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A new Generation of Fashion Designers, led by Saya Zalel


A new generation of fashion designers, led by Saya Zalel. Discover her latest projects and astonishing story to the top of her field.

Born in the old capital of Kazakhstan, three years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to the country’s independence, Saya Zalel became one of the most respected fashion designers of her generation. 

She grew up in a pretty interesting time, when the echo of the Soviet era was slowly fading, creating a complex cultural landscape : « Even though the soviet has been exhausted, the remained ideology subsequently weakened the cultural identity of the Kazakh people. Then it was heavily affected by the Western world. We were the new generation that absorbed the mix of nostalgia and the influence of clashing cultures. »— says Saya

From music prodigy to fashion dreams

Before she became the established fashion designer that she is, Saya Zalel had an unusual story that could inspire a movie of its own !

As a young child, Saya was a violin prodigy and took part in multiple competitions held in Europe and her home country. She spent her whole childhood practicing violin from early morning till late night, preparing for the next concert or competition. 

But by the age of 16, she realized that she didn’t want to pursue this path as a musician, and wanted to try herself in another creative field. And she chose fashion.

She started with the basics, worked hard and learnt how to thread the needles ; then a step at a time, she discovered a new universe that she became passionate about.

Learning and becoming the best

Her brother was studying in Edinburgh at that time, so she decided to move there to learn English, and transferred to the Herriot-Watt university branch in Dubai, where she prepared for her new dream : NYC.  One of the best place to reach her full potential. 

Saya Zalel was accepted at the highly competitive MFA fashion design and Society program, where she challenged herself as a designer. 

« An MFA is a two-year crazy creative experience. That period was one of immense growth for me. I’ve reflected a lot on my values and what I want to communicate as a designer. »— says Saya

Her hard work and talent were soon remarked upon by her teachers and fashion professionals, and Saya was offered to showcase her experimental work at the New York Fashion Week in 2017. 

Her work didn’t go unnoticed, and in 2018, she showcased her whole collection at the New York Fashion Week, inspired by her culture’s philosophy and traditional craft.

Hanne Gaby. photo by MAT+KAT

That’s how her career took off, and her work being showcased all over the world, from New York to Paris, worn by celebrities such as Tiffany Young, Dani Miller (Surfbort), Kristina Tontery-young, Hanne Gaby, or Nanna from OF MONSTERS AND MEN…

Saya Zalel’s signature and new projects

Saya Zalel’s creative process is unique, : she doesn’t sketch as most traditional designers do. 

« I feel like it limits my creative process. I am more of an intuitive designer. I always try to surrender to my intuition and imagination to accelerate creativity. »

As a textile-driven womenswear designer, Saya tends to always begin with the vision of a textile becoming a garment and through applying traditional tailoring techniques. Then, she construct the garment to fit the body through an intuitive design process where fabric manipulations inform the silhouette.

With such talent, singularity and recognition, Saya Zalel has been selected for the foremost Artist Residency Program, created by Stonehenge NYC, whom she closely collaborates with. 

« I have been lucky to be selected as one of the winners for the Artist Residency Program. It is a one-year residency where artists can live rent-free in Manhattan and collaborate with the company throughout the year.

It’s been helping me focus more on my creative work, and I am happy that such initiatives do exist and strive to give artists community time and space to create an amazing art! »

Saya Zalel is currently working on her new collection, heavily influenced by her cultural heritage, incorporating upcycling and traditional craft. She plans on collaborating with local artisans from her home country, and we can’t wait to discover her new work!


A post-pandemic view on the fashion scene

The pandemic brought a much-needed moment of pause and reset in the fashion industry. 

We discussed with Saya Zalel about her view on the post-pandemic fashion scene and new inspiration.

« Even though it seems like the fast-fashion is going back to a regular cycle, there are still some positive changes, I guess.  More  people are becoming aware of the harm that this industry is causing to the environment. As a result, there is a substantial growing interest in buying sustainable and vintage clothing, each of which is more eco-friendly than shopping seasonally. 

In addition, more brands are opting out of traditional fashion weeks and seasonality and establishing their own production calendars instead. I feel seasonality is an outdated and unnecessary model that only causes overproduction and waste.

The direct-to-consumer model is growing super fast, and I think it creates an opportunity for smaller brands or start-ups to connect with consumers, grow their brands, and make their voices heard through online platforms.

I  have been overwhelmed in excess of fashion for a while, and I have reflected a lot and asking myself where I belong in the industry.

I decided to hold back and take my time before jumping to the next project.  There are so many brands and new names now, and the market is hyper-saturated. I would not want to create a meaningless piece of clothing that will not serve the purpose and eventually end up in waste. My focus now is to make a garment considering its longevity, so I’m working more commercially in terms of my designs, creating functional but still exciting pieces. »

Follow Saya Zalel : @sayazalel
Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com



Shop Local Designers is the solution for designer to boost their brands post-pandemic.  ShopLocalDesigners.com is a Find Your ID NYC and Livein Magazine special collaboration to support local businesses internationally post-pandemic challenges through an interactive online hub. The platform will allow users to search designer trends by city, providing a unique opportunity to explore new cultures, support local designers from around the world and highlight global talents. 

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 8: Isabella Barrett attends Times Square Fashion Week, New York, NY at Father Duffy Square on September 8, 2020 in New York. (Photo by Jared Siskin/PMC/PMC) *** Local Caption *** Isabella Barrett

The company aims to highlight the top designers and creatives in every major fashion capital. Through engaging videos, visually stunning content, multi-media coverage, influencers, events and pop-up stores, ShopLocalDesigners.com aims to highlight the trendiest small businesses and local shops with innovative approaches to fashion, design, beauty and wellness. Consumers have a chance to make an impact, supporting creatives who run responsible, sustainable and community-immersed brands

Shop Local Designers

crown-sathees / Pixabay

The project was conceived by the creative minds of Imani Jones and Joseph Ralph Fraia, respectively Founder and CEO of Find Your ID NYC and Chief Editor of Livein Media – both based in New York City. With years of experience working with brands, entrepreneurs and creatives in the most dynamic cities in the world – from New York to Milan, from Paris to Miami – Jones and Fraia have decided to take action and embody the change they wanted to see in the fashion industry. 

The platform will provide local businesses with the essential tools to compete and grow in the digital market. The biggest challenge many designers and creatives have been facing post-pandemic shutdowns is creating professional, visual content and promoting their brand in a way that is effective and affordable. ShopLocalDesigners.com has built a service that meets those needs, by creating and promoting the content businesses need to overcome adversity and grow their brands, while also providing a marketplace where they can showcase and sell their products directly to customers.

On July 1, 2020, ShopLocalDesigners.com also opened a physical store in Downtown Manhattan, two blocks away from the World Trade Center. This addition to the e-commerce shop serves as a place where brands can display and sell their products as they join the dynamic promotional campaigns of the platform.

Shop Local Designers

AhmadArdity / Pixabay

On Sept.12, 2020, Trinity Yvette hosted Find Your ID NYC’s New York Fashion Week in collaboration with ShopLocalDesigners.com and under the creative direction of Imani Jones. The event consisted of one-on-one interviews about the future of fashion with professional fashion producers such as Janice Lawrence-Clarke of CAFE JLCPR, Mike Okerson of Jump Into the Light and the brand owner of Frekan. The live event also featured a socially distanced rooftop fashion show and photoshoot featuring designs by Willard Morgan and Vestiphobia, Klassiklozit, Kakaki, Tiye Eliza, and Naurah USA. The designs were modeled by Krystal Warren, Brianne Anela, Chelsea Scalzo, Kalliniki Lambrinoudis, and Jamila A Yancy. Makeup was done by artist and FYID NYC team member, Kalliniki Lambrinoudis. All photos were photographed by Joseph Fraia, professional fashion photographer and Editor in Chief of Livein Magazine, and Lauren Cirocchi of Find Your ID NYC.

Additional information is available to the press. Please email press@findyouridnyc.com with any questions. Watch the full video on Facebook or IGTV.

Find Your ID NYC is a global creative agency, founded in 2015 that specializes in brand development and strategy, talent representation, PR, event management, and content curation. The agency has bases in Milan and New York, working with forward-thinking companies to execute an array of brand activations by connecting clients with top, innovative talent.

Livein is a Multi-Media Platform and a Magazine founded in Padova, Italy more than 13 years ago by Owner/Editor-in-Chief Matteo Tornielli. Lifestyle, travels, art, fashion, food, wellness, sport, celebrities are among the favorite topics. In 2014 Livein started its amazing journey in the U.S.A. together with New York Editor-in-Chief Joseph Fraia who, over the years, has expanded the project from the East Coast to the West Coast always in search of the best life has to offer.

Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Goth Fashion: Fleeting Frenzy or Haunting Influence?


The first rule of fashion is that it is all about making a statement; in that sense, the fashion industry has much more in common with the goth movement than we might think at first glance. Add to the mix that fashion designers are regularly inspired by contemporary events and themes, especially of great social interest, and there you have it: Halloween is upon us, and it is only natural that we once again see fashion with goth and romantic influences. But is it just seasonal or is it here to stay?

In Fashion and Beyond, Goth Is Very Much Alive
goth and fashionWe know that punk is not dead, but goth is definitely undead – the two movements even share some origins in the music and the image of the UK’s Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division from the late 1970s. Inspired by a somewhat nihilistic and withdrawn approach to life, goth style is mainly expressed through black tones in clothing and pale tones in (the usually heavy) makeup, paired with daring accessories like bondage leather belts, chains or even romantic style sexy corsets. Within gothic style, there are many subsets of styles to choose from, including romantic/ethereal and steampunk, so even if you are relatively new to goth fashion there is surely something that will fit into your personal fashion approach.
Fashion is not the only industry where the goth and romantic culture has seen a comeback – pop culture seems to have grown very fond of gothic influences over the past few years. The Twilight movie series, based on the books by Stephenie Meyer was an instant hit, especially with a younger demographic who was particularly infatuated by the love story between a vampire and Bella, the series’ protagonist. But even before Edward and Bella, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas spawned an incredibly successful merchandise empire in 1993, with a particular focus on clothing and fashion accessories. Goth influences inform and become transformed by pop culture, from online games like Betway Casino’s Immortal Romance online slot game, which features goth elements along a dark theme of cursed romance with spooky graphics and haunting music, to extremely popular bands like The Cure and Marilyn Manson, or even some of Lady Gaga’s videos and looks.
male goth and fashionYet when it comes to fashion, goth does not have to be spooky – it is a great source of inspiration for its provocative and subverting tone, that plays really well with the fashion industry’s constant strive for something out of the ordinary, as well as for its romantic undercurrent that taps into its Victorian influences. This is probably why gothica is all the rage in fashion right now: it featured very prominently in the latest 2018 Spring-Summer Runway Collections that just wrapped up in Paris in early October – and it did so with a bang!
The Best of the SS2018 Catwalks and Beyond
Take Alexander McQueen for example, and his incredible work with black lace: a perfect balance between eerie goth references – exemplified also in the heavy neck jewels in silver and black tones and excessive black eyeliner that lets the smoky eyes stand out – and a more romantic undertone that runs through the black see-through lace that embraces the legs.
givenchy fashionGivenchy also played with dark colors a lot to represent goth fashion, as well as with black-white contrasting tones, with his Look 67 which features black lace in a delicate manner, which still rises up above the shoulders in a style reminiscent of bat wings, being a spooky inspiration that plays well into Halloween. The black leather boots were a signature move by Givenchy in this collection and give a lighter romantic tone to the dress.
For his Fall Winter 2017, Rick Owens relied immensely on a more austere look, in black and beige tones, that taps into a sterner side of gothica influence: you can see it in the way his male models in particular are placed. Tight black jackets with slightly too long sleeves are paired perfectly with three-quarter old-school black slacks and heavy footwear that reminds us of a lighter version of the signature goth black boot – with bonus points for the goth reference in the bondage-style laces that go around the ankles. A slightly androgynous look that is the perfect inspiration for women’s look, too.

Goth Fashion is serious business – and the industry seems to be constantly turning to it as a challenge and a way to tap into its creativity. Mysterious, slightly morbid, and very powerful in terms of imagery, goth seems more than a Halloween frenzy – although it can certainly provide ample inspiration for festive costumes, as well.
Read more fashion articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Flickr CC License, Givenchy, Rick Owens and Alexander McQueen via Facebook

Rein London for Nineteenth Amendment


Being an up-and-coming fashion designer is no easy task. It’s great to have ideas and the ability to have your creations come to life, but to actually get noticed is another daunting obstacle. Allow us to introduce you to Nineteenth Amendment, a fashion company that brings rising designers and eager consumers together. Co-founders Gemma Sole and Amanda Curtis created Nineteenth Amendment since they believe “everyone has a right to choose how to make the system—and their closets—a better place.”

Recently, the company partnered with Macy’s to give even more consumers a chance to discover and support independent designers. We spoke with the duo behind Rein London, whose clothing you can purchase through Macy’s x Nineteenth Amendment, to learn more about their line and what it’s like working in the industry. 
Cliché: How did you first hear about Nineteenth Amendment, and what does it mean to be a part of it?
Rein London: We actually came across them online by accident! It was just after our first London Fashion Week (February this year) and we were researching a couple of sales outlets when we came across Amanda and Gemma’s new endeavor, ‘Nineteenth Amendment.’ We were very intrigued by their unique business model that allows them to expose new brands like us without taking too many risks. It meant we would both share in the risk, which, when you’re starting out, is a huge deal, as you don’t know how one particular market will receive you. If you do well, great! But if you don’t, normally that sales channel wouldn’t purchase from you again the following season. This business is all about consistency. With Nineteenth Amendment, it allows for the brand to be tested with minimal risk, but also understands that a new brand takes time to build that following. Their minimal-risk model keeps both sides happy, allowing the brand to grow naturally.
For us, it was really lovely to meet two women in the same industry, doing it together, and doing so well. It really inspires us to keep going and keep expanding. Being part of Nineteenth Amendment has been amazing and we’re really glad to have got onboard with this business model so early. It is the way the industry/digital is going without a doubt.
What is it like to know that your designs are fluttering around the fashionistas in the United States, who admire your work?
It’s an incredible feeling! You spend so much time agonizing over every aspect of the design/development processes that knowing they end up on someone and have given that person the confidence and empowerment you set out to achieve is the most amazing feeling. That’s what it’s all about for us.
It also really helps us to know that Amanda and Gemma are so genuine and on point with our brand. Every time we see pictures of them wearing REIN or writing up blog posts or newsletters or interviews, they always get us. We have a strong vision for REIN and what it means and how it should be communicated. It’s a little scary handing over something so personal and hoping the brand is released in the desired way, especially when they are half way across the world! But we have never had to worry. They have been so perfectly on point that sometimes it feels like they understand REIN way more than we do!
Did your aesthetics automatically complement one another or did it take some time to figure out the route you wanted to go with REIN?
When we met, we kind of fell into the roles we excelled at/enjoyed, so Rebecca designs and Gemma develops. The bold, black, graphic aesthetic emerged in the beginning, but we were studying, so influences were all over the place. This aesthetic came a lot from inspirations at the time, especially the focus on the relationship with the body and clothing, which are still similar to today. However, I think now more than ever you can see both of us within the collections, where our voice is beginning to refine.
The past six months feel like [ages] in how we have been evolving and developing our voice, honing REIN’s message and what it means. The one thing we always knew starting up in this industry was that we wanted a brand with more backbone than just creating a line of aesthetically pleasing clothing. If we were going to do it, it needed more to it. It needed a message, a voice. It needed to mean something—ideally to help the world in some way. So I guess it’s this that we have been working on. We are still honing our voice, and it will continue to grow and evolve. I don’t think it will ever be complete.
How do you go about getting noticed in an industry where it’s sometimes hard to be seen?
Noise. It’s a tough industry, but exciting. It’s challenging and that’s addictive. For us, it’s about taking a more unusual or less traditional approach. We don’t want to follow, but to carve our own path, and maybe doing something differently won’t work. Maybe it’s too different and unusual, but you won’t know until you try, and we’d much rather risk it than follow the traditional route.  
For our recent Spring/Summer collection presentation at LFW, for example, we staged our presentation within one of the showrooms inside the official venue. We had the girls enter from the streets [and caused] an uproar outside the venue before they went up into the presentation space. REIN is about empowering, confidence, body acceptance, and crushing what is seen as socially acceptable and gender boundaries—so we had two of our eight street-cast models completely naked under their very revealing dresses.
HEROINE is for strong, powerful women. How would you describe your personal style? Do you ever wear your own designs to see what feedback you may receive on the street?
HEROINE is for strong, powerful women, but most importantly it is for all women—to empower, strengthen, and give confidence. We do wear our own designs. We tend to use ourselves as fit models as it makes sense for us to be wearing the clothes, but more importantly, this way we get a real representation of a standard and true size, not an abnormally long and thin size, as tends to be with industry models. “You are your best free marketing tool.” It is surprising how well this works, even with people who don’t know you, but come up on the streets to ask where the dress is from.
Speaking of wearing your designs… Some of your pieces have already been worn by some big names! Who’s someone you’d love to see wear your clothes?
We would love to FKA twigs to wear REIN. We recently had Skin from Skunk Anansie wear a couple of our pieces for an upcoming album launch and for us she is absolutely, perfectly, incredibly on brand.
What are your current ideas for your next collection?
You will have to wait and see!
Read more Fashion articles on ClicheMag.com
Rein London for Nineteenth Amendment: Photograph courtesy of REIN