DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: AYA MORRISON
African prints are in heavy rotation for the upcoming Spring 2010 season and when emerging designer Aya Morrison contacted me recently I was excited to showcase her fabulous swimwear and purse collection. Check out our interview and her great designs below!
Rochelle: Hey Aya, great swimsuit collection! So when did your clothing company, Aya Morrison begin? Why?
Aya: The company started in November 2008 after having been designing as a hobby for most of my life. I loved to alter my clothes, no matter what and never wore an outfit without a belt or some kind of accessory to make the attire fashionable. It was just something I loved to do and I earned the name “spice girl” from my family members and friends doing that lol
I eventually decided to take up designing professionally and start a company because of three reasons. Firstly, it had been a passion of mine to design and create stylish garments/attire/outfits/ you name it! and I knew I wanted to influence the fashion world, if not be a stylist or fashion icon someday.
Secondly, I realized how much people had grown to like my style and fashion sense after remaking complimentary fashion pieces here and there for friends. For instance, I had people referring their friends to come to me for vintage inspired unique handmade items.
Thirdly, here I was in school changing my major every semester because I really didn’t have love for anything business school had to offer me. I was literally going to school because I had to go to school, I did not have an idea what I wanted to do with the degree I was chasing. It was mind-numbing then. And then growing up with a designer cousin who used to have me hem her finished pieces, hold fabric while she cut, watch her sew and help her sew sometimes, I grew to love the needle and the concept of fine couture! I started the company because I knew I could offer the fashion world something distinct from deep within myself. Something unique that would help classy trendsetters stay tasteful!…The reason why I named the company after myself, actually – Aya Morrison
Rochelle: Can you elaborate on the message behind your brand Aya Morrison?
Aya: The Aya Morrison brand speaks for itself. The colors, the patterns, the materials used, the category of products we make, the passion and chic sense behind it…Aya Morrison just keeps you Trendy and Stylish. Aya Morrison is for the discerning individual who loves to stand out in a crowd because she is fashionably attractive! Style to me, is a reflection of how one sees him/ herself inwardly, it compliments their self esteem and determines how trendy and fashionable they can get. One thing that excites me about fashion is the freedom everyone has to bring out their own style. Aya Morrison is fashionable. Aya Morrison is Stylish. Aya Morrison is Trendy. Aya Morrison is Chic. Aya Morrison is Accessories. Aya Morrison is Couture!
Rochelle: Describe the inspiration behind your swimsuit designs?
Aya: You know, growing up I wanted to be a video honey, …yea lol. I’d watch these music videos and get so envious of the girls’ perfect even tone complexion and body shape because when I looked in the mirror I had stretch marks and a fat belly. I developed a little complex that made me too shy to wear swimwear. I recall that I learned how to swim in leggings and a bodysuit, literally! When I decided to start my company, I knew my niche was accessories and accessorizing but I got drawn to designing swimwear when I had to have my first photo shoot for my 2009 purses collection and I had to cast models. It brought all those ‘video honey’ memories back to me and especially with the African print fabric craze at the time, I thought to myself, why not make something sexy for the ladies with beautiful skin and incorporate a bit of my culture into these pieces. Being able to make customized boy shorts to fit and cover my stretch marks killed that complex too. It was such delight being able to impact the fashion/modeling/video honey world and seeing my creations come to life. I hope one day soon I’ll see Beyonce in my bathing suit in one of her videos!
Rochelle: Who is the ideal Aya Morrison customer?
Aya: The ideal Aya Morrison customer is one who dares to be unique, elegantly fashionable and embodies the essence of true style.
Rochelle: People are aware of your swimsuits, but give us some info about your handbag collection.
Aya: Well, I actually started out making purses first because they were the easiest to get into at the time that I was hand making vintage inspired products as a hobby. I only had to hand sew two sides together and I had a clutch purse, technically! I, of course, incorporated the African fabric in those also and they did extremely well on the market because it was very new to the eye and people found it fascinating. So yes, my handbag/purses collection was actually my first venture before I got into swimwear designing. Today I have purses, swimwear and belts all incorporated with the African print fabric and I’m finally getting into haute couture which is, of course, vintage-inspired…premiering august 2010.
Rochelle: Where do you see yourself and company in 5 years?
Aya: Oooh, in 5 years, I see Aya Morrison doing much bigger and better things, impacting the fashion world every step of the way. I see myself as one of the best fashion designers the fashion world has to offer – in my particular niche.
Rochelle: What advice would you give someone trying to find their personal style?
Aya: Style is unique and it’s about how you express your inner self outwardly as I said before…could be through your dressing/clothes, could be cars, could be through your choice of friends. Everyone has true style and finding that true style is a journey one undertakes personally. My advice is to just be you, loosen up your creative thoughts and allow yourself to be imaginative and artistic and dare to be different— it doesn’t hurt to be. Never be shy or think someone is going to laugh at or criticize your creativity!
Aya Morrison is an Exotic Fashion Line that focuses on African Print Fabric Products and Assorted Rare Finds! Get Ready for Spring/Summer visit ayamorrison.com. You can also follow her on twitter and become a fan on Facebook!
Update: So excited for Aya, she’s been getting alot of publicity lately. Check out Afrobella.com to read what beauty, hair and culture blogger extraordinaire Afrobella has to say regarding the Aya Morrison Swimwear and Clutch Collection!