Here at Zeum, we love to find new and talented creatives, whether they are behind the camera, or the person making the clothes in front of the camera. Having just completed her schooling at The Pratt Institute in New York, Aza Ziegler is one to watch. Aza’s debut “Calle Del Mar” collection really stood out to us – featuring playful crop tops, skirts and dresses, the collection took us straight to the west coast. We can really tell that everything from the colour palette used to the detailing on the socks was inspired by “athletic uniforms, 1960’s embellishments and vintage surf/skate culture”, as well as Aza’s home state of California. Although inspired greatly by the west coast, Aza does not fail to transition from west to east, and everywhere in between. Because who doesn’t want to bring a cool, girly vibe into their wardrobe?
Check out our interview with Aza below, as well as a selection of images from her SS14 lookbook, photographed by Kat Slootsky.
What was the inspiration/story behind “Calle del Mar”?
Calle Del Mar means “street by the sea” It’s my favourite street in Stinson Beach, California. A small beach town off of highway 1 where I spent every weekend & summer growing up. The curving road lies above the beach on Mt. Tamalpais. When you turn the corner onto “Calle Del Mar” the road immediately drops to an incline with a picturesque view of the sparking blue pacific ocean and the rolling golden hills. It’s a moment that gets me, every time and is the purist of inspiration behind my work.
My current collection is based on my California upbringing and childhood style. I took influence from athletic uniforms, 1960’s embellishments and vintage surf/skate culture. My goal with this collection was to redefine the tom boy through effortless silhouettes and feminine textiles.
I am a textile-driven designer and through this collection I wanted to explore creating prints by building textiles from within and on the surface. I explored this through a number of mediums—embroidery, embellishment, laser cutting my own plexi glass sequins and encasing tinsel & sequins between organza.
Who would you love to see in your pieces?
The Calle Del Mar girl is unavoidably adventurous, fanciful, fearless and undeniably effortless. She’s a bit of a tomboy, slightly sporty, girlie and believes that a party dress always looks best with a couple of skinned knees & sneakers!
I would love to see spunky girls like Harley Viera Newton, Julia Sarr-Jamois, Tavi Gevinson, Atlanta De Cadenet, Stevie Dance, Suki Waterhouse, Marie Jensen and Olivia Bee rocking my clothes.
How did your years at the Pratt Institute shape you as a person and as a designer?
At Pratt Institute I learned that possibilities are endless creativity is limitless. I gained an incredible work ethic and appreciation for all kinds of art. But most of all I learned that I want to be surrounded by and collaborative with creative people for the rest of my life.
Who/what inspires you? (books, films, art, people…)
My driving inspiration as a designer is the California lifestyle I live and breathe. My design process sparks from a feeling, my deep connection to my roots and a colour palette that has evolved before my eyes. My work comes from a nostalgic place and I often revisit childhood photos and playful memories.
Where I draw my inspiration from is not limited. When it comes to cultural influence, remaining cultured is high on my priority list. I don’t think I’ve missed a museum show since I moved to New York. David Hockney & William De Kooning have been huge influence on the mood & pallet of my designs. I love how Hockney’s landscapes trick your eye into believing the colors he paints are true in reality. I am a magazine hoarder and still look back at 90’s and early 2000’s editorials. When it comes to designers, Prada is my favourite- I think she is absolutely brilliant.
How does your own personality shine through in your designs?
As a designer I am my work, I am my customer and every piece I make embodies a part of me. Whether its my calm, loud, playful, girlie or tomboy, or sporty side each piece I make is a part of who i am.
Have you travelled anywhere that has greatly inspired you, whether it be to a different country or just down the street?
I’ve had the fortune of traveling a lot — Italy, France, London, New Zealand, Panama, as well as many beautiful places in the United States, but as inspirational as all of those places have been, there is no place like home. Growing up in Northern California on the side of the mountain, yet so close to the sea has been more inspiring to me than anywhere I’ve visited.
Whats next for Aza Ziegler?
I plan to continue developing the Calle Del Mar line based out of Brooklyn, New York.
To see what Aza has in store next, check out her website
account for updates – we know we will be.
Models: Yuliya Sikora & Jordan Shoemaker
Stylist: Andrew Slootsky