Ashleigh: Hi Ayanna! Tell us a little about yourself.
Ayanna: My name is Ayanna Dixon and I'm a fun loving artistic person – I love all things art-related, especially fashion. I had the opportunity to study Fashion Design at the Art Institue of New York City; and while there I interned at Donna Karan International, Marchesa, and Monique Leshman. I now have two clothing lines - ASD and Ayanna Dixon for ASD - the collections range from sexy bikinis to elegant evening wear. I also placed second in the first season of Mission Catwalk a few years after I returned home from school.
Ashleigh: At what point did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Ayanna: There was never a time for me when I wasn’t interested in fashion, and I started playing around with it in high school, then got into the industry as a model with Pulse before pursuing it. I took a course at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and I really enjoyed it, so decided to pursue it as my career.
Ashleigh: What was the first item of clothing you ever designed?
Ayanna: A long elegant skirt to wear to my friend's sweet 16 birthday party. My dad wouldn't buy me anything new to wear, and told me I should sew something, so I sat all day sewing this skirt by hand and was totally terrified that it would fall off when I was wore it. My best friend loved it, and she then asked me to sew her a shorter version of it as well.
Ashleigh: Where do you get inspiration from for your pieces?
Ayanna: I get inspired by almost everything... I love vibrant colours and things that make me happy, so my love for those things usually gives me a lot of ideas
Ashleigh: In 5 years, where do you see your line?
Ayanna: I'd love for both of my lines to be well known regionally, and I definitely want to have clients not only in the Caribbean, but also in other parts of the world.
Ashleigh: Do you have any favourite designers, whether local or international?
Ayanna: I absolutely love the craftsmanship of Bogetta Veneta, the simplicity of Carolina Herrera, Cushnie Et Ochs is great too, and, of course, I love Donna Karan. I feel a deep affinity to her work.
Ashleigh: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Ayanna: I would advise them to dream big and work hard. If you had me at 15-years-old that I would be where I am now, I honestly wouldn't believe it.
Ashleigh: Where can readers find out more about you & your work?
Ayanna: They may visit the website at www.asdclothing.com or at www.facebook.com/asdclothing . Also on Twitter @asdclothing, and they can e-mail Info@asdclothing.com. We aren't in any stores at the moment, so you have to be on our list for news about upcoming sales, trunk shows and other events.
Ayanna: Sexy and sophisticated.
Ashleigh: What does fashion mean to you?
Ayanna: A means of expressing yourself, of truly being an individual.
Ashleigh: Any favourite clothing stores?
Ayanna: Locally, I absolutely love SoHo Boutique at 96 Hope Road, and internationally I'll shop just about anywhere that has great stuff.
Ashleigh: Which celebrity dons the style you admire?
Ayanna: Let's face it, we all love Rihanna's sense of style. I also loved Kelly Rowland’s Georges Chakra dress at the Grammy Awards... gorgeous!
If I'm not designing or constructing pieces, I'm ... Catching up with family and friends or relaxing at the beach, it’s my favourite place to be :)
The craziest thing I've ever done... Hmmm, I’m not so sure.
6 things I must have in my purse... Business cards, my sketch pad, my planner, lipgloss, eyeliner and debit card.
The best advice I've ever been given is... "You are stronger than you believe or think you are" and "Excellence is in the details".