Im with the Brand: Aban Sonia
Supperclub sits down with a true badass and one of our favorite creatives
FIRST OFF, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF:
This is probably one of the trickiest things to do, but I’ll give it a whirl. At times I feel like a walking, talking, evolving experiment, for no one other than myself. I work in the realm of fine art, film, and fashion with a personal interest and affinity for food preparation and cultivation. Having said that, I’m kind of a cultural nomad. I like to live life simply for the experience of it, the story, and the souvenirs.
WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STYLIST, COLLABORATOR, BRAND CONSULTANT, JET SETTER AND OVER ALL BAD ASS, SO WHAT DOES A TYPICAL MONTH LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I don’t really think I’ve had two months feel the same since getting out of high school, which may have been both a conscious and subconscious play on my part. Usually, I’ll have a number of things moving down the pipeline at the same time and the work varies from building out multimedia brand campaigns, music videos, working with an artist to develop their brand’s aesthetic, experimental short films, features, commercials, fashion shows, and every damn thing I can get my claws on in between. My friends and I are constantly pushing each other to do more. I love the spirit of collaboration and the magick that comes from it, so even when we’re not working we’ll take a quick road trip out somewhere, poke around, and make something of it.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT SO FAR?
Everything I’ve ever done I’ve been obsessed with until it’s finished.. then I can’t really stand to look at it or think about it again. I exhaust myself during the process so it’s hard to feel much of anything towards a project after it’s done and delivered. Experientially speaking, I loved getting lost in the woods on a recent trip with my team of badass babes TK, Minji, Jahmai, and Mel for an upcoming editorial story. We all can get pretty rugged and love getting our hands dirty so it’s always fun seeing the tomboy in each of us creep out while we’re making incredibly sensual, undoubtedly feminine work. I love the crazy shit that happens behind-the-scenes and how the finished product is directly influenced by that spontaneous energy.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON THAT YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT:
I recently did the RVCA Women’s SS’15 campaign and Miami Swim Week presentation featuring my cosmic lil’ sister, Mahina Alexander and one of the sweetest, most hard working forces to be reckoned with, Amanda Pizziconi. The campaign was photographed by my ace, TK Anderson. It was such an incredible experience because each one of the women I collaborated with on that project, from designer to creative director, left me craving more from myself and my work. They were all pure magick.
WE NOTICE YOU HAVE MAJOR WANDERLUST, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CITY AND WHY?
I’ve been staying away from cities unless it’s for work, lately I’ve found myself receding towards the countryside again. A road trip to a cabin hidden between the mountains and backroads of West Virginia stands out as a recent favorite. It seemed like a quiet, sleepy place until I tuned into a higher frequency. The land was moist and rich while the bees were floating around happily, which was exactly what I needed after bouncing between in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York all year.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BE A STYLIST?
You’ve got to love it. Not the money, accolades, or the idea of working with your favorite celebrity.. all that shit fades. You’ve got to really love it.. the good stuff and the bad. The times you get to be creative and the times you don’t. The emails, the spreadsheets, the fabrication, the creation, last minute tailoring, knowing how to do it even when you have no idea what you’re doing, OCD, working with huge personalities in tiny spaces, the long hours, RV’s cramped with impatient divas, no sleep, sunscreen.. lots of sunscreen.. and steamer burns. It all comes with the job, and I think it’s a fair trade for getting to do what you love with the people that continuously inspire you.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST OBSTACLE IN YOUR CAREER? AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME IT?
To find balance between my life and work. I’ve always allowed myself to be consumed by whatever is creatively feeding me at the moment. Which is great, for the moment, but I’ve realized my personal relationships sometimes suffer afterwards. Over the past year or so I’ve come to the understanding that everything I invest myself into, be it a project or a person, is a flower that I need to water and nurture. So yeah, I think finding balance is a challenge. That and finding something healthy to eat at craft services. I think I’m still working on overcoming both of those challenges, haha!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
Strangers, flowers, landscapes, old movies, new stories, travel, le Cairo, the moon, my grandmother’s old photos, citrine, trees, street signs, when I see a good hat, architecture, cigarette smoke, gardens, sex, other people’s kids, and books that smell like an old-timer because that’s usually where the good stuff is.
DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE:
This question is always really tough to answer because I’d rather be naked most of the time. But when I do have to actually wear clothes, I’m always comfortable. I feel like I’ve lived several lives so my style doesn’t really stick to a story, trend, era, or theme. I don’t have anything to prove in terms of my ability to coordinate a look or how my body looks in a bodycon dress. I’m a jeans, tshirt, and Stetson kind of gal, so my default is always something feminine that I can still run around and climb trees in. I’d say the one constant in my everyday wardrobe would be the use of precious stones, gems, and hard metals. I remember going through a phase when I was younger where I would always wear high heels or something with a little height, as I grew into myself and my surroundings, I realized it’s not about peacocking as much as it is about running through life hands in the air with the wind slapping you across the face. So I dress for that..
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE EMERGING BRANDS?
I love playing and working with KILLSPENCER, Y.R.U, Tavik, RVCA Women’s, Vanessa Mooney, Capulet, and GrantKnits. Each is supported by incredibly innovative designers and artisans that really listen to and learn from their customer, which I think is crucial to the growth of a brand.
WHAT ARE 3 THINGS IN YOUR PURSE RIGHT NOW?
Rarely carry a purse, but if you decide to pickpocket me you’ll find my phone, an old cigarette case from the 50’s that I use as a wallet, and a chapstick or minted rose lip balm. I would say my keys but I usually can’t find those..
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS FROM NOW? WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN THAT TIME?
Eating fruit, barefoot. I could be anywhere doing that and I think I’d be happy. As for career goals, I would love to keep developing campaigns, traveling, and telling stories. As time goes on, I find myself wanting to simplify things and live lighter.
WHAT HAS BEEN MAJOR KEYS TO YOUR SUCCESS?
My mum giving me a proverbial kick in the ass every time I’ve wanted to stop and join the real world.. “You’ve come this far. Everything you’ve wanted to do, you’ve done.. So what’s the problem?” She never lets me get away with being too hard on myself for too long. Always a nice reminder to stop, reflect, and enjoy the journey. Thanks mum
Knives up! Δ