Following the theme of highlighting Black Business and Entrepreneurship for the month of October, we had the opportunity to sit down with the amazing Aimee - owner and founder of DLTA Studios, a luxury womenswear brand whose origins are routed in spirituality and using fashion as concepts to carry important and unique messages. DLTA Studios has only been established for just over a year but are making serious waves within the fashion industry. In this interview Toren sits down with Aimee to discuss DLTA's balance as a fashion brand and lifestyle studios, essential travel fits from European to Southeast Asian destinations and how DLTA's origins and existence is ultimately rooted in God.
[The Mena Dress]
Toren: So, for someone that has never heard of DLTA or come across the brand before, give us the perfect 20 second summary!
Aimee: Okay, well it’s a fashion lifestyle brand. So, the clothing is the DLTA aspect of things, I wanted to create something that meant it was more than just clothes. The heartbeat of the brand is more so the studios. For me personally the studios are more important. I would say the clothes perform the role of carrying the message of what I want to do, whereas the studios are ultimately good for the heart concepts. So ultimately a combination of fashion and lifestyle.
Toren: Yeah, that’s what it seems like, I got that type of feel instantly just from looking at the page. You spoke about the studios, let’s talk more about that because one of the first things I saw when I delved into the DLTA was some of the work you did with Toni Tone (who is a content creator, speaker, and author). How did that concept come about, is it something that we’re going to see again?
Aimee: Yeah, so that’s a great example. The fashion and the studios are meant to coincide, so every collection is intended to have a theme and concept. So, for example, we had a love letter collection. With the studios, we put together the project of ‘love letters I could never send’, so we opened a submissions box. Funny enough there were so many, some were even in different languages, it’s crazy because clearly people need it (Aimee laughs). So yeah, that was meant to provide a type of healing process for people and when we brought the concept to Toni she was fully on board with it, essentially it feeds into her brand and what she’s about. Yeah, we had a really good time doing it. We also have another collection in the works called ‘dreamer diaries’, then with the studios there will be “diary of a dreamer”, which will be the concept. Everything is meant to have a meaning and is intentional.
[The Runo Dress]
Toren: Yeah, that’s lovely, it seems like everything you’re doing has context and substance. It’s all intentional and that’s nice to hear. Tell me about the origins of DLTA, and how you decided to start the brand.
Aimee: I mean I’m a Christian and you know what, I feel like it was spiritual, I feel like I was genuinely called to it. I remember speaking with one of my friends a few years back and telling her I feel like I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. It’s like God said, “watch this”. Before I started all of this, I feel like I did a real mental zone out and tuned the noise out. I asked God if you want me to do this, you’re gonna have to give me the blueprint. So, I did a month straight of having no phone, cut out music and zero out, let me hear from God. So, I think there’s no explanation other than God called me to it and I feel like all the different parts of myself came into it naturally. When I was younger, I used to love fashion, I remember being a kid and just cutting up clothes, whilst all my cousins used to be playing outside, I would just be inside with clothes.
Toren: Okay! So, it’s been there from early.
Aimee: Yeah, but I just never thought anything of it.
Toren: You know what that even leads perfectly into the next question I have. Who are some of your fashion inspirations if you have any?
Aimee: To be fair, I feel like there’s a new movement of black fashion designers that are doing really well, I love the paths that they’re paving. For example, Farai London, Kai Collective and Loudbrand studios. Because it’s in view, you can see it’s doable. I think for me that’s where it starts from, especially them being black women.
Toren: Yeah, essentially seeing it as representation and affirmation that you can do it yourself?
Aimee: Yeah, exactly. The paths and what everyone is trying to do is different, but the source is ultimately still (black women).
Toren: Okay, so one thing that stood out to me with DLTA Studios was the travel aspect of things! I feel like it feeds in well to the whole lifestyle aesthetic you were talking about earlier. A lot of them were summer locations, so I wanted to give you a challenge. We’re in Autumn now, with Winter around the corner.
Aimee: Yeah, we’re definitely getting there, the rain told me that today!
(Aimee & I both laugh)
Toren: So, we’re getting into that period of the year. So, if you could give three locations, autumn locations, where people need to experience, and where would they be, let’s even give them a dress code inspiration as well!
