Sisters behind Wadada Movement, one of the region’s emerging young designer labels, Asha and Ayanna Diaz, continue to blaze a trail with their latest fashion collection “She’s Royal”. The fashion duo is garnering increasing public interest following their showing in Tobago — for Tobago Fashion Weekend and more recently at Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica (CFW). Their Collection continues to empower women through allowing them more freedom in the way they dress. The designer pair is recognised not only as creative designers, but also as trendsetters. As Wadada Movement makes a name for itself, these two sisters are brimming with drive, passion and an obvious flair for design. They epitomise everything that goes — love what you do, and do what you love.
The sisters are a force to reckon with. Coming from no design background they decided to penetrate the market with their brand of fashion after realising that there were little or no options locally which suited their taste and reflected their spirituality. Asha said about the desire to launch into their signature fashion label, “Ayanna was already into the whole Rastafari concept and dressing in that lifestyle, then I followed. People always liked how we dressed; they thought it was different. We didn’t technically train, design-wise. Around four years ago, we came together and thought this is the time. We both felt it was something that was needed, and we decided to just make it happen. About two years back we started putting ideas and concepts together, we knew we had a great concept so we were confident to formally get things moving with the brand.”
The conservatively fashioned female clothing line, the designers say, helps to create an awareness of royalty in women. Their designs are bred from the Rastafarian way of life to which the sisters are devoted. Women in Rastafari are greatly respected as queens. A Rastafari woman’s way of dress speaks of royalty and she is revered for that. Inspired by this, Wadada Movement’s brand honours its heritage for conservatism so don’t ever count on seeing a pants suit in any of their collections. “We centre all our creations based on our lifestyle. You will never see us in a pants we will never do a pants in our collection. It’s about the female feeling royal, like she is a queen and she is full of confidence. We believe that women should carry themselves as royalty,” Asha said.
Ayanna and Asha have always been confident in whatever they wear. “The way we dress is something we were both doing practically our whole life; people look at how we dress and they admire our style. You won’t see us dressing another way and our clothing line will always represent this,” Asha said.
Although Ayanna claims she is the more stylish of the pair, both designers agree that they have the same taste. Because of this synergy, it’s easy to avoid disagreements when it’s time to make tough decisions. “When we disagree we discard both of our ideas and start fresh. Even if we both believe we have a really good design or idea, once we can’t both agree on it, it gets thrown out. But it’s nice to have two perspectives.”
Both designers are very detail oriented and thorough and they credit their talented seamstress Charlene Reece, for transforming their sketches and concepts into beautiful clothing.
Ayanna and Asha show no signs of slowing down. They are excited because the fashion scenario in Trinidad has been witnessing massive changes and the dynamics of the fashion industry are fast changing, apparently reflecting the fact that with their signature designs they are set to take fashion to a new degree of success.
Recently the designers showcased their work in The Global Party, a unique charitable global event held at the Zen nightclub. The pair said they are interested in giving back to worthy causes. “It went well it was a good experience. We are really interested in giving back,” Ayanna said. In September the designers will showcase their brand with PLITZS — New York City Fashion Week which takes place at the Park Central Hotel on September 7 and 8. They will join over 1,200 emerging international and US domestic fashion designers. “We will be showcasing the whole life story of Wadada — the last three years. The last three years have been exciting and fun and now we are looking forward to taking our brand to New York,” Ayanna said.