Interview with Toqa Designer, Aiala

The Hawaii local created the future of runway with a fashion film

I grew up with one of the designers of Toqa, Aiala, and wanted to feature their newest collection: Moodyisle! I am so proud of her & so excited to feature my interview with her on her life as a young designer.

Can you tell me a little about your creative process? 

Each collection for me starts with daydreaming and adventuring. Then comes a lot of research, doodles, sourcing fabric, patternmaking, textile manipulation, fitting, sizing, then photographing & filming the final product. Each part is really exciting to me. I love the freedom at the start of every project we do, the big ideas and world building that may or may never come to fruition. And when the clothes or objects are finalized, next comes showing it in that world-which is the cherry on top! 

Being born into a family of artists, was your style shaped by your upbringing? 

Definitely. Growing up my parents gave me the freedom to follow my passions. They set an example for craft and perseverance. Just watching what they accomplish as artists made me believe in myself. I look up to them so incredibly much. Their work inspires me and I feel bLeSS3d to have been raised by them. 

How has your label evolved & what can we expect next?

Toqa started as a caterpillar and I think the next collection will be the full metamorphosis into a butterfly. Every step of the way we’ve repeatedly honed down on what we are trying to say with our art. Coming up early next year is our biggest show yet…  All I can say for now is stay tuned!!

About Toqa

Toqa is a sustainable high fashion label focused on Sport Resort. To create their collections, Toqa weaves together a unique aesthetic, a deep appreciation for community, and collaboration as a source of genuine tropical production. They honor the conversational culture that has ultimately shaped their output and aim to be inclusive, minimize environmental impact, and promote alternative methods of production.

 

Moodyisle

Working in conjunction with El Nido Resorts and Ten Knots Development Corporation, Toqa created Moodyisle, which combines community, costuming, and cinema to expand the island identity through sustainable high fashion. Focused on providing an interdisciplinary experience, Toqa hoped to create the perfect runway experience, providing a front row seat for anyone who wanted it. 

Featured cast members include games and marine sportsmen, housekeepers, environmental officers, bangkeros (boatmen), butchers, and landscapers. These collaborators provided local knowledge of El Nido, as each island has its own charm, beauty, and personality. They also helped craft the narrative, characters, and world that you see portrayed in Moodyisle. 

See more of the story behind Moodyisle.

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