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Daniella // Ajaie Alaie

When powerful women merge. We collaborated with designer Ajaie Alaie for our latest Anowara campaign. 

Ajaie Alaie originally spelled //Ajai Alai// is a sanskrit mantra for being in your power– It means invincible and indestructible.

Ajaie Alaie is all about mindfulness and reminding women to be mindful with their daily thoughts and actions. Each garment has an amulet on the inside of the garment at a specific energy point (a chakra), represented by a design detail, a knot, twist, dart etc...


Tell us about Ajaie Alaie. What is the inspiration?
Inspiration changes a lot for me. Sometimes I take a trip and that is where I collect the main inspiration for a collection, sometimes I attend an event, a poetry reading, an artist’s gallery opening, and that sets a tone for something I've been thinking of. Lately I've been getting a lot of inspiration from words. From poetry, catalogues, romantic novels, historical novels, artists biographies, amongst some. I write this down and this becomes the inspiration that embodies the garments. Words are very powerful and I want my garments to say something positive to the wearer. All of this has the connection to the chakra philosophy I implement in the brand.



What does a day in the life look like for you Daniella?

It varies and that's my most favorite. I'm not good with routines so I change it up a lot. Sometimes I wake up really early, go to yoga, come into the studio at 8am and have some me time– read things, sketch, think, look at fabrics etc..  before the world begins to work at around 10am and I get down to business. Sometimes I sleep in, have my morning coffee on the couch while scrolling through my phone, then walk over to my studio and get straight to work. I love spending time in my studio so I'm there all day working on various things- tech packs, production, fittings, fulfilling online orders, taking pictures and such and when night starts to come and everyone has left I feel I can relax again so I pour a glass of rose, or red and begin some more me time where I do all the above me time activities. Not always but once in a while. Sometimes I get this really good impulse and I go to the gym religiously at 6pm for weeks in a row.  When I get home, I like to cook with my husband and unwind together while watching animal documentaries, or Spanish shows on Netflix (my guilty pleasure!). When I feel stuck and my creative juices are not flowing I read only. I skip the tv and submerge in a good book. It's magical how it gets me back on track.


Ajaie Alaie is a Sanskrit phrase. How did you know this was the perfect name for your brand and what is your connection to India?

The original word is Ajai Alai and it means the power within, invincible.  When I started the brand I knew what I wanted to do, but I was having a hard time finding a name fitting for the philosophy but also that sounded good and attractive. One day while working on some patterns I was listening to this mantra and when I hit pause I saw the name of the mantra. It sounded beautiful to me so I googled the meaning and I couldn't believe how perfect it was. It just seemed so fitting with what I wanted to do. Basically, every time you would say Ajaie Alaie you would be telling yourself you are invincible because of your power within. I loved it. My connection to India is through my husband. He is from there and I go there twice a year. I feel one-third Indian by now and when I go to India I feel like home.


What are your favorite piece in the latest Ajaie Alaie collection? What are your favorite pieces in our latest collection for Haati Chai? 
My favorite pieces from Fall 17 have to be the Bonita Skirt and the Siempre Marzo Skirt. My favorite pieces from Haati Chai have to be the Anna Coin Pendant Necklace and the Bihar Signet Ring.

What is next for the brand?
I have so many projects in mind that so much is next. It's very, very exciting!

Is there something you would like to share about yourself or your brand that we did not ask? If so what? Any tips for aspiring designers looking to start a clothing brand?
Be true to yourself and believe. It may seem hard to know what yourself really is in this overly saturated industry, but if you are a designer at heart you already have a vision, follow that vision, you have no idea where it will get you.

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