Aimee: Ahh okay, well I’ve never been there myself, but I feel like I need to experience Switzerland, a ski trip during the winter probably if you know what I mean.
[A Vegas inspired mood board curated by DLTA]
Toren: Yeah, I know what you mean, that type of alps scenery.
Aimee: Yeah exactly!
Toren: Dress code?
Aimee: I like fur, it doesn’t have to be too much, but even just the accessories, like a fur headband or scarf. I feel like Europe has a lot of good go-to destinations for this time of the year. I don’t know if I’d say this is necessarily a must-go destination, but Krakow Poland is good for those that like history. They do an Auschwitz tour, which I’ve always wanted to tick off my bucket list.
Toren: Yeah, Poland’s a lovely place, I’ve been there before, twice actually, but that was when I was much younger and was during the summer, to play football.
Aimee: Yeah, I feel like there’s this cluster of Eastern European countries that you can explore.
Toren: And a third one? To be honest we can even cover both Autumn and Winter since we’re heading into that season.
Aimee: I’d like to say Canada, but Canada is ‘COLD COLD’.
Toren: Yeah definitely, but I feel like Canada is a good location, it has a lot of cultures, especially in Toronto, I feel like that’s somewhere that a lot of Londoners would probably go to and resonate with as well.
Aimee: Actually, you know what, for someone who wants a bit of winter sun as well, I know a lot of people say it, but Bali this time of the year is supposed to be “chef’s kiss”.
(Toren and Aimee both laugh hysterically)
Toren: So, what are we gonna say are your final three?
Aimee: I’d say Switzerland, Bali and for those that want to do the full zero degrees type of experience – then probably Canada.
Toren: Okay, next I wanted to go through DLTA’S styling highlight, but before we do that, what are your opinions on styling and how important do you think styling is within the fashion industry? I feel like with stylists there’s quite a bit of hierarchy nowadays, but what are your general opinions on it?
Aimee: You know what, with me, I’m so big on just doing it. I was saying to my friend the other day, there are now so many aesthetics and movements. At the end of the day when it comes to individual styles, I feel like everyone should just be themselves, don’t get me wrong I do get it and the fact that certain trends are always going to come in and out of fashion, but I think being yourself is timeless. That’s why I’m keen on not moulding my brand on a movement, it’s just going to be what it’s going to be and stay true to that.
Toren: Yeah, you know what, I do feel that it’s better to know your market and be loyal to your market as opposed to trying to appeal to everyone.
Aimee: Exactly, but I feel with styling, something will always resonate with someone. I’d always just take it back to individualism and encourage people to be bold with their style and everything else they do.
Toren: Yeah, what you’re saying is making a lot of sense!
Aimee: Speaking on that, one thing that I have really enjoyed with this whole process with DLTA is being able to connect with freelancers and other young creatives, who know what they’re doing and are good at what they’re doing!
Toren: So, what can we expect from DLTA in the next year or so, without revealing too much?
Aimee: What I can say is that I have some nice and exciting collaborations in the works, but with a lot of these things it is the long game. When things do come out you don’t know how long of a plotting and planning process there is. So, for example, one of these DLTA dresses got worn on WWE.
[The Runo Dress worn by Megan Morant a WWE Friday Night Smackdown Correspondent]
Toren: Yeah! I saw that, that’s amazing.
Aimee: Yeah, so it’s things like that that I’m working on to get the brand out there. So, you might see DLTA somewhere crazy!
Toren: I won’t be surprised I’ll tell you that. Even this conversation is showing a lot.
Aimee: But I think one of my main focuses right now is building the studios, I want to really build what it is. Where even if you come across DLTA and don’t buy from the brand, you can still engage in what the studios have to offer. So the kind of people, I want to sit down with, I want to expand on that.
Toren: I hear you! So, the last question I have is, where can people find DLTA Studios.
Aimee: www.dltastudios.com and the Instagram is @thedltastudios
Toren: Lovely, any last words?
Aimee: God, I always want that to be synonymous with the brand. When you see what’s about to come from DLTA, I want everyone to know that God is behind it all!
Interview conducted and written up by Toren.