 

We feel like we’ve fought every single battle to build the business we have today. We’re still a very small firm, but we’ve come so far and accomplished so much! 

Today our operations run mostly smoothly, we’ve built great relationships with factories, and we’ve got great partners. Our partnership and collaboration with the Grateful Dead is by far the most exciting thing we’ve done. As hard-core Dead Heads, it’s a true labor of love for us. But even that was difficult to get off the ground! 

Nobody in the Dead community knew anything about the Meghan Fabulous brand, nor the Grateful Dead Fabulous brand we created. Meghan’s designs are truly cutting-edge, and we are a little bit proud of the fact that they inspired some negative feedback when they first launched. After all, if it created a reaction, then it created feeling – and that is exactly what art is supposed to do! But still, sometimes it was tough to read through the negative comments from people who seemed to consider themselves the keeper of the band’s legacy! 

But any negativity was swiftly drowned out by the outpouring of love and passion for the new designs. Nobody had ever seen anything like it – and women LOVED it. Finally, many told us, now I have something fashionable and beautiful to wear, that celebrates my love for the music! These ladies were looking for something nicer than t-shirts and hoodies, and we were thrilled to bring it to them! 

Now, it’s impossible for us to go to a Dead show without seeing many, many women decked out in our designs. We still stop to take photos and chat with them every single time. We’ve met SO many wonderful people along the way, and seeing the joy it brings them just warms our hearts. And all of this is wrapped in the loving embrace of the community of people who love the music. It’s truly the most satisfying work either of us has ever done. 

In June, we are launching the second Grateful Dead Fabulous collection, and Meghan has truly outdone herself this time. This collection is so beautiful, so glittery and shiny and fabulous, and yet also so comfortable and wearable; we just know that every Dead Head across the country is going to be wearing it. From rhinestone stealies (the affectionate nickname for the famous “Steal Your Face” icon), to sequin crossbody bags, to an incredibly original print showing off dozens of authentic backstage passes from the 1960s – 1990s, every piece in this collection is more incredible than the last! 

When Meghan and I are wearing the prototypes out in public, we can’t walk 20 feet without someone stopping us to ask where we got it! Even non-Dead Heads love it and ask where to buy it! We can’t wait to share this with the world, and in just a couple weeks, the new collection goes on sale to thousands of eagerly awaiting customers and Dead fans! 

We’re so excited about this collection that we relocated to Vegas for the Summer while Dead & Company is playing at The Sphere. They just announced new dates in August, so everyone should come experience this show! The Sphere is an incredible experience all by itself, and coupled with the iconic music and deep, rich visual archives from Grateful Dead history, these shows are not to be missed. 

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Meghan is a born artist and learned to sew from her mother when she was four years old. She and her mother made most of her clothing themselves when she was young, sometimes for fun, sometimes out of financial necessity. She was always the consummate artist and was featured in the local paper when she was in high school after she painted her car in a rendition of Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup can. 

As a young designer, she skyrocketed to notoriety after numerous celebrities were seen in her designs, including Sharon Stone, Shakira, Paris Hilton, and others. At one point, her designs were sold in over 30 countries, and she had a boutique inside Harrod’s in London. 

She has always had a chic, bohemian vibe and been inspired by nature, butterflies, the ocean, and her Southern California upbringing. She’s a true California Girl at heart and that aesthetic comes through in all her designs. Bold colors, pattern matching, and sometimes even quiltwork all find their way into her designs. 

One thing you can be sure of: if everyone in the crowd is doing one thing, Meghan will definitely NOT be doing that thing! Everything she does is about being different and not being afraid to be yourself in a world of sameness. Our customers get that – and embrace it! Once they’re in, they consider themselved “Meghanized.” 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Meghan was the popular kid who didn’t know she was popular! Then, as now, she stood out. She was six feet tall when all the boys were still going through puberty. She was blonde, confident, and beautiful. She was the class president, played basketball, and sometimes dressed as the mascot! And yet, she had no idea she was popular, probably because all the other kids were intimidated! 

She wasn’t afraid in the least to dress exactly the way she wanted to dress and made a point to be different. This, when every other kid is just trying to blend in and not be noticed. It’s impossible to not notice Meghan – then and now. She’s a big personality, dresses even bigger, and is always the kindest, most outgoing person around. She’s got a heart of gold. 

Steve is similar in some ways, although he worked a bit harder to fit in as a kid. He was a bit different in his own ways, driving a ’57 Plymouth while in high school in the 1980’s for example! Nobody else had tail fins! He is also an Eagle Scout and has always had an over-the-top work ethic. 

Both Meghan and Steve are loud, tall, boisterous, and the extreme opposite of shy. When they’re in the room, you’ll know, and by the end of the night, you may be new best friends. We make a point to enjoy life to the fullest, ignore regrets, be kind and friendly to our fellow travelers, and always try to be different.

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