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New York, fashion – the two seem to go hand-in-hand; but as we’ve learned in our ongoing studio visit series with BRAND ASSEMBLY, a new generation of designers are redefining the landscape from all corners of the globe. In the case of today’s story, we’re referring specifically to our recent visit with Los Angeles-based designer Tiffani Anne Williams of Modern Weaving. The self-taught ceramicist turned designer has cultivated an artistic approach to her work in fashion which in turn has helped her garner a loyal following. When visiting her plant-adorned LA studio we weren’t surprised to find that her creative space donned a similar aesthetic to her collections – inviting and thoughtfully designed. Today we’re excited to share more from our conversation with Tiffani who talked to us about her goals for Modern Weaving and her experience in building a brand in LA. We also encourage you to visit THE ASSEMBLIST for the full conversation and for more of a look into her gorgeous studio.
I live in the LA neighborhood
called Mount Washington with my husband and my dog. We have an old 20s bungalow on the side of the hill with two back houses. One of them serves as my art studio and the other his office. I have so much gratitude for this oasis and creative space on the hill. I enjoy being in my studio and you will find me there most of the time either working on something for the business or experimenting on something new.
As a self-taught ceramicist what role would you say art (or an artistic approach to fashion) plays in your design process? Do you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration?
Working with my hands gives me the most pleasure in the process. I work 3-dimensionally versus 2-dimensionally, which is why I am drawn to ceramics. I like to feel the product I am working on for tactility, weight, softness and texture. Traveling to other countries and immersing myself in new cultures inspires me the most. Color, shape and form are everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings.
Modernity in fashion is something that’s a big conversation and we’ve taken part in it as well. With that in mind, what does “modern” fashion mean to you and what role is Modern Weaving playing in this movement?
In my definition, modern fashion means being conscious of the production process and cognizant of evolving technologies. It’s an obligation as a business owner to make smart decisions about product inputs from concept through the production process. I make an effort to source materials from suppliers that I know and trust. I produce with small artisans locally that have a similar mindset when it comes to efficient production processes and waste management. I believe this is critical to the environment and consider this first when starting new designs.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
“What keeps you motivated?” My answer – the ever evolving creative process and ability to turn an idea into reality.
How would you advise the next generation of makers, designers, and creative thinkers to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what the love?
I would simply encourage the next generation to go after what inspires them the most in life. Be fearless and listen to their intuition, listen to themselves and not others.
How would you characterize the Modern Weaving community and who do you hope to see her evolve as the brand becomes more deeply rooted in the industry?
I would characterize it as a collective of creatives that share a similar vision for art and design, the process of making. Honest integral individuals who support each other in the creative process and are true to themselves.
Why do you think LA is the best place to build a brand like Modern Weaving and do you ever see yourself working out of another city?
LA is an incredible place to design and build. You have everything and everyone at your fingertips to create anything you want from a manufacturing standpoint. The artist and design community is beginning to widen, which is encouraging. We no longer feel that we have to be in NYC to be a part of the fashion community.