Twenty-year old Canada native Andrea Iyamah is creating a buzz with her newest collection of swimwear. Iyamah’s unique design aesthetic takes swimwear to a new level with her fresh interpretation of integrating bright colors and bold prints in swim; she creates each piece to be a standout. Along with her collection, Iyamah also does custom items for the ladies who want their pieces extra special. EBONY.com chatted with Andrea Iyamah about her collection and the inspiration for her line.
EBONY: How long have you been designing, and how did you get started?
Andrea Iyamah: I discovered my love for art at a very young age. I occupied myself with painting and drawing until I later fell in love with fashion art and began sketching designs at the age of 11. I took sewing lessons and did a lot of self-teaching to help bring my designs to life. I started my brand at the age of 17.
EBONY: How many collections have you released?
AI: I’ve released seven collections including swimwear since the inception of the brand.
EBONY: Who and what are some of your biggest inspirations?
AI: Famed fashion designer Elie Saab inspires me a lot. I find his attention to detail and fabric choice to be very intriguing. Every piece leaves you wanting more. Like Elie, I strive to be as creative as possible to impress clients, customers and most of all myself.
EBONY: Who is the girl you design for?
AI: The custom couture part of Andrea Iyamah allows me cater to every woman, from simple and conservative to daring and sexy. I love helping a bride create her dream dress. Working with custom couture clients is one of my favorite parts of my job as a designer. Taking time to create a piece that enhances the personality of a client can be tasking, but seeing a client’s satisfaction keeps me going.
I’m very inspired by the vintage high waist silhouette for A.I. swimwear, but I try to throw in an edge in each swimwear piece through prints, colors or cuts. The different swimwear styles allow every type of girl to have a favorite.
EBONY: What’s next for Andrea Iyamah?
AI: It’s hard to say what’s next for the brand, especially when everything’s moving so fast and most of it has been unforeseen. But the good thing is, most of it has been positive and I can only thank God. We’re currently completing the Fall 2013 collection and I’m extremely excited for its release. What’s next is more hard work to make Andrea Iyamah as successful as its potential.
—Imani Kai Treadwell