Meet: emerging [womenswear] designer label: Ai For Ai
camille.ion is ecstatic to be able to showcase this new label because: A) the designs are incredible and tell their own unique story. B) because the designers behind [Ai For Ai] are super sweet, energetic, down-to-earth (and obviously), uber-talented. C) Their SS 2011 collection is one word: [gorgeous] –> and totally for the camille.ion chick! and D) beCause [Ai] (in chinese) means LOVE. <– and we all know this word is a [camille.ion] favorite! haha
+ I got a chance to have a nice chat with Elizabeth Ai <– one of the creative heads behind the label
(Interview is below. go ahead, get your read on!)
[camille]: What is [Ai] for [Ai]? and what does it stand for?
[Ai for Ai]: I’m Elizabeth Ai and my sister is carol Ai. Ai means love in Chinese.
[camille]: Are you two fashionistas really sisters? lol.
[Ai for Ai]: Yes, we are sisters and that’s our name! 🙂
[camille]: What type of designer[s] would you consider yourselves?
[Ai for Ai]:We are storytellers as well as designers. We believe the two go hand on hand. Every season, every collection, every garment begins with a story, tone and theme. We are very interested in what a piece says as part of a collection, as part of a season, as part of our story, as part of the whole of our body of work.
So you wont just get some answer from us about one of our collections being inspired by an era of clothes or a person. We want to go deeper than that.
[camille]: Where did you grab inspiration from for your Spring 2011 collection?
[Ai for Ai]: Life in space in the future when missions to mars and other planets and galaxies become more frequent. We used a lot of animal prints in hopes that we would be able to take our fine feathered, pawed and hoofed friends with us on these missions. We used grid lines as a print and as a weave concept to convey the traveling lines of longitude and latitude as well as some applique metallic fabric as a representation for the heavy metal we use to get us to and fro.
We were inspired and were very fortunate to have worked with the lovely painter and installation artist, Owen Schmit (www.owenschmit.com). She helped us create an electroluminescent wire sculpture for our SS11 show and let us photograph her with her work. We have a futuristic, choreographed, space film coming out Spring 2011 when our clothes hit the stores — so stay tuned for that art project as well!
[camille]: Do you have a ‘favorite’ in this collection?
[Ai for Ai]: We love them all but find ourselves wearing our Axis Harem Pants, Tron Vest Dress and or Batwing button up top all the time.
[camille]: What kind of girl wears your designs?
[Ai for Ai]: We make clothes with a sense of feminine and masculine qualities. Our girl/woman is independent, free-spirited and pioneering. Above all else, the person that wears AI FOR AI is someone with a strong sense of confidence, individuality and creativity.
[camille]: what’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned so far about being an emerging designer?
[Ai for Ai]: We just made our first delivery in March 2010 so it’s still our first year in business. There are too many lessons to list that come from design, story, look books down to finances – it’s all pretty much a speeding train right now but it’s been an amazing, humbling and gratifying journey and process to make something tangible for your friends and their friends and the new friends you make along the way that appreciate the work you do. Any other designers that are planning to go and start their own business — we advise, prep prep prep, plan and make sure you speak extensively to a few other designer/owners before going into business.
[camille]: Your favorite part about the design process?
[Ai for Ai]: The story!! We love bringing each design back to our central theme to ask if it’s fitting to our story. i.e. Would the characters in our story would wear that garment? where to? to meet with whom? why??? How would we make it fit in our look book, our short film for the season, etc…
[camille]: If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
[Ai for Ai]: Carol used to say she would be a dancer if not a fashion designer. But she knew really early on as a child that her first real passion was making clothes and expressing herself through everyday uniform, mood and costume – hard to think she would do anything else. And I already have a part time job as a filmmaker which is a pretty amazing job. I feel both of our other passions really do well with what we are building now with AI FOR AI.
[camille]: What does it mean to be a [camille.ion] girl? –>(up to your own interpretation!) 🙂
[Ai for Ai]: The ability to move quickly yet gracefully and change with the environment and mood. Most truly creative and fashionable women are chameleons at heart. Good luck to you and your blog!!
which look is camille.ion’s favorite? –> the pebbles blouse + ursa skirt
Make sure to show Love to the [AI for AI] website! <– and yes, it is beautiful!