Fashion Designer – JOYA MA
“empowering women to be themselves”
Q&A with JOYA MA
Q. What is the official name of your brand?
A. JOYA MA
Q. Can you give us a brief overview of your brand?
A. JOYA MA is a high fashion clothing brand that builds a strong, independent, sexy, bossy female figure. We encourage and empower women to be themselves and free them from rules or being “ordinary” to fit into society. We want women to express their inner selves and let them be who they want to be. We love women with strong confidence. “She’s dangerous so don’t mess with her. She’s noble and majestic so think twice before you get close to her.”
Q. At what age did you first show interest in designing?
A. At the age of 13, I had a private French teacher that taught me French and she was a fashion design student from Paris. One day she showed me her sketchbook and I was fascinated by the sketches of clothes she did and that initially triggered my interest in drawing and designing clothes. I learned art and drawing when I was five but starting from 13, the path geared more towards fashion illustration. I would be watching a lot of fashion shows and finding inspirations from them, starting to generate my own ideas and interpretation of fashion.
Q. Are you self-taught or did you attend college etc?
A. I attend Parsons School of Design in New York City and my major is fashion design BFA. I also minor in creative entrepreneurship
Q. How would you best describe your first design/s?
A. With my first designs when I was 13, I would describe it as my “learning phase”. It was more like exploring. Even though I was young, I did have an interest in the shape and form of how the clothes lay on the body and how that can enhance the body.
Q. Which designers have influenced your work the most?
A. I think Mcqueen, Mugler, and Iris Van Herpen have had huge impacts on me. They are very avant-garde, dark-fantastic, seductive, powerful, and innovative in many ways. They are the rule-breakers and I think that also shapes the way I view design and fashion. I’d like my work to be extraordinary and upscale, hence why I have more interest in designing event-wear and gowns, rather than everyday clothing. And even if I do design daily wear, I will make something that everyone can’t take their eyes off of when you walk into the room. I want to be in the spotlight.
Q. Who are some of your favorite designers, and why?
A. I really like Mcqueen, Mugler, Iris Van Herpen, Christian Lacroix, LaQuan Smith, Alexander Vaulthier. They have always been very inspiring to me because aside from their incredible designs, their bold creativity and fearless attitude are also very intriguing.
Q. Is there anything you would like to see change within today’s designing industry?
A. I think we need to protect the designers’ intellectual property more, and improve on how we can not be copied or ripped off so easily. There is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of how to define whether a design is copied or original. I think blockchain is a huge future and we should look into how that can change the game or protect designer’s rights.
Q. When did you actually start selling your own designs?
A. This May I started my company and my own brand. I have signed with a boutique store that sells designers’ clothes which also carries my products and designs, including clothes and accessories like silk scarves. I’m looking to collaborate with more stores to carry my designs. My designs are also available on my official website joyamaofficial.com. You can also see them on my Instagram @joya.ma. I also have done some custom designs and couture for private clients.
Q. Which main cities would you like to see your designs sold in?
A. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Miami, London, Paris, Nice, Milan, Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Zurich, etc.
Q. What is your latest project?
A. My latest project is my senior thesis project for Parsons graduation. The theme of my collection is going to be the battle between my long-term relationship with insomnia. I’ve been tortured by insomnia for years and I have been through several stages and mental instability. This collection will be dark-fantasy-type, more like revenge on insomnia.
Q. What’s the one thing you would like mentioned the most about you in this article?
A. I do have a strong interest in psychology and mental health wellness. A lot of my designs are inspired or reflect this interest of mine. I think designs should be more than just being pretty, it should have a purpose. I have done a collection in 2021 about body consciousness and social media’s impact on mental health. My thesis collection this year is about insomnia and insomnia-related issues such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and OCD.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to say?
A. I want to say thank you to KEEL MAGAZINE for the interview. I really appreciate it. I do dream big and will definitely make them all a reality in the near future.
KEEL MAGAZINE: We certainly look forward to seeing all of your dreams come true over the next year.
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