Aya Morrison: “Adding a dash of my heritage into each piece I create”

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs. 
Aya Morrison: Aya Morrison is a trendsetting African-print fabric swimwear line, purses and bespoke fashion accessories design house. We are recognized for striking tribal and vibrant designs, ethnic glamor and a delicate representation of the African culture.
APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Aya: At the peak of finalizing my mood board for my first collection, I realized that the African print fabric had become dominant in the international fashion world – something that was almost a dream. The fear of not using the African print until then was the lack of interest and patronage from the potential buyer at the time. And so, at this point, although I had already begun my sample pieces with vintage materials, I felt a strong urge to incorporate these ethnic prints because it had finally generated marvelous exposure and there was nothing else I’d have loved to do, than to add a dash of my heritage into each piece I create.
APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints/Fabric trend?
Aya: I think it’s fantastic. Coming from an African background, its simply heart-warming knowing a piece of my culture has influenced the fashion industry. The prints are very ethnic, bold, exotic and with meaning. Trust me, this trend is so huge, I won’t be shocked if we next see big cars & trucks or even skyscrapers inspired by these bold African prints, lol.
 APiF: Is African Print in the fashion industry here to stay?Aya: I believe it’s going to be around for a long time. If nothing at all, designers would still have hints of it in their collections as it adds some uniqueness and cultural belonging to each piece.
 APiF: What inspires u?
Aya: My surroundings, people and music. The humid/cold streets of New York are surprisingly full of inspiration. From the bum on the corner of the street rocking a very dirty multicolored print bed sheet to the many cultures I experience on a daily basis, to the kind and type of fruitful music I hear, to my mother’s amazing fashion sense, to my friends and family, girl, inspiration is all around me!
 APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?Aya: My favorite fashion find would have to be my pretty belt from my newest collection of belts. This belt was designed to sit on any waist like a ‘micro mini garter skirt’ that adds shape to the outfit. It is gathered at the waist with a waist band and is almost a flair cape. It is a fabulous find, very sexy and an easy addition to any fitting outfit, from the little black dress to even jeans pants & a tank, to long fitting solid-colored summer dresses. I think every stylish woman needs a piece in their closet.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Aya: My main marketing approach is having shopping events in various cities, which serves as a great advertising tool because as much as I send out e-fliers about the event, word of mouth brings in more crowd, new faces and exciting customers who all want something different. I also have an online store and stock on other online stores in various countries to extend the global reach.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Aya: There is always something new to learn. Embrace new things, put your heart into it and be determined. The fashion industry isn’t a joke though, so come with a strong sense of style and the passion for the real deal and you will be fine. Don’t fret when the competition gets tough, just focus and get more creative. It works!
Find out more:
w: http://www.ayamorrison.com/
s: http://www.shopayamorrison.com/
t: https://twitter.com/#!/ayamorrison
e: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ayamorrison

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