Syla At Miami Fashion Week
To complete our look at the Miami Fashion Week thanks to Kat Popiel who has compiled a look into Syla and what was on offer from them over summer. Take a look below and check out our other features from the always sunny Miami here.
Syla is Sylvie. She designs for herself, ‘the aspiration of me, the beautiful dream of the person I want to be’. Her bold style for the brand derives from a passion for vintage prints; classic and timeless. These ‘colour stories’, as she calls them, where she lets her imagination run wild, eventually become the personas and identities that become layered into her designs.
It’s but days before her debut show at Miami Fashion Week and stepping into the Syla studio off the beaten streets of New York’s Chinatown, the studio is alive. Her accountant, stylist, the PR and the jewellery stylist are bustling around. Sylvie is running through the mood boards to show the stories she will tell on the catwalk; Glamour, Hippie and Punk. Each of the models will be exuding the other worlds of these characters. There is a thread of the Diane Von Furstenberg in how she deconstructs the styles of Syla – with all the aura of a woman but nuanced by the playfulness of youth; innocent, aroused by the danger of the future, sophisticated and calm.
As a young girl Sylvie had been entered into swimwear beauty pageants by her Peruvian mother in her hometown of Maryland. She giggles with a slight blush as she deliberates, ‘Well I am Latino.’ A designer at Tommy Hilfiger for years, she was ready to quit until her passion for swimwear was met by the arrival of an opportunity she didn’t even know she had been waiting for. Victoria Secret rung her with an offer – bring a youthful energy to their already popular ‘Beach Sexy’ swim line. She recounts the conversation and her collected professional manner on the phone, yet how she covered the mouthpiece then screamed out of excitement. When Sylvie later decided towards going solo, she credits her mentor at Victoria Secret for encouraging her, an indication that the brand was dedicated to more than just training talent they were housing – they wanted to build stars. Yet in her own right, Sylvie talks about risk and ambition as driving powers. ‘I left my marriage, got a tattoo and started my dream’, she says.
When asked about being an independent designer, her response is ripe with honesty ‘I’m missing the old days. Today is really hard’, she laments yet still grins without a note of complaint in her voice. She talks of the fun of creating a brand then divulges on how the business of promoting oneself and deliberating over what sells can burst the bubble some days.
The Syla signet of a sea horse appears on the base of her bikinis and is reminiscent of surf and sport branding. This year’s collection however, shifts from an embroidered signet to one of hard wear, the strong stamp of a brand still in its infancy but bucked to assert itself. There is a sense of her spirit in each piece and print, of a charismatic woman full of spirit, charm and a strong magical attitude that you can do it all when you really just go for it.