Meet Auroville: Anne Sophie the founder of KIMAYA
Where are you from originally? Do you think it has shaped who you are today?
I was born in France. I grew up and lived there until my 32. I moved to Auroville only few years ago. So I am still very French ;)
When did you first get involved in fashion design?
Since I am kid, I know fashion design is my thing. It came naturally. At 6, I was making clothes (actually I just tied dish towels together) and I was organizing fashion shows in my parents’ living room. People at first row wasn’t journalists or editors but my family members. At 15 I started my studies in the school of arts. I painted a lot at that time. Then I went to a fashion school in Paris and right after my graduation, I started to work as a designer for different brands.
How did your brand get started?
I have been thinking about this project for a very long time but only last yearI took the plunge to set up Kimaya.Everything happened very naturally:I met the right people at the right time and things fell into place.
Where do you personally find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. But usually what stimulate the most my creativity are colors, fabrics and travels. In my previous life in Paris, I was looking for inspiration, analyzing trends and it was a full-time observation. Now in Auroville, my creative process is very different. I am not anymore interested in the latest fashion trend and magazines but I connect with my heart and look at what brings me joy. My designs are more personal now.
You just launched your first collection with us. Can you give us a peek into how it came to be?
When I start a new collection, I don’t have a specific process. It is always different. Sometimes it starts with fabrics, sometimes with an association of color shades, sometimes with a print pattern, sometimes with sketches and sometimes with a mix of everything ;) For the first season of Kimaya, I felt in love with handloomed khadi, banana fiber fabric and with natural indigo dyeing. I started sketching with these ingredients. Then ideas flowed and new components came up : organic jersey cotton, batik prints… After that the collection needs to be structured : good ratio between tops and bottoms, good balance between the different shapes, colors… There is also some modifications with the first samples. Another important aspect is the commercial one. Not the most exciting for me! Because as a designer, I tend to always select and love the most beautiful and expensive fabrics or finishings or details. But the final target price has to be taken in consideration at the early stage of the collection. So creating a collection is a mix of different aspects.That’s what I love the most to do!!! A new collection is like a puzzle and the last piece is the shooting. Until the shooting, nothing is definitely settled. The weaving of a fabric can be delayed at the last minute ;) That is very important to be creative and flexible as a designer.
All the fabrics are organic, handloomed and naturally dyed. It comes directly from local weavers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. That is essential for me to be respectful for people, for mother Earth, fair trade, conscious and sustainable. Life is all about co-creation.
What is your favorite piece of the collection?
SHILOH dress because of the pure simple lines and because of the handmade fabric.
Your favorite time of day is?
Definitely early morning. I jump out of bed at 6 and I go for a walk in the forest. It is my meditation.I do my yoga practice. I take a shower. I drink my favorite green tea. Then I am ready to kick off the day happy and full of energy.
What is playing on your music player right now?
East Forest, the xx, Snatam Kaur, Peia,Fleetwood Mac, Sia, Big Wild.
As owner and operator of your company do you find it challenging to be half business – half creative?
Super challenging, sometimes draining but so stimulating.
What is next for Kimaya?
A line of jewelry, a second womenswear collection and a commercial development.
Living in Auroville means….
To be home!
It also means for me unending education. Auroville is a laboratory, where we all experiment and learn how to grow individually and collectively. I’ve learned so much on myself since I am here. Of course sometimes it is challenging but it is worth the work for making a change and manifesting something.
I feel grateful and lucky to be part of this adventure in constant progress, to have the possibility to do what I love most and to evolve with people from so many countries, cultures and backgrounds.