My name is Irina Sosa. I am a native from Venezuela, I have been living in Seattle, Washington for 11 years. I moved here after I finished college with a degree in computer science. The reason for moving was because I wanted to improve my English. I decided to stay because I fell in love with the city, the people, and the culture. I live in Seattle with my husband, David Yesland, and my dog Lola.
1. When did you fall in love with fashion?
Fashion has always been an important part of my life; I love fashion, every detail is important to create a great look.
I fell in love with fashion when I was 17 years old. In college I started selling swimsuits from local designers in order to have extra money. I was so immersed in the whole process; I remember thinking of all the things I could change and do to better with the designs, details, colors, fabric etc. Every time I sold a swimsuit, it took great restrain to stop myself from adding my personal touch to it to make it better! I think it was then that I discovered there was something about creating a piece that ignited a sense of love within me. That is how I create www.aguabravaswimwear.com.
2. Do you have any aspirations to expand your line to other lines or industries (i.e. men’s wear/women’s wear, perfume, home decor)
In the future, I would like to design men’s wear, but for now I want to dedicate more time to designing for women and kids. In spring 2012, I will be launching beach bags, hair accessories and summer dresses.
3. Did you have to train or apprentice with another designer? How was the experience?
The only training i’ve had was in Venezuela with my friend who is a designer as well. We shared ideas about her line, fabrics and colors, it was very helpful and it has marked my life to see such a talented and passionate person.
4. What was the first item you remembered designing?
A one Piece Swimsuit, when I was 18 years old, I still keep my sketches.
5. What inspired you to start designing?
I always felt influenced by fabrics, colors, and tendencies. I decided to start putting those influences into my collection, taking my Venezuelan roots and combining them with fashion forward details from American women, creating a sensual, classy, fun and comfortable line.
6. If you weren’t a designer then what would you be?
I am an Entrepreneur at heart, I am always working on different ideas, and I am constantly thinking of how to turn these ideas into successful business. I love the whole process from conceiving an idea; putting into a business plan, developing it, and seeing it grow into a successful product! If I was not a designer, I will probably like to open a restaurant that has Latin American fare, specifically Venezuelan food.
7. Being creative is an everyday challenge for a designer; tell us what keeps your creative motor running?
Anything and everything. I feel inspired from the color and silhouette of a flower, to the waves in the ocean, music and art. I try to stay in line with the new trends, and always add my own personal touch to all my designs. My main goal is to bring the Venezuelan tendencies and styles to the U.S.; showcasing great color palettes, fun details, and styles that flatter women’s curves.
8. Tell our viewers how do you want them to feel when they wear your brand?
Beautiful, Sexy, Comfortable in your own skin, and the most important thing is that women will be wearing ONE OF A KIND PIECE. I want them to feel that my pieces were specifically created to showcase their best attributes and assets. I want all women to feel secure while wearing an design from Agua Brava Swimwear.
9. Do you have any advice for anyone entering your field?
Be yourself. Do not be afraid or care what other people think, trust in your instincts
10. What is one skill you can pass onto someone who wants to be a designer?
11. What excites you about the future of Seattle fashion?
The local fashion and apparel industry in the Pacific Northwest is growing by the second, you can notice new trends, tendencies and more diversification. The future of Seattle’s fashion is in the hands of all local designers. It’s time to support the talent of our city!
12. How do you see the brand developing over the next couple of years? What can we expect?
This was my first run; I learned a lot of things from simple mistakes. The brand motto will remain the same, sexy, beautiful, and authentic with a South American flare. Over the next couple years, I want to keep consistency, and I want to start adding more texture to the designs.
13. Quickly, what are the benefits for Seattleites of buying from local designers?
Buying from local designers supports local economic growth and it helps to develop our markets. I think that local designers always have a certain flare to their designs that are drawn from inspiration within their surroundings. By buying from local artist, designers etc, you are giving the seal of approval that if it is good enough for the locals, it is good enough for the rest of the world