Fashion is empowerment, so when a designer declares a mission to empower women through clothing, we get behind them. Our latest designer, Achalla est Couture has a vision of utopia for which she designs clothing that blends the beauty, femininity and sovereignty of Ancient Egypt with that of the modern woman. Her attention to detail and the simplicity of the silhouette is made for the woman balancing the weight of the world, much like a deity would. The Achalla woman embodies drive, passion and intellect which she personifies through her work. Get to know Achalla and find out what career path she thought she would follow, her view of fashion today, how she’s empowered and why Ancient Egypt inspired Paradigm.
How and why did you start designing?
I wasn’t really into fashion and never thought about being a fashion designer. Ironically, I come from a long line of seamstresses. I laugh whenever I think about how I actually wanted to go to school to be a computer engineer, so being a fashion designer definitely wasn’t part of the plan. I wasn’t thinking about going to go to college right away either. For me, stability was my top priority. It just goes to show that you can only be who you are and that things will fall into place.
I remember, every Sunday I used to watch the “Sunday Arts” on PBS where they feature fashion shows. They would show collections that were presenting during fashion week. I always thought that those designers were special because they had all these people from different walks of life going gaga over their designs. I guess from watching those features, PBS was in inadvertently, implanting the idea of me being a fashion designer. When I graduated from high school in 2002, I continued working at Gap and Williams-Sonoma. As I stated before, stability was key, so I continued to work hard until I got a promotion at both jobs as a visual merchandiser. After doing visuals for 2 years, I became unfulfilled. I had to rethink my life and I did. I went abroad to the American InterContinental University in London, where I studied fashion design. I learned a lot and designing for me became just like breathing.
What is your fashion philosophy?
My philosophy is to empower women through fantasy. Women should be urged to feel different and accept the untold version of themselves.
How has your design changed over time?
My designs change over time as my moods change. I just pick up on those emotions and allow them to guide me.
What inspired your latest collection?
My collection, Paradigm, is inspired by an Ancient Egyptian deity, Wadjet (sometimes called Buto). This Egyptian cobra goddess was the protector of lower Egypt, the wife of Hapi, and the guardian of Horus. For the Ancient Egyptians she was more of a personification but to me, she is the real woman of our times. Wearing multiple hats because she has to…. because it’s innate.
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
Well, money is the biggest hurdle. Without money, it is hard to get materials, equipment, models, and photographers.
What do you think about fashion today?
Fashion today is more afraid of accepting emerging designers than it ever was. There needs to be a bigger scene for emerging designers to help sustain the fashion industry.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
For the most part, music is the biggest stimulator for me. I mean seriously, I can create an entire collection from the hook and beat of a song.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
My tip would be to work at your own pace and only worry about getting your designs right.
What is your brand aesthetic?
Simply put, I create pieces that are in sync with the emotions of women, with a simplistic silhouette and the dependability for utopia.
Ready to slither into a garment made for a goddess? Shop Achalla est Couture’s line Paradigm now.