Welcome back to our Spotlight Series! This week, we got the chance to get to know Kayla Davis, an aspiring menswear designer from Savannah College of Art and Design and designer of her namesake line kaylajanedesigns. A sophomore student, she is truly making a difference in the fashion world of the South. Take a look at our recent interview, where Kayla touches on her inspiration, future goals, and what it’s like to defy the mold of couture gowns and the typical womens-wear path.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you decide to go into fashion? Have you always known?
When I was seven, my mom would buy me Barbie doll clothes. I would cut them apart in my bedroom and take out the hot glue gun. It drove my mom insane, but I loved being able to put different pieces together and create original designs. That’s when I knew fashion was for me.
So you are a menswear designer, that’s so interesting! What inspired you to go into menswear as opposed to women’s?
Growing up, my mom dressed me in the girliest of clothes. I always wore pink, bows, ruffles, you name it! As I grew older, I began cheering. I ended up wearing athletic clothes all the time! I had such a disinterest in fashion for such a long time. My freshman year at SCAD, we had a project in my intro to fashion class where we had to create an original design. EVERYONE chose to do dresses. Always having to be different, I decided to try to make a suit. I ended up loving it and ever since then I won’t touch womens-wear!
I see that you work with patches of mixed materials. It’s amazing! Can you tell us about this process?
With the patches, it was actually a last-minute decision! I created a classic tailored suit and my professor said it lacked the wow factor. I ended up buying a yard or two of plaid fabric and tried to spruce up my jacket. I got so frustrated I cut up every piece I created. The next day when I locked at all the pieces laying across the floor, I decided to see what they’d look like sewn on. My professor loved it. So I set out to find different fabrics. Tweed, wool, plaid, you name it! I hand sewed each piece on and it was such a success.
What has been your favorite project to date?
My favorite project was no doubt my first suit. To date, I’ve created nothing like it. It’s so original and looks good on anyone who wears it.
What is your biggest inspiration in your designs?
My biggest inspiration I’d have to say are people, which sounds weird. I love getting to know individuals’ personalities and making them evident in the creations I make.
Now that you have been at SCAD for a while, has there been anything that surprised you about fashion that you didn’t know before? What has been the hardest skill to learn?
Definitely! What surprised me most about fashion was the unspoken rules. I’ve learned very quickly there’s just things you don’t do! I think the hardest skill to learn was memorizing each and every stitch there is. Each fabric needs a certain stitch or an end tack or to be surged. Every piece is different and it’s always a trial and error process!
What are your future goals for fashion?
My future goal is to land my dream internship with Marc Jacobs. I plan to travel to Europe and just spend a few months looking at the different suits they create over there. No one really goes into menswear design anymore and I’m ready to be the next big thing.
Any advice to aspiring fashionistas?
My advice to aspiring fashionistas is to never give up. To this day, I still have doubts and question “why am I even here?” But it’s days when you finish that long project you’ve been working on and see it come to life that makes it all worth it. Always remember, you’re talented, brilliant, and beautiful. There’s no one like you and no one has the creativity you do! Take chances and risks and never lose faith!
We are so proud of Kayla and all the amazing things she is doing! We can’t wait to see where she’ll go next. To follow Kayla check out her website and Instagram for all the latest updates and collections.
And follow us on Snapchat: @designUsnap for all the things we’re up to…seeking inspiration, shopping, traveling, and ya just never know 😉