This week, as we continue our “Best of the West” series, we spoke with LA based designer Shaina Mote. When we first caught a glimpse of Shaina’s SS ’13 collection, last year at the Gen Art Fresh Faces fashion show, we immediately fell in love. Shaina, the 24 year-old Los Angeles native behind the eponymous clothing label, is a thought provoking designer with a purpose.
Emerging into the creative world as a photographer, it was her best friends costumer mother that inspired her to begin designing and making clothes at the tender age of sixteen. Fast forward one year and it’s Mote along with the sewing machine her mother purchased for her when she was younger. After a one-on-one, year long apprenticeship studying under a pattern-maker, she began creating her own prototypes which she creates from scratch to this day.
When it comes to inspiration for her collections, they are fluctuating albeit refreshingly fluid “I haven’t been saying no to anything that instinctively feels intriguing, even if it is as simple as the way a shadow falls on the street.” says Mote. Wabi Sabi Japanese philosophy, the Geometric Abstraction art movement and Brian Eno are a few of the designers current inspirations.
With Yohji Yamamoto as a style icon, it’s no wonder her collections are as timeless as they are minimal masterpieces. In 2011, she refocused her brand to concentrate on “black, whites and neutrals that can be worn year round, regardless of season.” Noting that her pieces are classic in nature but have a renewed perspective on details.
That perspective, gained from a multitude of experiences, includes the time she spent in Paris during the Spring of 2008. A move she made to recalibrate her creativity, discover new inspiration and change her surroundings. We loved her story about the time she personally gave a handwritten letter (which she wrote) to her fashion fairy godmother, Isabel Marant, while in the Parisian district of Bastille-c’est la vie, non?.
Capturing the essence of California cool, often times through the lenses of her favorite pair of Illesteva Tortise Shell sunglasses, has become an evolutionary process for Shaina. As she continues to create timeless pieces for the nearly season-less dwellers of LA and beyond, we’ve got our eye on what she designs for Spring ’14.
Shop Shaina Mote at these locations: