Now, no offense to all the girly girls out there: I am not one to discriminate but interviewing designer AYSHA on her collection was very empowering to all women that dress not only to impress but AYSHA designs for the woman who is outspoken…and shyness is not an option! It does not matter if this woman is in her 20’s, 30’s, 50’s or beyond! [Remember, age ain’t nothing but a number (thanks, Aaliyah…we love you!).] The AYSHA Collection is for the woman who is out of this world and could best be described as strong, smart, confident, a woman with a career or on her way in said career. AYSHA said it perfectly: “We are not girly, we are womanly. There is a difference between the two.” Less is more, ladies and gentlemen, and that is what the AYSHA Collection is all about. Her designs are feminine, with the right amount of edginess, and form fitting to any body shape. Her designs give any woman, no matter her age, shape, or size, the right amount of sexy in the classiest way possible. AYSHA could not have said it any better (once again!) when any woman wears my collection you go “from ordinary moments to extraordinary moments.” So to all my future leaders on top or on the rise, and to all the women who are confident and who know where they are going (and failure is, again, not an option!), AYSHA is the designer for you.
During my interview with AYSHA I asked her what was her strength was as a designer. Her response to me was that she understands a woman’s body and she also said that every woman has body issues. No matter if you are in your early 20’s, having had a baby or not, body issues are a very sensitive subject to most women. Instead of complaining about our flaws AYSHA and her collection makes women look flawless.
Her 14 Hour Skinny Pants is the best example of how she can make any woman, size 0-16, look flawless. The 14 Hour Skinny Pants is a perfect fit for all butt sizes. The anatomy of the 14 Hour Skinny Pants includes a center back seam to control butt fit and lift, and let’s not forget the stretch fabric provides extra support for that lift; there’s also back leg seaming for control and lift and extra seaming details to control front leg fit. AYSHA chose the “14 Hour Skinny Pants” name (and very well too!) because those pants are known to be so comfortable and stylish that she wore them almost every single day form morning till midnight. For more details on the 14 Hour Skinny Pants, go to ayshacollection.com.
Another signature design from AYSHA is the Jackie Dress. The Jackie Dress is designed with one function in mind: to lift, tuck, and enhance all to make a woman look and feel amazing. I do not object to this dress! First of all, one reason that the Jackie Dress is amazing for any woman’s shape or size is its 2-panel high hip yoke designed to offer support where women need it most. Second, the hips are contoured to fit sexy yet comfortable. What a perfect combination, looking and feeling great at the same time! The Jackie Dress also has a 7-panel band to provide perfect contour to a woman’s waist to offer most a flattering fit and contour…and the list goes on. The 14 Hour Skinny Pants and the Jackie Dress will upgrade any woman’s look from ordinary to extraordinary! AYSHA gives women the opportunity to look AND feel amazing! For more on the Jackie Dress, visit ayshacollection.com.
Rachel Ulloa: You are Pakistani. As a fashion designer can we see your culture in your designs?
AYSHA: I brought my culture into my designs, but not in a literal way. I don’t do stuff that you look at and say that is reminiscent of Pakistani culture. No, I brought it in a way that’s a little deeper within me and that is the sophistication and modesty. My clothes are not out there. My clothes are sexy but not in-your-face sexy. I think when you are not showing everything it is far sexier than when you are. In our culture it is about covering up, so a lot of my things have the elements of sophistication and modesty to it and the mixing of colors. I love colors and pairing unexpected colors together and in that sense my culture has guided me. I wanted to design stuff for women where it is not disposable fashion so we design things that if you are buying it you are going to wear it today and look amazing in it and you are going to wear it 5 years from now and still look amazing in it because it is still in trend and still a valid item to have in your closet.
Rachel Ulloa: What skills are important for a successful career as a fashion designer?
AYSHA: Many skills. It really depends. Obviously the creative element of it is extremely important; you have to have a point of view. You have to have something to say and stand for something. You just can’t make stuff because everybody else is doing it or it is going to sell and make money. You have to have an opinion and a lot of times it might not come to you immediately. There’s a lot of trial and error that has to take place to get that clarity which is okay. I don’t know many people that have just been great in something overnight. You just need to do different things to get your voice.
Rachel Ulloa: Describe your collection.
