Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2018 - Page 214

Isy Obi. shared with Melange . . About the beginning of her designing journey “ I would say my journey in design began watching my mum work in her studio when I was a kid, and my learning journey in design has continued, from winning the coveted title of Emerging Lifestyle Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week, the first Caribbean brand to do so, to selling my designs on a major home shopping network in the USA, and representing the Cayman Islands at Carifesta last summer. About her brand Isy B.’s design philosophy is that luxury must be comfortable, and its mission is to design beautiful garments for women who want to feel as good as they look. Its effortlessly elegant designs draw on the colours, laid-back luxury, and the good life of the Caribbean, resulting in our signature timeless pieces which are always bursting with feel good factor. About what designing and fashion means to her l love designing clothes and I view it as a way for me as the designer and the woman who wears Isy B. to collaborate in creating a visual image of who she feels she is at any moment. Every woman who wears Isy B. is unique and will wear my pieces in their own unique way, I find that inspiring and humbling at the same time. About her last collection I take much of my inspiration from the Caribbean, from what lies below and above the sea to cultural ideas and shared stories. The last collection explored the myth of the Mermaid in the Caribbean. It is believed that when Spanish sailors discovered the Caribbean, they went back home with tales of sea creatures, half woman, half fish. The indigenous Caribbean Taino people already knew the mermaid as Aycayia, and then African slaves brought with them their own tales of Mami Wata, beautiful water-spirits and daughters of the sea. I love to take unconventional ideas about the Caribbean and translate them into my prints and clothing silhouettes. About her creative influences My family was my greatest influence at the beginning and they still are. I come from a family with a wonderful ability to balance the creative aspects of themselves with their more logical side. For example, my mother was a fashion designer, but she was also a PhD level scientist; and my sister, Uju Obi, is a senior level legal mediator, but she is also an award-winning glass artist in London www.ujuobi.com. They spur me on to believe in myself and encourage me to dream big. About who inspires her in the world of fashion I appreciate the creativity of all designers and the innovation in each season's collections, but my favourite designers share an aesthetic rooted in elegance, femininity and simplicity of the line. Designers like Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab and Roland Mouret. My ultimate favourite is Ralph and Russo, whose work elevates fashion to a level of beauty and craftsmanship that can bring a tear to my eye as it did recently when I visited their haute couture atelier at Harrods in London. About her next collection I can’t say too much but I am so excited about the next collection. More than anything it was created in honour of women, and our relationship to beauty, our relationship to ourselves, and how we express ourselves through our clothing. It’s been a labour of love and I look forward to sharing it later this year. What she loves most about the Cayman Islands The People! The Cayman Islands brings together a culturally varied mix of people from all over the world. We live together on the tiny island, sharing our different cultures and traditions with each other peacefully, and with heart. There is even a phrase for our unique way of being and the way we choose to live in Cayman, it’s “Caymankind.”