Born and raised in the DMV, Alasia Shalai is a rapidly rising designer with a stylish flair and sensible persona that you just can’t get enough of. Her brand, SHALAI WORLD, has gone from strength to strength over the past several years, being worn by celebrities such as BIA, Chinese Kitty, and Moxie Raia to name a few. It’s a fashion-forward label that fuses streetwear and contemporary fashion that refreshing perspective in womenswear.
Alasia Shalai, like many other designers in 2020, has found major success amid the global pandemic in a phenomenal way. When asked what her plans are for this next year, she excitedly reveals plans to drop new looks and more prints. We look forward to seeing both SHALAI WORLD and Alasia Shalai blossom into the go-to brand for womenswear and much more.
We spoke to founder Alasia Shalai about the journey to creating the brand, what SHALAI means to her, and her vision for the future.
Was there a pivotal moment you realized you wanted to launch your own label or has it always been an aspiration?
Starting my own line has always been a thought in the back of my head, but I didn’t act on it early. I was living in NY and going to FIT to study advertising and marketing. I was pursuing a career as a stylist but after a while it kind of just clicked — like wait, I don’t want to do this. I want to design / creative direct.
This past year has been phenomenal for you, could you tell us the story in summary of how you got it off the ground?
I’ve been doing SHALAI for 5 years now but it was going in a different direction. I decided last year to rebrand and start from scratch because I’ve changed and my creativity has evolved. A couple years ago, I started teaching myself graphic design and have been sharpening my skills. From there I created my first print, and it blew up!
What or who are your most recent inspirations?
I’m really into prints right now so I’m inspired by abstract art and photography. As far as brands I love Mugler and Charlotte Knowles right now.
Can you tell us something about you that your customers won’t already know?
Hmm… I do everything myself so bare with me!
What are your most significant factors when choosing materials?
Definitely fit. I want wearing my clothing to feel easy… like you’re wearing this striking look and it’s comfortable.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the industry as a whole?
Being seen. It’s so many people in the industry so setting yourself apart is a huge aspect of it.
Where do you think fashion is as a whole right now, and what would you change?
I think fashion is in a good space, I love that designers are pushing boundaries. I would change the fast fashion part — I’m tired of seeing these companies steal from small designers.
What’s next for SHALAI WORLD? What does 2021 hold?
More prints, more fun looks.
If you enjoyed our interview with Alasia Shalai, check out our interview with Venus Rose!