When you are swept away by the beauty and uniqueness of clothing, you know it is special. That’s how we felt when we first were introduced with OTHERWORLD this summer in Brooklyn. The kimono apparel line is like wearable art inspired by jet setting to foreign paradise. Run by the talented Ashley Smith, this beautiful line is sure to turn heads and can be worn multiple ways. We got to chat with the girl boss behind the brand to get an idea of her inspiration, what this year has in store for her and where she wants to travel next. EYES & EDGE: What inspires the imagery and prints for your pieces? OTHERWORLD: Every OTHERWORLD kimono is designed to transport the wearer to exotic locales across the globe. We create our own prints, utilizing photos from my travels around the world. I work with two amazing print designers on both coasts and they each have their own unique design process. Sometimes we’ll sharpen a photo, and other times we’ll make the photo more abstract when designing prints. We’ve even been known to merge two photos together, lay abstract elements on top of one another or mirror an image to create a kaleidoscopic effect – all in the name of wearable art. From there, the file is digitally printed on luxe fabrics to maintain its photographic origin.
We’ve created prints inspired by Morocco, Bali, China, Japan and Guatemala. Photos from the Great Wall of China outside Beijing, the Grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca and the Rice Terraces in Ubud, Bali have been used to create our prints. You can learn more about our print making process here.
E&E: Where did the name OTHERWORLD come from? O: My goal has always been to create pieces that make women feel worldly, exotic and free. So when it came to capture that feeling in a single word, I wanted women to feel ‘otherworldly’. I love traveling to places that take you out of your comfort zone and make you feel like you’re worlds away from your every day life. I hope to electrify the adventurous spirit in all of us.
E&E: Traveling and jet setting is such a huge part of your brand. Where do you hope to see OTHERWORLD go? Where do you hope to see yourself travel in the next year? O: I would love to do a collection inspired by Brazil. The colors, the landscapes, the architecture – it would all make for amazing prints. On a personal note, I would love to get back to India and explore the south and make a quick stop in Sri Lanka while I’m down there. I have also had my eye on Greece for a while now! The blues and whites would make for a beautiful Spring collection.
E&E: With 2016 being so new, what are some of your goals for OTHERWORLD? O: We’re only 18 months old, so continuing to get the OTHERWORLD name out there is a big focus for us. We have a lot of amazing repeat customers, which gives us faith that our product is beautiful, but we still want to continue to grow our new customer base. From there, we do a pretty good job of making our tribe feel loved by offering lots of exclusives, travel inspiration and playlists. In return, their word of mouth endorsements have really helped us grow. In the end, it’s about the tribe of people we’re bringing together and providing them with something meaningful and aspirational.
We’re also still trying to figure out how best to work with our retailers and make sure that every partner is strategically in line with the brand. Our customer is at the heart of all our decisions, so we’re not afraid to try new things and make pivots if it’s in their best interest.Be sure to follow OTHERWORLD on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all that is happening. Photo by: Adam Rindy
We’ve got another release from Koncept & J57, this time by Hollis! You know the Seattle born Hollis from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “White Walls”. Porcelain is a song we can envision will be on the radio in a few weeks and the videowas shot all over in beautiful Oregon. With the super clean videography and interesting story (the ending though..), the video already has tons of views. And with this the excitement for The Fuel to drop November 20 is building.
The Fuel challenges listeners to decipher exactly what motivates our two heroes, while Koncept grapples with the very same question. Koncept remembers fallen icons Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G. and Robin Williams as he reminds himself to breathe (“Inhale it to breathe now, I’m always exhausted / My fam thinks I’ve lost it, and you think I’m awesome, which really is it?”), but as he clarifies from the jump, he’s after more than just fame. The title track, featuring Brown Bag AllStars collaborator Akie Bermiss, lands closer to an answer, hinging on an anecdotal lyric inspired by Koncept’s own single-parent family: “A woman feeds her kid full meals, having no job / and she did it with her clothes on.”
The Fuel is scheduled to drop November 20, 2015, paving the way for Koncept & J57’s forthcoming debut LP, Flight, coming in 2016. Stay tuned.