Ara Jo likes to dance while designing. It’s unsurprising then, that the young designer’s graduate collection was a joyous explosion of lycra body suits and sparkles. With a Margiela-esque ambiguity in the shrouded heads of the models, Ara Jo’s work is injected with disco ball fever, sexy silhouettes with elements of the avant garde - the perfect combination for the outlandish Lady GaGa, a proud Ara Jo fan and outfit owner…
Dazed Digital: How old are you? Ara Jo: I was born in 1985.
DD: How long have you been designing? Ara Jo: Since I was 13 I guess. The first thing that I designed and made myself was a leg warmer. I cut off the bottom of my trousers and wore them as leg warmers during the winter. My friends loved them!
DD: Where are you based? Ara Jo: I'm based in London. I can't imagine any other place… I love London!
DD: How would you describe your own style? Ara Jo: Contemporary and enjoyable!
DD: Who would you like to collaborate with? Ara Jo: Lady GaGa. She is the first celebrity who wore my collection. I'd love to work with her again.
DD: Who do you have in mind when you design? Ara Jo: It always changes. Every time I do my collection, I have a particular character or muse in my mind.
DD: What inspires you at the moment? Ara Jo: Mermaids! It's for my 2010 S/S collection.
DD: Who are your favorite designers and why? Ara Jo: I like Hussein Chalayan. He always shows something more than I expect. So creative and I really love constructive designs.
DD: Were you interested in fashion while growing up? Ara Jo: Yes, yes, yes. I've ALWAYS been interested, and it won't change. DD: What are the difficulties faced being a designer today? Ara Jo: MONEY, of course. This is my first step as a fashion designer and there are so many problems without financial support. DD: If you weren't designing, what would you be doing? Ara Jo: I would be a dancer! I love to dance and even while I work, I always turn on the hip-hop, R&B radio loudly. I can't really work without music. I do design while I'm listening to music and dancing.
DD: What are your plans for the future? Ara Jo: Get some more experience, work as a free lance designer. And then I want to study MA in Central Saint Martins from where I graduated in the BAcourse. DD: Can we buy your collection? Ara Jo: Click my website: notjustalabel.com/ARAJO and then contact me by e-mail or phone. Be my customer, client, you're warmly welcome!
CREDITS for main images PhotographySaga Sigurdardottir Styling Anna Trevelyan Hair Hiroshi Matsushita using Bumble and Bumble Make up Thomas de Kluyver using MAC Models Tess @ Models 1, Regina @ FM