Aliya Wanek makes beautiful sustainable and ethical garments that explore identity through style. You may already be familiar with her beloved and now iconic Ami and Tig sweatshirts, that come in the most delicious rainbow of colors with names like sage and canyon. We were delighted that Aliya agreed to an interview!
Visual description of Aliya: She identifies as a Black woman
Garment size range for her collection: xsmall through large with hopes to extend the size range
What is your favorite piece in your collection and why?
From my spring collection, the Jorja dress is my favorite because I’ve wanted to include Victorian elements into my designs in a way that felt updated, and I feel like I achieved that with the dress!
What inspires your work?
I’m really sensitive to color in my surroundings so I’m always looking at buildings, landscapes, and bridges for color pairings. Also, comfort and style are very important to me so those descriptors are always at the forefront when I’m designing. I very much try to maintain this focus of just pulling on, over, or up a garment with the ease of knowing you’re showing your style without too much effort or thought into it.
What’s something you love about your heritage?
I come from a West Indian household, both my parents are from Trinidad. With being first generation American, my parents really taught me to have a hard work ethic and to keep things moving when problems arise (aka come up with a solution and move on!) My family on my mother’s side is very jovial and big spirited, and as an adult, I’ve realized that those traits have also been passed to me.