I am excited to share with you this interview with Dina Chavez, the founder behind the brand SixChel. In her blog, SixChel by Dina Chavez, you can learn more about the journey of this fashion enterpreneur and learn more about her story.
When I was brainstorming with Dina about doing a collaboration, I asked her to tell me more about the philosophy and thought process behind the design of the clothes. I usually find these stories fascinating because the creation process also has the designer's personality and experience imbued in the clothes.
SixChel is not Dina's first fashion venture, she decided to shut down her previous label and start again with a sustainability focus. After losing her only sister to cancer, Dina became aware of the effects that toxic chemicals can have on our bodies, so she was inspired to be part of the change by using her talents as a fashion designer.
SixChel is about strength and femininity
Isn't it curious that becoming sustainable and ethical in the FASHION industry is easier than being a STRONG WOMAN in 2017? I've had to deal with this in different cultural contexts (Latin America, Canada, Switzerland) and there is always something. Too bold. Too frumpy. Too sexy. No matter what I wore, I would be judged by other people. It was not something that I took too seriously, but it is a mental drain when I have to think "Does this lipstick make me look more or less intelligent?" I just wish I didn't have to have these conversations with myself before I leave the house!
Dina grew up in the 80s, inspired by films like "Working Girl", a movie known for also subverting the idea of femininity and power with the outfits of the main characters. For Dina, it is important to continue the fight for gender equality and feminism and fashion is the medium through which she shares these values.
The theme of strength and femininity is well timed, as we saw with the US Presidential election that "society tells us women that we can either be strong and therefore not seen as a woman or be feminine, in which it is impossible to have strength."
So how are these ideas reflected in SixChel's first collection?
1. Flowy and soft fabrics to display our feminine side
2. Sturdy denim and vegan leather for strength
3. Juxtaposition of elements to show the balance between power and womanhood
"I wanted to show the juxtaposition between the strength and the femininity of a woman with strong shoulders, strong lines, straight edges and simple, delicate details such as the flow of the halter top."