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Nov 13, 2010

Art Institute Designer Feature - Falavia Otis

Falavia’s love of fashion began at an early age. The young designer doesn’t like to limit herself to a specific style or decade. The main focus of Falavia's design process is spent towards enhancing her customer’s specific personality without sacrificing comfort. The end result is body conscious clothing that flatters all figures.

How did you get started as a designer?

Three and a half years ago I started on this intriguing journey to create garments that compliment a woman’s body as well as her individual personality. I was infatuated with clothes at a young age because I was plus size and most of the cute stylish clothes were not made in my size.

Tell us about your style and where you draw your influence from?

Well, I just love to layer. I love building upon a look until I feel it’s complete. My color pallet is usually filled with rich darker tones with silver or gold accents. I honestly grab inspiration from anywhere, but with my last collection it was derived from my Military family.

What has being a designer taught you?

Designing has taught me how to appreciate different body types and different personal styles. You can’t just make things fit someone’s body. The garment has to fit every aspect of the individual including personal style and personality.

What is on your inspiration board?

My inspiration board consists of photos and metals earned by my family. I didn’t want to make my collection extremely literal so I just accented my clothes with a military feel.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

My newest line is Military inspired. My mother, father, and brother served/serving in the military, which is why I was strongly inspired to go this direction. For my collection I wanted to stray away from the common use of ARMY (camouflage, olives, browns). I focused more on the Air Force and Navy. My line displays very structured garments with a rich color palette of deep grays, navy, and accents with silver and gold.

Can you tell me a bit about the fabrics you used? 

I used Ultra suede, Wool, thick cotton hounds tooth, silk, and vinyl.

Where are some of your favorite places to shop?

I am not necessarily loyal to any specific store. If it fits me and my style I will buy it where ever they happen to sell it.

What’s the one article of clothing or accessory that you think every girl or guy should have in their closet?

I love to layer my clothes to give my look more character. It’s always good to have some great vests in your closet so that at any moment you can layer an outfit to easily make it more interesting.

What do you think the next fashion trend will be?

It seems like the world of fashion is moving towards the androgynous styles - clothes that don’t necessarily have a strong feminine or masculine style to them.

How do you feel art, fashion, and music influence each other?

Each one of those can inspire the other. A great powerful song can inspire a painting, and an amazing painting can inspire a garment’s design. That’s the great thing about the arts – it’s all one big circle there to inspire even if it’s not inspiring to same kind of art. They all spark emotion and art derives from emotion.

Where can people purchase your designs?!/pages/Falaviaz-Fashion-Design-page/135350906499934 or contact  me at
Be sure to check out Falavia's recent runway show:
Interview by Nikki Neil, Photos courtesy of Art Institute


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