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The process of starting a women's clothing brand

Q. Why A.Oei Studio?

A. Having worked as a designer for various fashion companies, I realized how much I valued being a small, independent maker who is not only actively hands-on in all aspects of garment production but also learns the mechanics of running a business from scratch.

A.Oei Studio was envisioned as a creative platform that combines fashion, textiles, graphics, concepts and pattern-making, bridges commercial and artistic needs, and still be accessible and affordable.

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Q. It seems like content has become even more important in people's lives during this pandemic. How do you see your role as an editor in light of current events?

A.  In times like this, people really turn to media outlets for information and comfort. As editors, our team is thinking about what we want: lists of Black owned businesses, BIPOC stories and voices, books to read, places to get outside and de-stress. 

Myself and my team also think about who we're featuring and including in our magazines. Representation is so important, and that includes who we feature in fashion, a topic that's dear to me. I'd really like to feature models who have differently abled bodies, different sizes, different backgrounds. All those things sound simple, but it makes for a richer and more relatable publication.

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Model and Healthcare Professional - Victoria Victor

Q. Where do you draw inspiration from? How do you stay motivated?

A. The desire and drive to lead with equity and reduce disparities keep me grounded and motivated. Being a vegetarian and individual who believes in the importance of wellness to balance body, mind and spirit ignites my passion to what I do with compassion. 

One quote that I love is "the simplest thing has the greatest capacity". I draw my inspiration from little things in life, where I remind myself daily that I am blessed to have overcome barriers and become more resilient as time progresses. 
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Fashion and Sustainability

As we gradually reopen under different circumstances, it is imperative for us to re-think fashion and sustainability, and adjust methods of production and distribution.

To give a better understanding of what constitutes sustainable fashion, I've outlined some issues that independent brands like A.Oei face from fabric/fiber sourcing, garment manufacturing to prevailing retail trends. I will also propose some solutions and principles that A.Oei abide by.

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Seattle Artist - Mya Kerner

Q: What inspires you?

A: The natural landscape moves me and that is where most of my inspiration comes from. I also pull a lot from literature, mostly sci-fi and fantasy novels as well as poetry. I am enthralled by world-building and stories of a people’s being within the land. Some recent reads include works by Robinson Jeffers, Mary Oliver, Paul Kingsnorth, Kim Stanley Robinson, N. K. Jemisin, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and so many more. I am currently reading “Spiritual Ecology, the Cry of the Earth,” which is a collection of essays edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. Finally, I am inspired by a wide range of artists from Caspar David Friedrich to Ana Mendieta.

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