[Mikara] How do you define Identity, roots and heritage?
[Priyanka] Identity to me is the person you are born into being in this world. It’s not only your name but your family background and the person you are identified as being in society. There is also a familiarity and safety connected your identity as it is something you are reminded of every day, yet it can also be the opposite – something that is in constant change and shaped by current surroundings and social structures. Roots and heritage to me is something very personal. It’s a connection on a deeper level, blood bonds, that cross over oceans, generations and time. I am experiencing a result of so many relatives’ life journey today, just by going about my every day life. It can be in my subtle personality trait connected to my genetics but also in my choice of fabrics for my latest collection.
[Mikara] What was the moment that influenced you to fuse these elements: identity, roots and heritage, together to create your latest collection AW19 MATA?
[Priyanka] I was being guided at the university and had put forth some previous suggestions for the concept of the collection, but through the guidance I realized that the concept had to be something very personal that I felt a strong connection to. When you are working on a collection it is important to feel connected to the concept or else you are going to tire of it quickly and it will not feel like ‘you’. In the end a collection is a representation of yourself and therefor you can’t really do something that is not in line with your aesthetic and style.
[Mikara] What’s your favorite item in your current collection? why? And do you wear it?
[Priyanka] It would have to be one of the jackets. I would say the bomber jacket. I love it because it has this strange texture to it with all the raw threads hanging from it, but even so it’s a warm and unique jacket. I do wear it sometimes, not too often though. I’m quite shy in my every day dressing, I like to see myself as simple, modest and comfy and keep the work elaborate, interesting and crazy.
[Mikara] Describe your brand PRIYANKA MAYA in 3-5 words?
[Priyanka] High end, detail oriented, flattering, dreamy and wearable.
[Mikara] How has fashion made you express your new dimensions in your brand? Life? Confidence after graduating from Westminster University?
[Priyanka] It has really focused me and made me mature as a person. Through fashion I have learnt how to channel my creative expression and transform my ideas into reality. Of course graduating from the university has instilled confidence in me, not so much because of the name of the school but what the experience brought with it. The degree took a lot of discipline, commitment and hard work from my end and I toughened up a bit!
[Mikara] Were you always interested in fashion designing? What age was it?
[Priyanka] I have always been drawing since I can remember. Art has always been a first passion of mine and I remember wanting to be an artist as a child. Then from the age of 10 roughly, the drawings started being more and more about women in clothes and my clothes and fashion interest developed as I would hang after my mum clothes shopping, so I guess the two interests combined themselves naturally.
[Mikara] Did you see yourself being a fashion designer/business owner or working for a prominent established brand?
[Priyanka] No, not really. I can feel very intimidated by putting that pressure on myself but also I don’t like to put myself into a box. I pursued fashion design out of a desire to follow my passion and if the result is that is that I become a fashion designer/business owner and work for a prominent established brand that is a very good thing but it was not the initial goal.
[Mikara] How has the experience of being an entrepreneur been in this fast pace climate of digital age? Has it been helpful or hindering you?
[Priyanka] There are pros and cons with everything. There is no doubt that the digitization has opened up a lot of possibilities to connect with people from all over the world and inspiration is incredibly accessible through daily feeds, articles, videos and images however there is a pressure and an element of competition that also comes with the fast pace. Everyone is being bombarded images daily and and I think it creates a stress, constantly being influenced by this very selective perspective on reality.
[Mikara] What is your definition of fashion?
[Priyanka] I honestly don’t like the word fashion too much. No offence to all the great things that fall under the term of fashion but I have never been fond of the meaning of the word; meaning the popular, latest style of clothing. I believe fashion is a combination of these things but also an individual expression and I favor the idea of slow fashion – garments with a long life that don’t go out of fashion due to their timeless, classic designs which is what I try to do in my collections.
[Mikara] Besides designing, do you have any hidden talents?
[Priyanka] Of course! Artistry is seldomly limited to one area so it really does show itself in many other aspects of my life. Feelings are something I have an abundance of so I am always writing down personal notes, poems and sometimes short stories. I’m very fond of film and photography and often my perception of the world around me are from frame/camera angled perspectives. Asides from that I’m a good listener and a fairly good vegan cook.
[Mikara] If you could pick a celebrity/influence to be your brand ambassador for a season, who would it be and why?
[Priyanka] I would choose Charlotte Gainsbourg. Not only is she a very talented actress but she has a very natural and authentic look and approach which I like.
[Mikara] Do you admire or look up to a luxury brand or designer? Who? Why?
[Priyanka] Yes, many. Some to mention are Jaquemes, Acne Studios and Alexis Reyna for their creative, interesting and personal work.
[Mikara] Would you ever consider venturing into accessories or collaboration line?
[Priyanka] Yes, definitely. As I mentioned before I have many artistic interests and accessories is one of them. In terms of doing collaborations I think it’s not only essential but extremely helpful and interesting since you can learn so much from other people and their approach to design.
[Mikara] In the next 3-5 years, where would you like to see yourself, personally and professionally?
[Priyanka] I would love to be more deeply established as a creative professional. To be in a situation where I can give all my professional hours towards the creative field would be a dream come true. To have PRIYANKA MAYA as a self sustaining brand. Personally, I would like to see myself a bit more grounded, being a little kinder to myself and continuing on the path of learning and developing. Becoming a better human being, towards the people around me and the planet.