During LG Fashion Week I had the opportunity to meet in Naanafya, CEO & Creative Director of Gardé Del Avante. What caught my eye was her stunning feather shoulder piece! I believe everyone was drooling over it! I thought to myself I just have to talk to her and ask her where she bought her amazing accessory! When I found out she designed it I was even more in love! Naanafya truly has an extraordinary talent and just like her favorite designers, Alexander McQueen & Viktor and Rolf, she pushes boundaries and makes sure the individual wearing her pieces looks and goes beyond the ‘norm’! Check out my exclusive interview with Naanafya!
1. What made you become a designer? And when did you start?
I created Gardé Del Avante in the summer of June 2010. I started designing jewelry when I was working as a freelance wardrobe stylist and I was unable to find accessories to pull for editorial spreads, fashion shows and video shoots; therefore I began creating them myself. I am a self-taught designer and as a result Gardé Del Avante was officially launched in the Fall of September 2010. Our mission statement is to empower those who strive to be individuals without inhibition by creating pieces that diverge from common culture or what is traditionally considered the “norm”.
Well, to begin, there are actually three different collections with two sub divisions that currently fall under Gardé Del Avante.
Our Haute Couture Collection consists of statement necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets that are considered our more luxurious, high-end and limited-edition designs which are primarily used for editorial spreads and red carpet events. These pieces range in price from $300 to $1000.
Our Signature Collection is what our company is most known for — our signature style. These pieces are easily transitioned from everyday wear to evening wear. This collection still maintains a runway appeal with street and everyday credibility. The pieces in this collection include, but are not limited to, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, pant chains, ankle bracelets, and chain glasses holders. The jewelry ranges in price from $100 to $300.
Our GDA Collection, which is made up of GDA Classic and GDA Trend, continues to strive towards excellence and affordability. These pieces are very artistic, stylish and easy to wear. This collection is approachable and designed for the everyday person. These pieces can accessorize every outfit in your closet. The collection includes rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets that have semi-precious stones, metallic elements and crystal detailing incorporated into every piece of jewelry and retail between $30 and $280. More specifically, GDA Classic Collection is a contemporary line for the modern day woman that is all the things that make us women – it’s flirty, playful, dainty, and feminine! GDA Trend Collection is our more street appeal line for the more youthful woman that allows her to play with the other side of being a FIERCE woman- daring and edgy!
3. Where can you buy your pieces?
4. Where do your inspirations behind your designs come from?
I draw my inspiration from anything or anyone that is thought-provoking or challenges the idea of what is traditionally considered the “norm” through their individual sense of style and way of life. A good example would be Viktor and Rolf, the late great Alexander McQueen, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Anna Dello Russo. Anything different, and I’m intrigued…
5. How would you describe your style?
Unpredictable, bold, daring and uncompromised.
6. Best thing about being a designer?
Creative freedom – the liberty of self expression.
7. Who is your personal style icon?
Anna Dello Russo
8. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Make Gardé Del Avante a world renowned international brand
Open up a Gardé Del Avante store in New York, LA and London
9. Favorite pair of shoes you own?
10. Best style & beauty advice you could give young females.
Dare to be different….dare to be you. There is nothing more beautiful or original then just being you.
11. Favorite designer and why?
Alexander McQueen and Viktor and Rolf. I love the way they go against the grain and challenge the notion of what is traditional. I love the way they push boundaries…it’s very inspiring to see as an up and coming designer.
12. Favorite new trend or color?
For S/S 2012, I would definitely have to say python – it’s so bold and edgy!
13. What’s the one beauty item and fashion item you never leave the house without?
Beauty item would be my Pink Nouveau lipstick by MAC and fashion item would definitely be a piece from one of my collections – that’s a MUST!!!
14. Your latest style obsession?
Big shoulders – the bigger the better!!!
15. What can buyers expect to see in the near future?
Celebs in my jewelry…stay tuned!!!