Assembly Interviews... Designer Shaina Mote

Posted: Mar 02 2016

Shaina Mote's womenswear line is comprised of swingy, versatile, ethically made pieces. Items in the collection are minimalist but detailed and made by hand in Los Angeles. We caught up with Shaina over Fashion Week to ask about her favorite songs, haunts, and sources of inspiration. 

Who are a few of your favorite artists? Art works?

These are some favorite works by Eva Hesse, Ruth Asawa, Wolfgang Tillmans, Karla Black, Robert Smithson, Robert Raushenburg, and Maya Deren


Great pieces by incredible artists. Your line is very conscious of ethical modes of production (the use of dead stock fabrics, a family-run production team)--this is so cool; what's the significance?

I’ve worked in a fast fashion environment in the past, and I felt very put off by the disposable ideology and methods of production. I think that this experience, coupled with having grown up in a family business, shaped the way I’ve decided to assemble my business.

What’s your astrological sign and do you think that your personality is a reflection of it? 

I am a Libra. I have a lot of typical Venusian traits, however I think I think I can personally be quite extreme — not exactly the most Libra trait, as they are supposed to be very balanced!

Or at least crazy about balance. What is your line about? Who is it for?

The line is about subtlety and reinvention. It’s for a modern woman who needs essentials that can evolve with her and stand the test of time.

There's an emphasis on transformability and dual-functionality in your clothing--it's important that the wearer is able to make each piece their own. How did this concept come about and how has it unfolded over time?

The first piece that I designed was the Tie Dress in 2011.  I was working a full time job in fashion at that time — I had access to so much amazing clothing, but very little of what I encountered made a lasting impact on my personal wardrobe. I found the pieces I owned were too overpowering or lacked versatility. I designed the Tie Dress with the simple idea of it being a piece that could be reinvented, depending on the occasion, and that would strike the balance between being understated and yet still unique.

I still spend time focusing on reinvention in my designs by experimenting with different ways to tie, wear or fold.  I've learned that sometimes easily reinvented pieces can simply mean the most perfect cut pant, or coat — pieces that will never go out of style. Within the most recent collections, I've been focusing equally on the fit and elements of transformation of each piece.  

Does being based in Los Angeles have an effect on your process?

I think that there is something easy and laid back about the attitude in LA that is reflected my process and designs.

What do you listen to while working in the studio?

Since January we have been shipping, sampling and in production, so we've been listening to Spa and New Age 24/7 — we've been trying to keep it super chill.

Will you please pick five songs that we should listen to right now?

Ariel Kalma- First Light / K. Leimer- My Timid Desires / Laaraji- I Am Sky / Boozoo Bajou- Utsira/ Jon Hassell- Empire i

Do you like road trips?

Love them.

Us too. What do you find to be the most important thing in life to devote your focus and energy towards?

Love and mind expansion.

Where are your favorite places in LA, New York, and Paris?

The ranch I grew up in in LA for sure.  My families business moves and saves huge trees, so our family home has a culmination of my fathers favorite bizarre trees and plants. In New York I really love the installations I have seen at The Dream House in Tribeca. In Paris I love the rooftop at Le PerchoirPicasso Museum is incredible too.

 Shop the Shaina Mote collection here!

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