Monday, March 23, 2009

Interview: Aviator Nation

I had a chance to catch up with casual wear designer Paige Mycoskie about how she started Aviator Nation, her experiences as a reality TV star, what inspires her, her very special cause and much more. She is truly an amazing woman who believes nothing is impossible with a little hard work, she even taught herself how to sew and silk screen using a DVD! Read on to discover more :)

SRC: Hi Paige, We’re so excited for this chance to talk to you about your line Aviator Nation and your experiences! I’ve heard that your original inspiration for your tee shirts started when you raided your brother’s closet! Did he mind?
Paige Mycoskie: There are two brothers and they didn't actually know... Until now I guess!
Either way I'm sure they would be ok with it now. I am lucky to have extremely supportive brothers! They have both become pretty big fans of the line and wear it themselves all the time.

SRC: As a self taught designer, do you face any challenges?
PM: Of course. There is so much to learn on the technical side when it comes to fabric, thread, patterns, grading and such that I'm sure they teach in school. For me it was all trial and error but I think the trials and challenges only make me a stronger designer. There's no way like learning the hard way!

SRC: As a lover of extreme sports and an athlete, does this influence your designs? I also noticed that some of your designs are inspired by 70s vehicles and the outdoors. Is this a continued inspiration?
PM: My lifestyle and passions absolutely influence my designs. I try to always stay true to myself as a designer so including mountains, surfing, race cars etc. in my designs only makes me more excited about them! And as for the 70's... I think maybe I was supposed to be born in that time period or something... Everything I design naturally has a 70's "look and feel" to it
and it's all completely unplanned and natural. My favorite music is even from the 70's! Kinda weird... but true!

SRC: I’m a believer that you can learn something from every experience. What did you learn from being on the Amazing Race? If you could do it over again, would you choose to be on reality TV again?
PM: I learned more from being on the Amazing Race than I can even explain... I learned more about myself in that period than all of high school and college put together. The Amazing Race is so much harder than it appears on TV. I am competitive to begin with and the fact that the whole world was watching.... Let's just say it was six weeks of extreme stress, sleeping on
the streets in sometimes very scary cities and pretty much no food all on top of having to perform at my very best physically every second and trying to keep cool in front of the cameras all at the same time. Generally speaking it made me realize how much I can really push myself! Of course seeing the world and various cultures was quite eye opening too!

SRC: Tell us a little about the Africa project. You donate $10 from the purchase of each item to an organization in Kenya called Comfort The Children so that goes directly towards the purchase of antiretroviral medication. What sparked your interest in this cause?
PM: My travels to Africa while on the Amazing Race sparked this. When I was in South Africa and visited the townships there I knew at the first chance I got in life I wanted to do something to help the situation there. The customer for Aviator Nation is all about being bold, unique and active so raising awareness about the AIDS epidemic in Africa fit perfectly into the

SRC: That's really great! I find your positive attitude amazing, especially your belief that with
a little determination and imagination anything is possible. What keeps you
PM: I think I owe this one to the way I was raised. I played sports at a very young age and always had amazing coaching from my father and the unconditional support from my mother. This combination has always made me feel that I can do anything if I work hard enough.

SRC: Aside from extreme sports and designing, how do you spend your down time?
PM: To be honest there is not much down time. It's a competitive world and I owe it to my fans to keep coming out with awesome designs each season! The designing and running the company together make for a pretty busy schedule but if there is ever an hour to spare you would catch me surfing, mountain biking or watching movies.

SRC: What are the top tracks playing on your iPod today?
PM: At the moment it's all reggae. I'm trying to pretend like I'm in the islands.

SRC: What can we expect to see from Aviator Nation in the future? Will it include aviators/sunglasses?
PM: You can expect complete radness! And Aviators too!


Anonymous said...

inspiring story! love the incorporation of social justice with the clothing line itself to raise awareness for global issues. keep it up.

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