“A bright, saturated plum violet.”
Tell us about abacaxi.
abacaxi is my fashion line, focusing on traditional textile techniques from India and around the world. Storytelling has always been an integral part of my work and something I bring to the table via my background as a visual artist. I wish to tell untold stories and send positive messages through my collection of concepts.
Custom fabrics are another integral part of the brand and my process; all of my prints, embroideries, beadings, knit designs, and many of my woven fabrics are all custom textiles, often using natural dyes or other traditional techniques. My past research and knowledge of techniques from around the world (studies in Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, and India) are really put to use.
My approach as a designer is also to create lasting, multi-use garments that often have an adaptive quality to them. I have a natural tendency to design pieces that can either be worn several ways, are reversible, or have easy sizing that can fit multiple body shapes and genders. This, too, is connected to indigenous dress, which was always adjustable, meant to be used for a long time, and often multi-purpose. There is something inherently sustainable about traditional dress; the sari, for me, is the ultimate garment – one piece that can fit almost anyone. Inclusivity by design is very important to me, and I keep this in mind while I put together each collection.
Named after the Portuguese word for pineapple, abacaxi also brings together my love for the tropics and the breadth of cultures, travels, and experiences that have influenced me.
When you close your eyes and meditate, what do you see?
Beautiful question. Every meditation is different. Sometimes, I see nothing, and other times, I see and watch the movement of colors changing and morphing behind my closed eyelids. That color play was part of the inspiration for the Cosmic Gingham print in my collection entitled, Everything Is Within You. The concept of that collection, designed during quarantine in 2020, was a reminder that when you look within, everything is possible. I wanted and needed to send a powerful reminder of positivity during that difficult time. I used to take tabla lessons, and I’ll never forget how during one lesson, my teacher asked me, “Do you think you can see more with your eyes open or with them closed?” I immediately replied, “with them closed.” It was a simple question but important teaching about the power of looking within and the beauty of imagination.
How often do you change your “favorite color”?
My favorite color is and always has been purple. 🙂
You created the piece you are wearing. What does it feel like to wear it?
It feels comfortable, very comfortable. I wear my designs a lot, which is no surprise since I usually design things that I would love to wear. I’m most comfortable wearing natural fibers on my skin and clothing that is either loose or stretchy, allowing for some movement. Here I’m wearing the Shisha Blouse in black. It’s cotton and has tiny shisha (mirror) embroidery scattered on the front. The Smocked Sharara Pants are my take on a traditional flared plant called a sharara, with elastic smocking, making it very flattering and comfortable.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Leonardo di Caprio. No longer my taste lol.
If your life thus far had a soundtrack, what song must be on it?
Here’s a random sampler from my long-life soundtrack:
Cozy by Beyonce
Drink Juice by Horsepower
Butterfly by Mariah Carey
Sitting Up in My Room by Brandy
Moscas en la Casa by Shakira
You are my Soniya from K.K.K.G.
If you where to describe yourself as a color, which one would it be?
A bright, saturated plum violet.
Describe your perfect day.
Waking up somewhere by the sea, being woken up by the strong sunlight. Starting my day with yoga, pranayama, and meditation. A strong, dark coffee with oat milk and a delicious breakfast. Spending the day at the beach, swimming, floating in calm water, lying in a hammock, reading, writing, drawing, and just being with my own energy and meeting friends and loved ones for a multi-course meal outdoors that last for hours and continuing to chat and have fun into the night.