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Interview with Alyssa

by - Sunday, October 22, 2017

Welcome to an ongoing interview series here at Fashion of Note. The aim will be to interview a mixture of fashion fans (like myself) and hopefully a few fashion industry personnel too!

To kick this series off, I will be interviewing Alyssa from California. She is one of the Arashi Fashion Squad co-founders along with Emi and myself, and also works in fashion at her day job. Due to her industry insider and fan status, I thought she would be a fantastic person to start this series of interviews with. 

Hi Alyssa, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Fashion of Note. You’re my first interviewee! Let’s start with how you became interested in fashion and what drew you to the industry? 
Hi Carine! As with many others, I always felt like fashion was a top interest of mine growing up, but that interest became infinitely heightened after hearing a speaker come to my high school and tell me there is more to fashion than just design. It was an awakening as a young one trying to figure out what I wanted in life. After that I started doing my own research and found myself becoming more and more fascinated with the glamour, the drama, the expression and creativity. I started taking notice of how I dress, how others dress, and the story behind why we choose this second skin.

What is your day to day like in your job?
I work as a personal stylist where everyday is full of building and maintaining relationships with Clients all over the USA. I study who they are, their proportions, learn their individual style preferences, and their lifestyles. Then I individually curate pieces for each Client. Once they try on everything and give me feedback, I gain a better understanding of who they are and their style. It gets a bit repetitive everyday, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Who are your favourite designers and are there any newer/less known labels you’re particularly excited about?
I have such an eclectic taste, my favorite designers change each season. Although, one constant is Phillip Lim. He is definitely a top favorite for both his fashion vision and as an individual. I always love the deconstructed looks of Yohji Yamamoto, yet I am always swooning over the romantic and whimsical designs the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte. Also, I am all about supporting small businesses so I enjoy shopping from local designers in my area.

Fashion seems to be in a flux at the moment thanks to the influence of the internet and social media. Do you think the industry needs to change the way they present the clothes? Is the idea of showing twice a year, 6 months in advance antiquated?
Today’s culture is moving much faster than fashion truly realizes, hence the pressure on the current system of fashion week. And it’s because of this that I believe the presentation of clothes should be re-evaluated. Social media and the internet have too strong of a presence that should not be ignored and the industry has overlooked its impact. Before, collections were only presented to industry folk and consumers waited the 6 months to view pieces. Today, consumers are seeing whole collections minutes after they are presented down the runway. These consumers want what they see right then and there, not 6 months later. It’s becoming more common for labels to turn away from the current 2 times a year showing format because they are realizing the format has become defunct, proving all the more reason there should be a re-evaluation of the way clothes are presented.

What do you think about fashion and sustainability? Do you think fashion needs to change its practices to help better the environment?
Fashion and sustainability have always been in the back of my mind, but it was after watching “The True Cost” that it really struck a nerve. There is a lot of change that needs to happen in the fashion industry concerning its impact on the environment and I believe that implementing sustainable measures should be a top priority. It hurts to know that this industry that I care so much about is a top contributor to the global economy yet has a lack of acceptance on it’s impact on the environment. With all the waste the fashion industry produces, that in-turn, we produce, they should hold a responsibility to not only caring about the world we live in but to bringing awareness to the consumers as well. There is strength in numbers and if the leaders are aboard wanting to help create a cleaner environment, others will follow.

In the last few years, quite a few heritage brands have been revived eg. Schiaparelli, Vionnet etc. what’s your view on heritage brands and if they mean anything? Will the average consumer care about Schiaparelli's significant work in the 1930’s for example?
I love a heritage brand. They are called “heritage” for a reason and that’s because they have built foundations within fashion, so it’s important not to just cast them aside. We live in a very fast-paced and modern world and I think sometimes it’s best to take a step back and give credit where credit is due. I’m not saying we should relish in nostalgia, but with the revival of labels, it’s perfect to embrace fashion’s foundational spirit, while modernizing it for the current consumer. And it’s this history meets modern that I love. Some consumers may not care about a heritage brand’s past significant worth, but if a brand is able to channel its original vision with a contemporary outlook, then I would call it a success. 

Let’s get onto some fun questions, do you watch Project Runway? Do you agree that Season 4 was the best talent-wise?
Season 4 was probably the only season of Project Runway I watched in full. It aired on a cable over here, which I didn’t have have access total access of at home so I would only catch episodes here and there at a friend’s house. As for Season 4, I ended up marathoning episodes on a plane ride then streamed the rest online. Since it was the only season I was invested in, my answer is yes it was the best talent-wise! Sweet Pea was my gal!

How would you describe your personal style?
As I mentioned earlier, I have a very eclectic tastes and it’s honestly hard for me to narrow down my style. My style motto is as long as I feel good in something, I look good. I’m one who will enjoy a classic button down and blazer one day, then wear distressed denim and a duster cardigan the next. I don’t find myself leaning towards one particular style since I am always up to trying new cuts, colors, and styles. 

Heels or flats?

Skirts/dresses or pants?

Maximalist or minimalist?

And finally, if you could have a chat to any fashion designer/editor/stylist/journalism past or present, who would it be?
Cristobal Balenciaga

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions Alyssa! You can check her out on Instagram @uhhleesaa or at Arashi Fashion Squad on twitter @arashiFsquad 

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