Our women designers series is an on-going project to highlight innovative designers across the world that incorporate YKK® products into their unique creations. In this installment, we introduce you to Alia White, founder of Ashe and Irys, a new line of nursingwear for moms searching for chic and affordable options.
Alia was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. She grew up having a number of aspirations about what her future was going to look like, from being a surgeon, to an actress, to a model, but it wasn’t until late high school that she really decided that she wanted to own a clothing company. She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California for a more formal education on the apparel industry and then continued on to pursue a business degree in Georgia. Her hobbies include dancing and horseback riding. Learn more about Alia's fashion design journey below.
What inspired you to start a career in fashion?
A few things actually! Growing up my mother was an avid sewist who made her own clothes regularly and eventually taught me how to do it. Initially sewing was just a hobby/activity of mine but when I got involved with the costuming and the fun that was involved in dance and plays that’s when I felt like my desire to own a clothing company really took root.
What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered in your career?
Everything under the sun it feels like! (Haha) Running a business is NOT easy. But owning a clothing company, there's oftentimes problems at every turn. It can be shipping, manufacturing, marketing, you name it.
Tell us a little bit about your creative process… What inspires you?
Women! Everyday women. I love moms who own their postpartum journey and I love designing clothes for them. We’re not a high fashion celebrity brand (even though celebrity mothers have come to us), we design cute comfy high quality clothes for the modern mother.
"I love moms who own their postpartum journey and I love designing clothes for them."
What is your advice for young people who want to pursue a career in fashion?
Have patience. Big brands aren’t built in a day. That’s something I really had to learn. To be patient and to maintain a consistent flow of income from external sources until the business can support itself and you.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Creating new styles. The look of breastfeeding apparel has been the same for so long when there's always been such an opportunity for things to be better and look cuter.
What are some of your favorite YKK® products and why do you choose YKK® products?
Obviously YKK® zippers - we don’t buy any other type. We use the invisible zippers in a ton of our garments. Additionally in our next release of garments we will be utilizing snaps more frequently!
Tell us about your brand Ashe and Irys and its mission.
Ashe and Irys was designed to change the look of nursing wear and make it affordable for the modern nursing mother!
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