There is nothing like being a entrepreneur. Establishing your own business from your own ideas, and seeing it come to life has to be the greatest feeling in the world. When I have the opportunity to promote other small business owners, particularly in the fashion industry, I get right to it for the simple fact that, it’s a dog eat dog world and the market is so competitive that we need all the exposure that we can get!
Recently, I have had the opportunity of interviewing an up and coming T-shirt designer by the name of Aquila. Her brand is doing so much more than providing t-shirt fashion, but also raisin awareness for a condition that many of us could suffer from and have no clue. The condition is known as Pseudotumor Cerebri. According to healthline.com, pseudotumor cerebri is pressure built around your brain causing symptoms that are similar to having a brain tumor such as headaches and vision problems. This is something that Aquila suffers from and through the designs of her t-shirts, she allows us to see “Life Behind Her Shades”. Check out the interview:
Let’s talk about the women behind the label. Who is Aquila Grayscale?
My name is Aquila, I am 28 years old with an internal love of fashion, that is represented through personal and professional clothing style.
Pseudotumor Cerebri. Is this something that you or a loved one suffers from? Are there organizations that raise awareness?
I suffer with Pseudo-tumor Cererbi everyday, which I have been diagnosed with since 2009. There are a few organizations that raise awareness about Pseudo tumor, I have no partnerships with them at this time, but at some point in my career, I would like to network with these organizations and collaborate on a portion of my proceeds going to treatments and awareness campaigns.
A line strictly for t-shirts is something that you rarely see from female designers, why t-shirts? Are you going to incorporate other items in the near future?
I want to create a different avenue in the t-shirt business. I want to have a gender neutral lifestyle brand that raises awareness about my condition, which makes it so personal for me. I have an emotional connection to every design that is displayed on my t-shirts. Women love t-shirts just as much as men, I wanted to provide a soft comfy t-shirt with a edgy design.
Think back to the time you got the idea for Aquila Grayscale. What led you to pursue your dream?
In my mind I have always been fashion mogul. I’ve went to fashion schools and taken fashion classes. Anytime I’m around great fashion, I’m inspired. I live and breathe fashion. When I created the Aquila Grayscale concept I knew I wanted to move forward with production.
When was Aquila Grayscale established? What process did you go through?
I had an idea of creating wonderful pieces with meaning. My original idea was pictures of landscapes city views to create a portrait on a t-shirt, I wanted to dedicate the clothing line to my brother and call it paper cranes. I talked to a good friend of mine who also has a clothing line. He liked the idea, but he challenged me to go deeper with the meaning of my clothing line and how it is a direct reflection of me. I thought about it for a while, and I came up with Aquila Grayscale. Gray, black and white have been my favorite colors for as long as I can remember. I had envisioned if my condition would have taken away my eye sight. I could only dream of seeing in grayscale, instead of not seeing at all.
Let’s chat about the designs and color schemes. Were these designs that you came up with or did you have a team working alongside you? Why the monochrome palette?
The Grayscale spectrum stays consistent throughout my clothing line. I want to stay true to the brand, by keeping it simple, but not boring. The designs are vintage steam-punk with depictions of my life living with Pseudo-tumor Cerebi. I think about my good days and bad days with Pseudo tumor, I allow those emotions to stimulate the ideas for my designs. I have a small team, we all decide which designs are going on the t-shirt and during which season.
Being and entrepreneur can sometimes be challenging. What are some of the challenges that you have faced and things that you do to stay on course?
This is by far the hardest job I have ever had, because I have so much invested into it, and it belongs to me, so the success and failure of the brand is in my hands. The biggest challenge so far is keeping the momentum going about my brand.
As for forward movement, what are the plans for Aquila Grayscale in 2015?
The future of Aquila Grayscale is fashion week in different cities, having runway shows, my own boutique, and raising awareness about Pseudo-tumor-Cerebri.
Guys, I’m telling you… these t-shirt designs are so hot! You have to check them out and also spread the word to raise awareness!! Be on the look out for Ms. Aquila as well because she is most certainly making major moves!
Until next time!