If you seek to discover up-and-coming designers and support them in their early stages, or if you are passionate about sustainability in the fashion industry, or if you just enjoy looking good with unique fashion finds, you are going to love Asata Maisé.
Already recognized by Vogue, Nylon, and Black Cherry Mag, Asata Maisé is a 27-year-old designer from Delaware who is making major moves. This past June, she was chosen by world-famous musician Halsey (@iamhalsey) to be a recipient of the newly established Black Creators Funding Initiative for artists of all mediums including fashion design, music, poetry, film, drawing, painting, makeup, and more.
About Asata Maisé
Asata Maisé (she/her) is a self-taught designer repurposing vintage fabrics to create one of a kind pieces reminiscent of the 1960s & 1970s. After sewing for twelve years and working with Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Costello and palmer//harding; Asata began her eponymous brand in 2016 based on the cornerstones of sustainability and an exploration of history. Looking forward, Asata would like to share her knowledge through teaching and join research initiatives to create more sustainable practices in textile production.
By Tyla Pink, Black Cherry Mag
READ MORE: Asata Maisé
Maise, 27, first started making clothes at home when her grandmother gave her a sewing machine for her 15th birthday. “I just really enjoyed doing it and I went to college for it,” says Maise who studied fashion design at Albright College in Pennsylvania but dropped out to get more hands-on experience in the industry. A year later after moving to Los Angeles in 2012, Maise started working with Project Runway-winner Michael Costello and later for Diane von Furstenberg back in New York City. It was after a trip to Art Basel Miami that she realized she wanted to get back into creating her own pieces. To support her business, she worked at restaurants part-time before launching a Depop for her label.
As her small but dedicated fan base has grown, Maise has become a savvy one-woman fashion band. After shooting her first collection on a friend in Greece, Maise had intended to have current collection captured on a model. Her plans were put on pause when the pandemic hit. “I thought to myself, ‘The only way to sell it is to see how it looks on the body.’ My friends were like, ‘Oh, you look great!’” says Maise, who shot the collection on herself using an iPhone XR. “I was a little insecure when I was younger and I lacked self confidence, so wearing my own clothing and just getting dressed and feeling good about myself just helped me feel better.”
As her bags and custom clothing continues to gain popularity, the designer hopes to expand her business beyond Instagram. “I’d like to continue to create bespoke and sustainably made garments with brick-and-mortar shops in different parts of the world,” she says, “I’d also like to launch a truly sustainable and eco-friendly textile manufacturing company and a free design program for upcoming designers.” That mindful, community-focused vision, that will surely make this label one to watch.
By Liana Statenstein, Vogue
READ MORE: Asata Maise’s One-of-Kind Patchworked Bags Are Fast Becoming an Instagram Sensation
"Growing up, I was the only girl, so when I would buy something, it was mine. When I got older, friends and I would shop at the same places, and I’d feel less special after seeing someone with the same thing I had. I always liked shopping and finding unique items, and I figured it must be how most women felt when they had a one of a kind piece. It feels good, it makes you stand out." —Asata Maisé
"At first, I just wanted to be able to make something nice because I couldn't afford to go out and buy a brand-new dress for prom, and now what I create reflects who I am, in addition to what's going on with the environment. I like to use fabrics that I've found from collectors and try to be as eco-conscious as possible. I focus on reusing things to reduce my carbon footprint while making a change in the fashion industry, which is one of the most wasteful industries in the world." —Asata Maisé
Interviewed by Tina Vaden, Nylon
READ MORE: Asata Maisé Wants to Make the Clothing of Your Dreams