Designers To Watch: ASHYA
NEW YORK, United States - Bolivia. Tenesar. Jamaica. These are just a few of the places the team behind contemporary brand ASHYA looks to for inspiration. It is the very foundation on which they built the two-year old enterprise famously known for its luxurious leather belt bags in warm citrus, red clay, and millennial pink tones.
Ode to exploration, they say, is their raison d'etre in dressing the modern day explorer, "paying homage to effortless movement." Effortless movement is a curious overture in present times where between immigration talks in the United States, fallout post-Brexit negotiations in the European Union, and a series of ongoing trials in regards to movement of goods in global trade affairs, movement has become anything but effortless. With roots in Brooklyn, founders and dear friends Moya Annece and Ashley Cimone are about more than just talking. They are about following the inspiration where it guides them with every collection conceived from their actual travel journeys. Recent trips include the Sea Islands of South Carolina studying the Gullah-Geechee people of Saint Helena and the Blue Mountains of Jamaica examining the country's botanical heritage at the Natural History Museum.
Art is also a clear fixture in the lines and curvatures evident in their designs. Eduardo Chillida, Pablo Picasso, and Carl Van Vechten, who has also served as reference for Wales Bonner, are critical cardinal points for the duo. With monikers like Palmetto and Anjuna, these hand-stitched pieces in Italian leather with custom gold-plated hardware enhance the values undergirding the brand; that is of gender-inclusivity, essentialism, playfulness, and seasonality.
From $395 to $625, owning a piece of the ASHYA empire is no small undertaking, but their distribution continues to grow with stockists including Sincerely, Tommy and Opening Ceremony. A recipient of the CFDA Elaine Gold Launch Pad, a virtual 23-week residency, the designers will have the resources to continue to strengthen their business model to survive an increasingly crowded space. With a very meaningful narrative, a timeless product, and a veritable team pushing the vision forward, ASHYA certainly has the factors to go the distance. We're keen to see what comes from where their traveling adventures take them next.