AYSHA: My collection is sophisticated and it has a bit of edge to it but is very wearable. It is comfortable. You get your value for the money you spend and that is very important to me. Again, comfort is very important and there’s a little hint of sexy to it in a very sophisticated way again. My clothes are fitted to the body and that is very important to have that touch of it and that little touch makes any woman go from ordinary to extraordinary.
Rachel Ulloa: What inspires you as a fashion designer?
AYSHA: Everything around me inspires me. One thing it could be from a trip you have taken to somewhere exotic. I get inspired by strong women…I love to meet women that have done a lot with their lives; it does not have to be in fashion. It could be outside of fashion, as long as they had a voice that made a difference. Especially, when they had everything else going against them. It is one thing that you are born into wealth and had all the opportunities and you made it and that still is a talent, you should still get credit for that, and that is fine; but when your story is about someone that struggled and took a leap and took their savings and mortgaged their home and did something with it and made something. That is amazing! I love those stories. Whether it is women or men or whoever has done anything great out of nothing. Those stories inspire me. I try to read books that are in that genre. My customers who buy my stuff, they inspire me. For someone to come here and spend $300, $400 to $500 on an outfit and where they could have taken their money and bought something else with it, it really touches my heart and makes me say “wow, I am doing something right,” and they always give you feedback and tell me how often they wore it and how many compliments they received. It is a nice to get feedback from my customers and that compels you to do things forward.
Rachel Ulloa: Describe the women you design for.
AYSHA: She is someone who is not shy. My girl is, I don’t want to put an age on her, she can be anywhere from her 20’s to 50’s. I try not to segment people on their age. She is either on top of her career or on her way. She is confident that she is going to get there. That is my girl. I say we are designing for current and future leaders, so if you are not a CEO of a company, don’t worry, one day you’ll get there. You just have to have that attitude. My clothing speaks to that women; she is not quiet or shy. She is someone who has something to say. She is inspired to be somewhere and takes other people along with her. She is not selfish and my business is built on word of mouth and the reason I say this is because she shares and does not keep this designer to herself. That’s what I really appreciate. That is why I say she is not selfish. She wants others to know about her secret and together there is a lot of girl power. I am my best customer. I would not put anything in my collection that I won’t wear. That’s how you get that intimate relationship with the product. I try to wear my collection before we produce it so I kind figure out the kinks in the fitting: okay, this is a little too tight here or this is gathering too much or we need to give a little here. This is not just on a practical point of view but it is on an emotional point of view as well. I love to have a connection with my product.
Rachel Ulloa: Do you wear your collection? How do you feel when you wear AYSHA Collection? How do you want women in general to feel when they wear AYSHA collection?
AYSHA: Yes, I wear my collection. Again going back to the same reason I wear my collection because I want intimacy to exist between my brand, myself and the product. I will continue to do that regardless how big we get. I do not want to lose sight of making product and not be familiar with every single thing that happens around it in the making process. I enjoy that very much. And as far as how other women feel when they wear my product. When you wear AYSHA, you feel like the world is yours. You step out of your house in our clothing, you generally walk different. I feel there is a pep in your step…definitely and our clothing requires heels; so you are walking in heels and that also sets you apart. some of our items like pencil skirts and certain dresses, we taper them a little bit more and as they come down the hem area, they are tapered, so that forces you to take smaller steps, so when you take smaller steps you walk slowly and you actually enjoy the process of walking and when you walk like that other people notice that too. My mom always said: “When you walk, walk as if a car is waiting for you, not as if you are running after a bus.” I remember that and I would say, I like that, and I would walk slowly, and when you are wearing 4- to 5-inch heels you are forced to walk slowly. So I said, let’s taper our skirts a little bit so my clients are forced to walk that way too. Again I would get feedback from them: “OMG, you are so right I am walking such dainty steps.” It is very feminine and elegant and that way people can enjoy you as you walk by.
Rachel Ulloa: What kinds of patterns or fabrics do you use in your designs? Do you like mixing fabrics?
AYSHA: All of our fabrics are European…the majority of our fabrics are European. I love mixing fabrics up. Very rarely I would make something that has one specific fabric. I love things of different textures, stretch, non-stretch, color, pattern, non-pattern, but always keeping it sophisticated. I don’t want to become colorful, whimsical, or too girly. We are not girly, girly. We are feminine. There is a differences between the two. We are not girly, we are womanly.
Where there you have it ladies and gentlemen my interview with designer AYSHA! For more on AYSHA Collection check out her website at ayshacollection.com
Until Next time Rachel Ulloa Is On The GO!