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1- Where does the name AïA come from? How is the brand born?
AïA comes from my actual name, Gaïa, just without the G. As I’m only making accessories now, it leaves me with the possibility of using my entire name when I eventually branch out into clothing.
2- Tell us about yourself? Your state of mind…
Growing up in a family of artist I would say that I’m very free minded. I was never pushed into doing something I didn’t sincerely love. Surrounded by art since the beginning I have been endlessly inspired by color. I think that my true expression shows in the pieces I create along with the materials I use.
3- How did you get the idea of creating harnesses and chokers?
I’ve always loved harnesses, but they always seemed super aggressive and a little too S&M to wear on any occasion. I also had no formal schooling for fashion or design. When I started, I taught myself everything. I actually was first inspired by a piece of feather trim that was left behind at a party, and that was when I really decided to just start sewing. I bought my first sewing machine, feathers, trims of every color, pom-poms and lots of vintage ribbons. It was the first time I was able to play with different colors and materials and from there I eventually created my harnesses because I didn’t need to know how to properly sew, I could just measure the ribbons on myself and then sew them.
4- You would have liked to live in the 70s?
It would definitely have been an experience, and I’m sure I would have loved it and integrated very well, but at the same time I’m very happy living in the time that we do now.
5- How would you define your style?
It’s very hard to define my style because I am constantly changing day to day. Some times I like to dress up in crazy vintage pieces and furry heels and other days I just like to keep in clean in combat boots, cheetah leggings and an oversized sweatshirt. Cher, Grace Jones and my great aunt Jacquelyn are all huge style inspirations for me.
6- What are your sources of inspiration?
In the fashion world, Galliano, Gaultier & McQueen are my top inspirations. Their creations are out of this word and have always inspired me to think differently. Traveling has also been an equal inspiration, seeing the way different cultures express themselves through their traditions of weaving. Also, certain art that resonates deeply always leaves me in awe and makes me want to respond creatively.
7- What is the key / iconic piece?
The key iconic piece would have to be the Bia Harnesses. This is just the 1st Style Harness that is kept every season with new patterns. The Bia can be worn on any occasion, it’s a fun piece that brings an outfit to the next level. Whether under a silk slip or just a top and jeans the Bia can be seen sneaking through, as the collar drops down to your waist leaving the rest up to imagination.
8- Where can you buy your creations? In Paris soon?
As of now AïA can be bought on the website, aianyc.com and also at Fred Segal in Los Angeles, California. As each piece is one of a kind and handmade, my goal is not to mass produce or to sell it everywhere. Eventually I see AïA represented by one boutique in New York, another in Paris and maybe one supplementary online platform.
9- 3 ways to wear your harnesses? 3 looks for Coachella?
The first would just be to wear the Bia or Iris [Pom Pom Harness] mixed in with any outfit. Second would be to wear the Bia with its matching Eos (Feather Choker),these two together create a super unique look where you can be sure to stand out in a crowd. The third would be to wear the Nyx [Feather Harness] as a top, with any cute bottom or oversized vest over. The Nyx is great because the feathers cover your breast and are super soft to touch 😉
10- Who is the woman who wears your harnesses? The woman Aïa?
The AïA woman is confident, bold and not afraid to stand out. She knows that she looks incredible and is not afraid to make unusual fashion choices. She is always one step ahead, setting the trends and inspiring others.
11- In what ways are they made ?
The last two collections I have handmade in my studio in Paris. After two years I’ve finally found the perfect way I like to work. I bring my feathers from New York, vintage ribbons from all over the world, Pom Poms from London, Silver Rings from India and velvety soft leather from Paris. I bring them all together in my studio, and have so much fun mixing them all up to see which work best together. Then, once I have an idea of the style and ribbon I begin to sew !
12- How many collections?
This SS19 Pt. I is the second full collection that has a counter part which will be Pt.II released the beginning of August, right in time for Burning Man !
13- The mantra “Aïa”?
The Mantra “AïA” is to be free and to celebrate your own uniqueness and affinity with the the universe. We are so conditioned by social media to look a certain way or to buy certain things to look good, that so many people just end up looking the same and it’s boring. Only when you really become in touch with your self then only are you able to be confident in your own choices.
14- Can we consider your creations as a jewel ?
Yes, definitely a jewel of it’s own kind. The harnesses are each made with a silver ring that I designed and had made and engraved in India. Eventually, I’m planning to incorporate different materials within these rings, as well as working with different metals, such as different types of gold.
15- Your good addresses in Paris? A restaurant ? A bar ? A store ?
I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who is an amazing cook, but when we want to go out.. Miznon and any Ober Mamma restaurants for sure. As for shopping, always vintage.. Nice Piece and Pretty Box are some good “go to’s”.
16- Which festival can you meet very soon ?
Next one will be Garbitz, a festival in Poland which I’m very excited for as it will be our first time…. Burning Man vibes, but in a Forest! Right after that we will be heading back to Burning Man, where the love of my life and I first met dancing in the desert.
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