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Chaishop: Hello Sylva, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. Many people already know your fashion label Ain’t No Snail and Alter Ego Chia Charms. Tell me briefly: how did you come to create your own creations?
Chia: During my training as a certified fashion designer in 2012, I discovered the Goa scene, whose parties were always a special experience. I especially noticed the clothes and one of them was the harem trousers, which was very popular with Goa followers – and still is. But I noticed at that time that all of them wore only rather thin summer harem pants and so shortly afterwards my first prototype of winter harem pants with fleece lining was created! Already during my training I sold some pieces. So my label was born and my assortment quickly expanded.
Chaishop: Interesting. How and where are your works produced?
Chia: I sew a lot of clothes myself at home in my study. I’ve recently started working with other production facilities that print my designs and make clothing on demand. Of course I pay attention to fair working conditions and environmentally friendly production.
Chaishop: What were the hurdles on the road to success? Can you advise young creatives what they should definitely do? And what they should definitely let be?
Chia: All beginnings are difficult, so it was for me. I didn’t have any starting capital and only did commissioned work with down payments so that I could buy the fabrics.
I always have (too) many new ideas, but over the years I’ve understood that it’s best to concentrate on a few “bestsellers”, because constantly creating new pieces, prototyping and photo shoots takes a lot of time, especially when it doesn’t go as well as you thought. But that doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, because some people make good business with custom-made individual pieces.
Especially if you want to make a living from your art, you should have a lot of patience. I think the most common mistake of “newcomers” is that they start and think they will be successful in a very short time – unfortunately, that’s not how it is, so stay tuned!
Chaishop: We found a new design with Sacred Geometry in your assortment: the Space Sweater. What does Sacred Geometry mean to you?
Chia: I love geometric shapes! You can see that in my other designs, too. I find the harmonious interplay of the different shapes reassuring. At the same time, the colouring can express super different moods.
Chaishop: Are there any symbols that appeal to you?
Chia: I like triangles and circles very much… actually everything that can be combined to a beautiful geometric pattern in the end. The “Aum” also occurs more frequently in my designs, because I often pay attention to what my customers like. But I prefer to create my own symbols e.g. my logo, which also appears from time to time in my designs 😉
Chaishop: Interesting. In which ‘genre’ would you place your creations? Some of them look like they could be worn at a party and in everyday life. Is that intentional?
Chia: Yes! I love practical clothes that can be worn in everyday life as well as at festivals and parties. So… it’s probably a mixture of festival clothes and streetwear, but I don’t get stuck there at all… that just comes!
Chaishop: It’s getting cold in Leipzig. How will you spend your winter? Do you have a tip for our readers that you can’t find in the travel guide?
Chia: I love it warm! So I spend my winter in California and Mexico. Unfortunately I don’t have any concrete tips for you there, but no matter where you travel, leave the travel guide at home, just go, meet locals and you’ll have an experience that no travel guide can give you 😉
Chaishop: Hehe. Great, thank you very much – we are very happy that you share your story and your thoughts with our readers. We wish you and everyone involved in Ain’t No Snail a wonderful winter.
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