Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Wearing Aysha Saeed is like taking a trip around the world….
So why did I choose to visit South Africa? That’s a question I was asked both in NYC and in South Africa. Simply put, I came here seeking inspiration for my brand, particularly for the Spring 2011 collection. After all, a fashion designer needs to see and discover new places in order to design; so traveling to exotic locales is a vital part of my job description….tough job, right?
Now returning on my long flight back to New York from Johannesburg, I decided to summarize this trip into a blog post, but am having difficulty doing so because there is so much I want to share with you. But I can say this much: the trip was everything I had imagined and then some. For instance, as we were descending into Cape Town, the landscape took my breath away; the sight of Table Top Mountain was breathtaking in the early morning hours. As the plane touched the tarmac, I found myself saying out loud, ‘This is Africa.’ Crazy as it may sound, I found myself saying this statement quite a few times for the next two weeks because I never thought I would come here.
I did get the feeling that women run the show here, which may explain why, every few blocks I saw hair salons (more like a square tin box with windows cut out and spray-painted signs denoting ‘Women’s Salon.’) These women work hard, and, at the same time, want to look good --- my kind of woman. Of course I found them inspirational. All women everywhere want to look their best, regardless of the circumstances.
For me, an African safari was thrilling and super fun. As an animal lover, I loved seeing wild animals roaming freely; it was a sight to behold. Although the African landscape was dry and brittle, I found their colors beautiful beyond compare, and those colors have stayed in my mind long after the event itself. I’m thinking of fabrics that would look best in the colors and contrasts of African earth.
Well, to sum it up, my South African trip did not inspire me to do a literal Spring 2011 Collection, which should properly consist of safari jackets, animal prints, etc. Many designers have followed their instincts with African-inspired collections. So instead, in my collection, I intend to explore my own personal take of South Africa….a land of people, just like everywhere else, making it in their own way; only they seem happier than people elsewhere. Perhaps that’s because their land is breathtaking, and, after so many years, their land now officially belongs to them.
So upon my return, I quickly adjusted my Spring 2011 Collection mood board to incorporate inspirations I garnered from South Africa. And so here they are, or will be: the collection will reflect the strength of South African women and their balancing acts of survival, and, at the same time, doing what they can to stay beautiful. It’s a balancing act they seem to have perfected. As for the collection’s color pallet, it will reflect the earthy tones of the African plains. And to bring a rich color into the spring styles, I am looking to diamonds from Kimberly. So there will be plenty of color in the shades of yellow, pink, and blue, reflecting these precious stone found in South Africa; and maybe a touch of green to reference the vast South African plains and that valuable stone’s aura of luxury. Simply put, Spring 2011 will be a rich, vibrant, alluring - yet practical - collection. And let’s not forget my version of ‘pillow menu’…be sure to watch for these details.
Well, there you have it; now you need to be a little patient and keep an eye out for our Spring 2011 Collection. I am certain when you wear it, you will say, wearing Aysha Saeed is like taking a trip around the world….