LargeUp Interview: Anya Ayoung-Chee on cANYAval

September 8, 2014


LU: Talk about some of your new pieces that are on display right now.
AAC: Basically cANYAval is a group of collaborations and it’s always growing, and it ranges from swimwear to t-shirts, to contemporary womenโ€™s-wear, accessoriesโ€”the whole nine. One of the new contemporary womenโ€™s designers is Delia Alleyne, sheโ€™s from Tobago. She taught me how to sew for Project Runway, and she recently graduated from The Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design, which is the only university of fashion design in the Caribbean. Sheโ€™s very good at construction, and I really wanted to bring her on, yuh know, so we collaborated on a few things that were my aesthetic and hers, and [its] great to see her here in New York.

LU: Tell me a little about your experience with Fashion Week.

AAC: Fashion Week is very established, obviously. It’s gotten to a point where it’s really benefiting from fresher perspectives on how it can work, and Iโ€™ve found that doing things that are, in some way, “off the runway.” It draws more attention, it’s more organic. We did an event in June with Miss Lilys and Red Bull at Milk Studios, and it was exactly that. Jonathan Mannion, who is an amazing photographer, shot the line in Milk Studios in the party, Kes performed, Jillionaire was on the decks. We had Moko Jumbies, and steel pan all happening at once. It was a fresh introduction to a fashion brand that didnโ€™t feel contrived. So that’s my vision for cANYAval. I wanna take that same kind of guerrilla type event all around the world, where there’s already a draw to the Caribbean, and use the events-based model to introduce the brand and sell the clothes.

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