Anya Ayoung Chee is the winner of Project Runway Season 9 and is committed to designing clothes with an irresistible easy, sexy vibe. We caught up with the designer, who is currently in South Africa, to find out more about the visit, her designs and latest collection.
1) What was it like winning project runway and what has it done for you and your designs?Winning project runway has been amazing. I’ve had so many opportunities that have come from it such as travelling. It’s been quite a ride and a dream come true.
2) How does being from Trinidad influence your designs?
I’m influenced by the culture, it’s very enriching. For my designs I take a lot from Trinidad’s’ ancient history and try merge it with modern history and integrate it with colour, nature and basically create my own version of Trinidadian.
3) Who is your target market?
I have two clothing lines; the one is a higher end line for woman and the other, called Pilar after my brother, is contemporary. It’s a sort of miss and match, dress up and down kind of fashion line.
4) Who and what inspires you?
Coming from the Caribbean means different cultures and how they dress inspire me, as well the ethnicity and ancient history of different tribes. I also look to the beauty in nature and colours. It all depends because it also varies according to where I am.
5) What is your visit to South Africa for?
I came to South Africa in October 2012 for the African Fashion Week and got a great response there. After that I decided SA was one of my target markets. My visit now however is a vacation that turned into promoting my designs.
6) You were meant to work with Gavin Rajah, what happened?
I didn’t get to work with him unfortunately, but he’s lovely and we really connected. I love his work, he’s very hands on and it’s great seeing someone else doing original work. He pays attention to his work and does it with a lot of love.
7) Can you tell me more about your latest collection?
My latest collection is called Carnival of Colour. It was inspired by the range of colour at the Trinidad carnival as well as the Brazil carnival – they are full of colour and energy. So I experimented with many colours, used the silhouettes I love and the clothes are sexy but not over the top.
8) What does the future hold for Anya?
I’d like to do more global work but still represent Trinidad. I want to create a brand, not just clothes, that’s sexy without constriction.
Check out more from Anya here